Upgrade access control systems with a completely cable-free, even more cost-effective solution – Aperio® Offline
Upgrade access control systems with a completely cable-free, even more cost-effective solution – Aperio® Offline

Aperio® Offline access control doors now allow access control system manufacturers (OEMs) and system integrators to offer even more favourably priced solutions, thus creating a competitive advantage for themselves. All they need to do is integrate Aperio® components into their system, an easy task. Aperio® Offline is particularly suitable for doors which cannot be wired, are used very little or are a distance away from other doors. Very easy to install, an Aperio® Offline cylinder or escutcheon is mounted onto the door and then integrated into the access control system. Access authorisations are saved onto existing RFID user cards or transponders. Doors are all managed using the same access control system, whether they feature Aperio® Offline or Online. Users receive new or modified access authorisations from a central point. One special feature in Aperio® Offline is its status message capability used to indicate low battery status or a jammed lock and transmit other door signals to the access control system via the cards or transponders. This allows system maintenance to rectify faults or replace batteries within a short space of time. Lost user cards and transponders can be cancelled by placing them on a blacklist or become automatically invalid after a specific period of time. Able to support up to 16 time schedules, Aperio® Offline also offers a permanently open mode (office mode) and door status change (toggle mode). For customers or end-users, the greatest advantage lies in the fact that they can now choose the right access control system for every door scenario. Regardless of whether the door is Aperio® Online or Offline, both can be administered using the same access control system.  Aperio® Offline cylinders or escutcheons can also be easily used for Aperio® Online if operators wish to integrate a door into an online system at a later date. In such a case, the door is incorporated into the access control system via a wireless communications hub, thus providing a favourably priced, non-wired, online solution.

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ASSA ABLOY Aperio®: Increase your data centre security with cost-effective access
ASSA ABLOY Aperio®: Increase your data centre security with cost-effective access

Who is accessing your company’s most sensitive data? Where? When? And if someone without authorisation did, how would you know? Some of the world’s best-known companies have succumbed to data breaches that proved expensive in terms of both cost and reputation. The focus is usually on a digital attack. Passwords and anti-hacking procedures come under scrutiny, particularly in a world where so much of our information lives in the cloud. However, there is another way that company data can fall into unauthorised hands: someone could walk right up to your server and access it physically, with equally disruptive results. Shared data centres The risks increase when companies use shared data centres, or ”colocation”, which has become an increasingly popular option. According to 451 Research KnowledgeBase, the global colocation market could grow from $23 billion in 2014 to $37 billion by 2017. All our “big data” has to go somewhere and shared data centres provide a cost-effective solution, even for information of the most sensitive kind. Of course, data centres have stringent security procedures, but is it wise to fully entrust your valuable data -sensitive customer information- to a third party? Can you be certain that a third party’s security procedures meet your legal compliance commitments, to the European Data Protection Directive, the Sarbanes–Oxley Act, the PCI Data Security Standard and other personal and commercial data protection regulations? Further, do you even know who you share server space with? It could be a direct competitor. Disruption of physical security and potential breach as a result may not even be deliberate or malicious. Server rooms have a steady flow of authorised traffic: cleaners, maintenance staff, repair technicians and more. Unfortunately, accidents happen. Data centre security management For these reasons, data centre security management needs to be high on any company’s agenda, as high as cyber-security. In an interview with datacenterknowledge.com, Jason Cook, CTO of BT Americas, suggested: “Physical security is still one of the easiest ways to get access to data. With all of the sophistication in current technology, what’s the point, if someone can walk in and open the door?” IBM estimates the average cost of a single data breach at $3.79 million. Fortunately, technologies that can help secure servers—even in colocation data centres—cost a lot less than that. A high-security mechanical lock might seem like a solution, but a mechanical system can be expensive to run, due to the costs of secure key management and replacement when keys go missing. Once issued, there’s no way to change a physical key’s user rights. A mechanical-key audit trail- who had access to your servers, when, for how long- will probably not be enough to conduct a proper investigation in the event of any type of breach. Even high-security perimeter doors and CCTV-powered server room security will not suffice, if your server rack has an old-fashioned mechanical lock. Server cabinet locks are the last line of defence against a physical breach, yet mechanical keys are still a common sight in data centres. This is becoming increasingly unsatisfactory, especially when that server could hold the key to your business success. KS100 Server Cabinet Lock One solution is ASSA ABLOY’s Aperio® KS100 Server Cabinet Lock. The KS100 adds real-time access control capabilities to a server cabinet, drawer or rack. It brings server racks into an existing third-party access control system, without breaking the bank. KS100 electronic locks work with smartcards using all standard RFID technologies, including iCLASS® from HID, Seos™, MIFARE® and DESFire. Installation is quick and easy, with power via a Power over Ethernet (PoE) connection. Once installed, KS100 locks integrate with your access control system and communicate wirelessly through an Aperio® Communication Hub. With online integration, when any of your smart credentials is presented to the lock, access decisions are communicated from and recorded by the system wirelessly. With Aperio®, lost cabinet keys no longer compromise server security: smart credentials are simply de-authorised and a valid replacement can be quickly re-issued. The current status of any lock can be revealed with the click of a mouse. Generating detailed audit trails is straightforward, making the KS100 invaluable for incident investigation. With Aperio® server cabinet locks, businesses have the freedom to manage access to their own equipment and data, even in colocation data centres. Do you know exactly who last had access to your servers, and when? Install Aperio® and next time your data manager asks, the answer is yes. Key facts The data centre colocation market could be worth $37 billion by 2017 Companies have a legal requirement to protect sensitive customer data, under the European Data Protection Directive and other regulations Investigating any breach properly requires detailed audit trails, which mechanical keys cannot provide An Aperio® KS100 Server Cabinet Lock can integrate with an installed access control system, boosting security wirelessly and adding full audit trail capabilities to server space, even in shared data centres For more on how Aperio® can secure a data centre, see www.assaabloy.co.uk/securedata.

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Access control systems & kits - Expert commentary

Wireless technology is transforming motion detection
Wireless technology is transforming motion detection

Motion detection is a key feature of security systems in residential and commercial environments. Until recently, systems have relied heavily on closed circuit television (CCTV) and passive infrared (PIR) sensors, which both require significant investment and infrastructure to install and monitor. Developments in wireless technology are increasing home security possibilities. Few years ago, these developments led Cognitive Systems to discover that the wireless signals surrounding oneself can be used to detect motion. Known in the wireless industry as WiFi sensing, this technology brings many benefits that other motion detection solutions have not been able to provide. The working of WiFi sensing At Cognitive Systems, the company has used WiFi sensing technology to develop a motion detection solution called WiFi Motion™, which measures and interprets disruptions in RF signals transmitted between WiFi devices. When movement occurs in a space, ripples in the wireless signals are created. WiFi Motion interprets these ripples and determines if an action, such as sending a notification, is needed. Enabling this functionality in a space is incredibly simple. With a software upgrade to only one’s WiFi access point (or mesh router), motion sensing capabilities are layered into one’s WiFi network. Existing connected WiFi devices then become motion detectors without detracting from their original functions or slowing down the network. Using artificial intelligence (AI), WiFi Motion establishes a benchmark of the motionless environment and learns movement patterns over time, which could be used to predict trends. This allows unusual movement patterns to be detected with greater accuracy while decreasing the potential for costly false alerts. WiFi Motion requires no line-of-sight or installation WiFi sensing and other home monitoring solutions All of these capabilities are made possible by WiFi sensing and together create a motion detection system that provides unparalleled accuracy, coverage, privacy and affordability compared to other solutions on the market. PIR integration is far more complex and imposes electronic and physical design restrictions compared to WiFi sensing. In terms of placement, PIR systems are difficult to install, requiring line-of-sight and a device in every room for localisation. WiFi Motion requires no line-of-sight or installation and is also a scalable solution compared to PIR. Much like cameras, PIRs can only cover so much space, but WiFi Motion can cover the entire home and even detect motion in the dark and through walls, without adding additional devices to the home. WiFi Motion detects less distinguishing context than cameras and microphones, but more context than regular PIR sensors for the perfect balance of privacy and highly accurate motion detection. Privacy solution While cameras have been the security solution for years, WiFi Motion offers a more affordable solution that can rival the privacy and coverage capabilities of even the most high-end cameras. With such a wide coverage area, one might think that WiFi sensing infringes on privacy, but actually, the opposite is true. With WiFi Motion, the contextual information collected cannot be used to identify a specific individual, unlike cameras which can clearly identify a person’s face or microphones, which can identify a person’s voice. It is different from other smart home security options that use cameras and microphones because it only senses motion using WiFi signals - it doesn’t “see” or “listen” like a camera or microphone would. This provides opportunities for added security in spaces where privacy might be a concern and installing a camera may not be a comfortable solution, such as bathrooms and bedrooms. The data collected is also anonymised and highly encrypted according to stringent industry privacy standards. Existing connected WiFi devices then become motion detectors Additional WiFi sensing applications Since WiFi sensing technology requires no additional hardware or subscription fees, it is much more affordable than other motion detection solutions. It can be used as a standalone solution, or it can be easily layered into more complex systems. This ease of integration, scalability and relatively low cost brings a lot of potential for various applications. Motion detection can trigger other smart devices in the network to turn lights on or off In eldercare, for example, WiFi sensing can be used to help seniors live comfortably in their homes for as long as possible. With the increasing aging population and high costs associated with care homes, the market for this application is considerable. Caregivers can use an app to monitor movement in their loved one’s home and be alerted about unusual movement patterns that could indicate a concern. For smart homes and other environments that have a network of smart devices, the artificial intelligence (AI) component of the technology allows for improvements to automated features. Motion detection can trigger other smart devices in the network to turn lights on or off or make adjustments to the temperature in a room. Security for the commercial sector For office buildings and other commercial properties, it is easy to see how all of these features could be scaled up to offer a highly accurate and cost-effective motion sensing and smart device automation solution. Cognitive Systems is closely involved with the development of WiFi sensing technology, working with various industry groups to establish standards and help it reach its full potential. WiFi Motion is merely the tip of the iceberg in terms of motion sensing possibilities, but its applications in the world of security are undeniably compelling. It is an exciting time for the wireless industry, as one works with stakeholders in the security space to explore everything this technology can do.

Automatic gates: Making the right investment for access control
Automatic gates: Making the right investment for access control

The experience of the COVID-19 pandemic has made us all more conscious of who is coming and going from our property. Whether it is a family home, business premises or public building, property owners want full control over access for protection and peace of mind. As a provider of access control technologies, we are seeing a growing demand for automated gates with a variety of access control systems. There are a number of considerations that buyers need to make when investing. And as an installer, there is advice that you can offer to help your clients make the right choice for their property. Here are some of the key considerations you’ll need to make and discuss with your client. Whomever you buy from, you should be offered more than a simple instruction manual. Electronic locks, magnetic locks and code security In the first instance, you’ll need to advise on the type of lock and access control available. Electronic locks release on the operation of the automation system to allow the gates to open. Locks are required for all non-locking (also known as reversible) operators and are recommended for any gate on a multi-user site or any gate over 2.5m. Apply the same logic to an automated gate as you would to a domestic door – for example, you wouldn’t fit your front door with a lock on the same side as the hinges or a drop bolt at the hinge end of a manual gate so why dispense with this logic when the gate is automated? Electronic locks release on the operation of the automation system to allow the gates to open There are a number of locks on the market including magnetic locks, drop locks that “shoot” a bolt into the ground and side latching locks. These are all designed for external use. While the gate itself will provide physical security, the customer will want to feel in control of who enters their property, when and for what purpose. Consider access for post and deliveries, waste disposal and visitors arriving on foot etc. There is a range of options available. Intercom systems will allow the user to vet visitors, keypad entry can allow remote access for visitors with a specific code, remote controls allow an oncoming driver to open the gates without getting out of the vehicle, and a timer control can be used to open or close the gates at certain times of the day. Vehicle detection loops can be installed discreetly under the tarmac allowing the presence of vehicles to exit the gates and prevent closing whilst obstructed. Sliding gates versus swinging gates There are a number of locks on the market including magnetic locks, drop locks that “shoot” a bolt into the ground and side latching locks Gates can be automated to either swing or to slide open and in the case of swinging gates, the opener may be concealed underground or gate mounted. The most suitable opener for your installation will depend on the space available and the type of gate selected. Concealed underground automation is ideal for highly ornate gates. However, where gates are fully infilled (typical of many timber designs), gate mounted openers are concealed from the front of the gate by the gate leaf and present a cost-effective option. The choice between slide and swing is largely down to space - swing gates require a clear space for their opening arc whilst sliding gates require space to one or both sides of the gate. Sliding gates are perhaps the best choice where the drive slopes or when drive space is limited, as they use the least space when opening. Voltage Most swing gate and sliding systems are available in 24v or 230v. The 24v systems still need 230v mains power – there is a transformer built into the 24v control panels. Deciding which voltage to use can include a combination of factors such as the material of the gates, the location of the system and the safety features you want. Concealed underground automation is ideal for highly ornate gates With wrought iron gates, the wind can pass through them whereas with fully boarded wooden gates (popular because they give full privacy) the wind has nowhere to go, so they act like sails. For commercial or industrial applications with larger entrances and a heavy gate, you may need 3 Phase 400v power (sliding gates only). Installing gate motors in confined spaces The environment in which you are fitting may well influence which gate and motor you recommend. Will it be in an exposed area which is subject to the elements? Will it be positioned on a slope? Sliding gates are perhaps the best choice where the drive slopes or when drive space is limited Installers have always faced the challenge of installing gate motors in confined spaces. When fitting a pedestrian gate, there is often limited space in which to work – potentially making an installation time consuming and technically demanding. If this is the case for you, consider a gate operator which is designed specifically for installations with limited space for manoeuvre. An example of this is the E5 compact gate operator. The operator is not only small but has an optional slide lever attachment designed for installations where there is extremely limited space, meaning that just 8cm of the pillar is needed for installation. What’s more, improved fixing points and a simple ‘hook and fasten’ process means assembly is safe, quick and straight forward. Ultimately, you’ll be looking for a good quality, reliable product with good service. Work with a supplier that offers more than just a manual. If they are happy to offer training, their time and advice when you buy, the chances are you’ll get their support long term.

4 ways to keep your workplace protected from COVID-19
4 ways to keep your workplace protected from COVID-19

The unprecedented global impact of COVID-19 has taken its toll on all of us, but as cases of the virus thankfully recede, employers are now forced to confront how they can enable a safe return to work for employees. For many employers, this means they will have to carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment, redesign workspaces to maintain social distances, carry out more frequent cleaning, manage the transmission risk and find alternatives to touch-based security devices. Protecting workplace occupants in any emergency requires preparation and clear communication. This is especially critical in a health crisis involving an infectious disease. These are some of the essential best practices that could help organisations reduce the impact on their employees and operations during this pandemic. 1. Use a visitor management system With a visitor management system, organisations have a single source of real-time and historical insights into who is, or was recently, in the workplace. This is especially important because of the need to perform contact tracing should anyone in the organisation show symptoms of COVID-19, meaning everyone they have been in contact with needs to be contacted and asked to isolate. Yet still, first impressions are made at the front desk or lobby, where the visitor experience needs to be a positive one. At the same time, though, any emergency event requires that there be strict control over who is entering the workplace. This policy also needs to be clearly communicated to visitors. Doing this minimises risk to visitors as well as the workforce. In addition to delivering a high-quality visitor experience, the ideal visitor management system must: Enable organisations to meet regulatory compliance mandates and facilitate check-in at a self-service kiosk to minimise wait times. Customise the visitor experience to support specific security needs, such as accelerating and simplifying check-in or requiring additional security pre-checks. Automate compliance as it relates to visitor access rules with historical visit reports. 2. Pre-check questions at visitor registration kiosks Organisations can strengthen security at the registration kiosk using a flexible, enterprise-grade visitor management system to add visitor sign-in steps. This has proven successful in the past when used to control the spread of infectious disease during an outbreak. An example of this is a U.S. children's hospital which managed to reduce facility infection rates by 25 percent over a two-year period using a commercial, off-the-shelf physical identity and access management (PIAM) solution from HID Global. The solution provides two particularly important capabilities that can be used by organisations to protect their workplace from the uncontrolled spread of an infectious disease: Enhance visitor registration policy with additional mandatory questions to help identify any visitors who may need other screenings. Extend the visitor registration kiosk with a mandatory pop-up asking further questions during visitor check-in. 3. Understand who has visited your workplace Successful controlling the spread of infection throughout a facility requires the ability to automatically maintain an auditable trail of activity. This can be done using an enterprise-grade visitor management system that makes it easy to retrieve historical visit reports. This provides a timeline of who was in the workplace, and when they were there. Key features include: A single dashboard providing useful visitor insights at your fingertips. Historical reports that provide visitor details including location and contact information, all in compliance with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other privacy regulations. 4. Clearly communicate how infection risks can be reduced Global organisations must actively communicate with visitors and employees on the outbreak of infectious diseases and follow best practices outlined by the World Health Organization (WHO). Here are several things organisations can do in this area to help maintain a safe and healthy workplace: Re-enforce and communicate WHO best practices with guideline posters in the front lobby and throughout the workplace. Add posters that also encourage regular and thorough washing of hands. Encourage everyone to cough or sneese into their shirt sleeve in their flexed elbow or cover their mouth and nose with a tissue. Encourage everyone to keep a relatively safe distance from each other and use alternatives to handshakes when saying hello. Organisations must contend with a variety of workplace challenges during the outbreak of an infectious disease. These challenges can be solved with best practices that include a comprehensive visitor management system that automates critical check-in policies and maintains an auditable trail of visitor activity.  

Latest ASSA ABLOY EMEA news

ASSA ABLOY releases a white paper discussing why specifiers should care about inclusive design for doors
ASSA ABLOY releases a white paper discussing why specifiers should care about inclusive design for doors

When talking about inclusive design, many people immediately think of those with a disability or specific, specialist requirements. While inclusive design encompasses the needs of these people, its key objective is to make a site inclusive for all, no matter what. In fact, despite public perception and the wheelchair being the symbol for accessibility, less than 8 per cent of disabilities require the use of a wheelchair. Whether it’s the elderly, disabled or children, everyone should be able to access and use a building and its facilities easily and safely. Inclusive design is a key consideration for most architects and specifiers, ensuring any barriers that might prevent an individual from using an environment freely and easily are removed. Governing inclusive design This approach must be reviewed in line with the guidelines governing inclusive design, which includes Approved Document M, the Equality Act 2010 and, crucially, BS 8300-1 and 8300-2:2018, which sets out how buildings should be designed, constructed and maintained to create an accessible and inclusive environment for all. It applies to both new builds and refurbishments. The white paper explains the factors that specifiers need to take into account for door opening solutions The white paper explains the factors that specifiers need to take into account for door opening solutions to be inclusive. It also covers some of the common issues with many door opening solutions available on the market, which might claim to comply with standards such as BS 8300-1 and 8300-2:2018 but do not. For instance, many suppliers will claim to offer compliant solutions by ‘winding down’ a door closer and its spring to power setting EN1. Fire safety standards However, while this may help people open a door more easily, it will not provide the necessary closing force. As a result, the door will not deliver the safety and security assurances demanded of an inclusive environment. It is also important to note that fire doors must have a minimum power setting of EN3 at all times, to meet these needs. In addition to covering what the guidelines governing inclusive design state for door opening solutions, the white paper advises on how specifiers can ensure these meet the necessary fire safety standards too. While fire safety has always been critical, incidents such as the Grenfell tragedy have highlighted how this issue can never afford to be an afterthought. Door opening solutions Our new white paper aims to offer specifiers a helpful and informative overview of why inclusive design is so important" “Inclusive design is viewed by most specifiers nowadays as a non-negotiable,” explains Eryl Jones, Managing Director of the ASSA ABLOY Door Hardware Group. “While it is the owner that ultimately bears responsibility for the design of a building, should a legal dispute arise then a specifier would be called upon to explain why a solution was recommended. In the event of a discrimination claim, those that can demonstrate that they have adhered to standards such as BS 8300-1 and 8300-2:2018 will be on safer ground than those that cannot.” “Our new white paper aims to offer specifiers a helpful and informative overview of why inclusive design is so important, what the guidelines governing this state, and the considerations that they need to think about when specifying a door opening solution. This means they can be confident when recommending door opening solutions for projects, ensuring everyone – from the elderly to those with a disability and children – can access and use a building and its facilities safely.” Greater consumer loyalty “Furthermore, with some specifiers potentially facing clients that might want to do the bare legal minimum when it comes to inclusive design, the white paper also helps outline why the approach is not only the right thing to do from a social point of view, but the impact it can have commercially too.” “Market drivers such as an ageing population and consumer buying power mean brands that prioritise inclusive building design can enjoy greater consumer loyalty and spending opportunities, as well as increased differentiation, credibility and brand awareness. We hope that the findings included in the white paper can help support this case for specifiers, when having these conversations with clients.” Correct specification of hardware It’s really good to see such an important message being highlighted in this white paper" Douglas Masterson, Technical Manager at the Guild of Architectural Ironmongers (GAI), adds: “It is refreshing in the current climate to see accessibility being placed firmly on the agenda through this white paper. At the moment, the headlines are rightly dominated by fire safety – following the Grenfell tragedy – and on-going issues related to the Covid-19 pandemic. While these are of huge importance, accessibility must always have room in any discussion relating to the construction industry.” “This paper states: ‘All those involved in the design and construction of a building should not simply be working towards inclusivity but demanding it every single time.’ The GAI is firmly in favour of this statement, and the correct specification of hardware in a building must have the issues of accessibility and inclusive design at its heart.” Outlining the relevant standards Bob Perry, CEO of the Door Hardware Federation (DHF), comments: “It’s really good to see such an important message being highlighted in this white paper. Our society is changing – both in its demographics and its attitudes – and it is clear that any company that fails on inclusivity will be left behind. At the same time, however, the requirements around inclusive design are somewhat opaque and there is still much confusion in the industry.” “What this white paper from ASSA ABLOY does is present everything the industry needs to know about the issue. It outlines the relevant standards, explains what they really mean, and tells them exactly what they need to do to make sure their door hardware is compliant. On behalf of DHF, I recommend that it is essential reading.”

What are the physical security challenges of smart cities?
What are the physical security challenges of smart cities?

The emergence of smart cities provides real-world evidence of the vast capabilities of the Internet of Things (IoT). Urban areas today can deploy a variety of IoT sensors to collect data that is then analysed to provide insights to drive better decision-making and ultimately to make modern cities more livable. Safety and security are an important aspect of smart cities, and the capabilities that drive smarter cities also enable technologies that make them safer. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: what are the physical security challenges of smart cities?

What are the challenges of retrofits, and how can they be overcome?
What are the challenges of retrofits, and how can they be overcome?

Retrofit projects provide new levels of physical security modernisation to existing facilities. However, retrofits come with their own set of challenges that can frustrate system designers and defy the efforts of equipment manufacturers. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the biggest challenges of retrofit projects, and how can they be overcome?

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