Access control controllers - Expert commentary

Get the most from investments in building security
Get the most from investments in building security

From analogue to digital, from stand-alone to interlinked, building systems are in a state of transition. Moreover, the rate of change shows no sign of slowing, which can make it difficult to keep up to date with all the latest developments. If asked to pinpoint the single biggest driver of this revolution, one could point out the growing clamour for platform convergence. A security guard in a building doesn’t want to use different systems to check video cameras, fire alarms or if someone has entered a restricted area: – it simply isn’t efficient. For similar reasons, a building manager wants a single interface to control heating and lighting to match fluctuating occupancy levels, particularly in a hybrid working model. Applying the digital glue The demand from end-users for system convergence is growing, but to achieve full interoperability you still need to apply some ‘digital glue’ and that requires expertise. Yet bringing together disparate systems from different manufacturers can be problematic. Just as you get things to work, someone upgrades their solution and your carefully implemented convergence can start to come unstuck. Managing an implementation can quickly become more complicated, today’s quick-fix can become tomorrow’s headache This is one of the principal issues with all types of new technology; not everyone will choose the same path to reach the desired goal – it’s the old VHS/Betamax argument updated for building management and security systems. Managing and maintaining an implementation can quickly become more complicated than it first appears and without proper oversight, today’s quick-fix can become tomorrow’s technical headache. Effective support for a hybrid workforce Today’s hybrid workforce is a response to the pandemic that looks set to become an established part of working life for many companies across the world. Security systems have a massive role to play in facilitating this transformation that goes beyond simple intrusion detection, access control, and video monitoring. They can identify the most densely populated areas in a building to comply with social distancing guidelines and provide efficient use of space. The insights gathered from a security system can also be used to identify patterns of behaviour, which can then be used for planning and directing the use of building space to help create the best possible working environment while also minimising heating, lighting, and air conditioning expenditures. Identity credentials can help manage compliance with industry regulations by limiting access to certain areas Similarly, identity credentials – either biometric or mobile-based – can help manage compliance to industry regulations by limiting access to certain areas only to approved employees. Creating and maintaining the appropriate level of functionality requires a combination of innovative solutions and industry experience. The complete security package It’s not just physical security that’s important – cybersecurity is a major focus, too. Bringing together both the physical security and cybersecurity realms is increasingly becoming a ‘must have’ capability. What is evident is that the pace of technological change is faster than ever. Today’s functionality simply wouldn’t have been possible just a few years ago, while today’s leading-edge developments may seem commonplace in five years.

Is hybrid working a red flag for business security?
Is hybrid working a red flag for business security?

The ‘new normal’ was all we heard about when it came to the working model shift after the pandemic hit. Businesses worldwide adopted working from home, and then the hybrid model: a balance of remote work and office work. And according to a recent survey by 451 Research, nearly 80% of organisations surveyed said they have implemented or expanded universal work-from-home policies as a result of COVID-19, whilst 67% expect these policies to remain in place either permanently or for the long-term. With more vacant office spaces, the question is: is hybrid working a red flag for business security? Empty-office days When buildings and office spaces are still active with advanced technology, equipment and assets on show, yet footfall is not as busy as it once was, opportunistic criminals are closely watching and taking note. But what are they learning? Security systems provider, Expert Security UK, investigates our new normal. Offices are nests for expensive, valuable equipment, with maybe the latest technology Instead of a packed, busy office five or six days a week, hybrid working means more empty-office days, which is music to the ears of burglars. Offices are nests for expensive, valuable equipment, with maybe the latest technology and safes sitting there, or potential stacks of cash or company cards. You may be thinking, well, who leaves company cards or cash out? You’d be surprised, especially when business owners think they’ll never be a victim, or sometimes, staff make mistakes. Hybrid working model And don’t forget, burglars don’t always know what’s been left and will take their chances. And when a hybrid working model is the ‘new normal’, that means a lapse in security - at least in a thief’s mind. So how worried should business owners be? Well, the latest figures are pretty worrying, but also, not massively shocking. Reiterating the temptation and lure the working model shift has on robbers, Statista recorded a 12-year high for robbery offences in the UK in 2019/2020. When more businesses either shut up shop or sent staff away to home offices, it’s not hard to make a connection. These figures reflect how, when given the opportunity, thieves will strike and take advantage. Handing vital information Whether you’ve decided to go fully remote, it’s crucial to review and rethink your business security However, it’s worth noting that the lockdowns and empty streets would also have played a part in this spike, and now that we’re out of lockdowns with a world back to flipping its sign to ‘open’, many businesses will be carrying on working from home, but towns, shops, and streets are busy again. Whether you’ve decided to go fully remote, or have adopted the hybrid model, it’s crucial to review and rethink your business security, starting with your social media presence. It’s a good idea to review your social media channels. We forget how open we can be on social media, and how our digital presence can actually work as a perfect guide and insight for criminals. All they have to do is follow your channels to pick up on clues. And if you’re not giving it a minute’s thought about what you're putting out there, you may even be just handing them vital information and helping their plans. Remote working shift Of course, there is information readily available such as your opening times, location etc. But, do you really want/need to show off the new, state-of-the-art tablets you’ve just kitted your office out with? It can be hard as a business, or even as a social person, to not want to share positive news on social media, but we really do have to stop and think, especially if people know a lot about the company and its remote working shift. It’s also a good idea to have a meeting with your staff about a social media policy Maybe share a post about that new, intelligent security system you've installed instead. It’s also a good idea to have a meeting with your staff about a social media policy or maybe just a casual chat about best practices, e.g. not to tag the business in a post about their new office gadget etc. Improving business security With fewer office days, you probably won’t need to take up as much work space anymore. Maybe some equipment has become more ornamental. Anything you don’t use or need, you could sell or donate. If you do have expensive equipment lying around that’s not being used, try and make money back from it or store it elsewhere. If you are keeping a lot of expensive equipment in vacant premises, especially fixed equipment and technology, then consider installing bars and shutters over the windows. Whatever your budget, you can improve your business security tenfold with key security measures. One of them being access control. Security gates with access control are incredibly effective at stopping unauthorised people from gaining entry. There are also car park barriers and bollards that are highly effective at keeping any potential getaway vehicles out. Easily portable technology High-quality CCTV is a best friend to any business, but you need to be reviewing it frequently High-quality CCTV is a best friend to any business, but you need to be reviewing it frequently, especially if you’ve done a perimeter check and noticed any signs of forced entry or damage. Don’t forget those signs either, let visitors or trespassers know they’re on camera. To fit in with the hybrid working model, static fixtures are becoming redundant. For instance, companies are switching to laptops instead of computers, so that workers can transport them easily to and from the office. This is not only more efficient and convenient, but it means assets are more guarded. It’s the same for any other gadgets. Having easily portable technology is good for business, hybrid working, and security. Don’t forget about your deterrents. Simple signs to warn people of alarms, CCTV, and even the fact that you don’t leave equipment inside overnight can go a long way. Best security technology Thieves are famous for taking their chances. Some will meticulously plan, and many strike at a convenient, opportune time. So having signs in place that show you have high-quality, intelligent security in place can work wonders, making them think twice. It’s also worth noting that you may not have the best security technology in place at the moment, but those on the outside don’t need to know that; they can be fooled. However, having the best physical security in place is vital, as criminals lurk and will take chances. Keep reviewing your security, especially as your business adapts and reshapes - whether you return back to full office days or carry on the hybrid working model. This guest post was contributed by Danny Scholfield, Managing Director of Expert Security UK.

Access the right areas - Making a smart home genius with biometrics
Access the right areas - Making a smart home genius with biometrics

Household adoption of smart home systems currently sits at 12.1% and is set to grow to 21.4% by 2025, expanding the market from US$ 78.3 billion to US$ 135 billion, in the same period. Although closely linked to the growth of connectivity technologies, including 5G, tech-savvy consumers are also recognising the benefits of next-generation security systems, to protect and secure their domestic lives. Biometric technologies are already commonplace in our smartphones, PCs and payment cards, enhancing security without compromising convenience. Consequently, manufacturers and developers are taking note of biometric solutions, as a way of levelling-up their smart home solutions. Biometrics offer enhanced security As with any home, security starts at the front door and the first opportunity for biometrics to make a smart home genius lies within the smart lock. Why? Relying on inconvenient unsecure PINs and codes takes the ‘smart’ out of smart locks. As the number of connected systems in our homes increase, we cannot expect consumers to create, remember and use an ever-expanding list of unique passwords and PINs. Indeed, 60% of consumers feel they have too many to remember and the number can be as high as 85 for all personal and private accounts. Biometric solutions strengthen home access control Biometric solutions have a real opportunity to strengthen the security and convenience of home access control Doing this risks consumers becoming apathetic with security, as 41% of consumers admit to re-using the same password or introducing simple minor variations, increasing the risk of hacks and breaches from weak or stolen passwords. Furthermore, continually updating and refreshing passwords, and PINs is unappealing and inconvenient. Consequently, biometric solutions have a real opportunity to strengthen the security and convenience of home access control. Positives of on-device biometric storage Biometric authentication, such as fingerprint recognition uses personally identifiable information, which is stored securely on-device. By using on-device biometric storage, manufacturers are supporting the 38% of consumers, who are worried about privacy and biometrics, and potentially winning over the 17% of people, who don’t use smart home devices for this very reason. Compared to conventional security, such as passwords, PINs or even keys, which can be spoofed, stolen, forgotten or lost, biometrics is difficult to hack and near impossible to spoof. Consequently, homes secured with biometric smart locks are made safer in a significantly more seamless and convenient way for the user. Biometric smart locks Physical access in our domestic lives doesn’t end at the front door with smart locks. Biometrics has endless opportunities to ease our daily lives, replacing passwords and PINs in all devices. Biometric smart locks provide personalised access control to sensitive and hazardous areas, such as medicine cabinets, kitchen drawers, safes, kitchen appliances and bike locks. They offer effective security with a touch or glance. Multi-tenanted sites, such as apartment blocks and student halls, can also become smarter and more secure. With hundreds of people occupying the same building, maintaining high levels of security is the responsibility for every individual occupant. Biometric smart locks limit entry to authorised tenants and eliminate the impact of lost or stolen keys, and passcodes. Furthermore, there’s no need for costly lock replacements and when people leave the building permanently, their data is easily removed from the device. Authorised building access Like biometric smart locks in general, the benefits extend beyond the front door Like biometric smart locks in general, the benefits extend beyond the front door, but also throughout the entire building, such as washing rooms, mail rooms, bike rooms and community spaces, such as gyms. Different people might have different levels of access to these areas, depending on their contracts, creating an access control headache. But, by having biometric smart locks, security teams can ensure that only authorised people have access to the right combination of rooms and areas. Convenience of biometric access cards Additionally, if building owners have options. The biometric sensors can be integrated into the doors themselves, thereby allowing users to touch the sensor, to unlock the door and enter. Furthermore, the latest technology allows biometric access cards to be used. This embeds the sensor into a contactless keycard, allowing the user to place their thumb on the sensor and tap the card to unlock the door. This may be preferable in circumstances where contactless keycards are already in use and can be upgraded. Smarter and seamless security In tandem with the growth of the smart home ecosystem, biometrics has real potential to enhance our daily lives, by delivering smarter, seamless and more convenient security. Significant innovation has made biometrics access control faster, more accurate and secure. Furthermore, today’s sensors are durable and energy efficient. With the capacity for over 10 million touches and ultra-low power consumption, smart home system developers no longer have to worry about added power demands. As consumers continue to invest in their homes and explore new ways to secure and access them, biometrics offers a golden opportunity for market players, to differentiate and make smart homes even smarter.

Latest Axis Communications news

BriefCam announces availability of video content analytics on Axis cameras
BriefCam announces availability of video content analytics on Axis cameras

BriefCam, the provider of video content analytics and VIDEO SYNOPSIS® solutions, announces availability for BriefCam video content analytics on Axis deep learning cameras in December 2021. Edge video processing on Axis deep learning cameras is a new hybrid deployment option for the BriefCam platform that reduces the total cost of ownership of a real-time video analytics deployment, enables operation in low-bandwidth environments, and makes for faster real-time alerting. Video analytics deployments Through the Axis application development partner program, BriefCam is one of the first to leverage the AXIS camera application platform (ACAP) to enable comprehensive analytics directly on Axis Communications’ deep learning camera series. BriefCam analytics are enabled on the Axis deep learning cameras AXIS P3255 and AXIS Q1615 Mk III, which feature a dual chipset of ARTPEC-7 and a deep-learning processing unit (DLPU), as well as the ARTPEC 8 camera series. By enabling BriefCam analytics on the edge, users experience up to six times faster real-time alerting By enabling BriefCam analytics on the edge, along with post processing and management capabilities, users experience up to six times faster real-time alerting, a 5-10x reduction in bandwidth, and up to 55% less real-time GPU processing servers for real-time processing. This enables greater flexibility and cost efficiency for large scale or distributed video analytics deployments. Deep learning cameras “Axis is excited for the availability of BriefCam analytics on Axis deep learning cameras, a great step forward toward our shared vision for advancing best-in-class video surveillance technologies, with significant reduction in real-time processing costs for end users,” said Mats Thulin, Director of Core Technology, Axis Communications. “The breadth of BriefCam’s video analytics together with powerful Axis deep clearing cameras, including the new, powerful Axis ARTPEC-8 DLPU enabled cameras, creates an even more scalable and cost-effective solution.” “The ability to process BriefCam video analytics at the edge is a game changer for organisations striving to extract valuable data insights from video,” said Gili Rom, VP Strategy and Alliances, BriefCam. “Greater flexibility in deployment architectures and the introduction of a hybrid deployment model through BriefCam enabled on Axis deep learning cameras further extends advanced real time analytics for safety, security and operational efficiency – a technology partnership that has significant benefits for the end user.”

Strategic integration for Inner Range and AXIS Communications
Strategic integration for Inner Range and AXIS Communications

Access control manufacturer Inner Range has announced a new integration for its flagship system, Integriti, with global CCTV brand AXIS Communications. The new integration creates more choices for customers building bespoke security solutions. It also opens up new business opportunities for Inner Range via its parent firm, global distributor Anixter, which also sells AXIS products. Enterprise-level access control system Tim Northwood, director of Inner Range, said, “Our enterprise-level intelligent access control system Integriti is designed to integrate with a host of third-party products to create sophisticated security solutions. Integrating with AXIS makes sense both in terms of increasing options for our customers as well as furthering our strategic business aims.” AXIS Communications is best known for its video surveillance solutions and global market presence. The manufacturer created the first network camera in 1996 and has grown its open platform portfolio ever since. Secure access and security Inner Range's Integriti offers sophisticated and highly secure access and security including intruder detection Inner Range has been a world pioneer in the design and manufacture of intelligent security solutions since it was established in 1988. Its enterprise-level intelligent access control system, Integriti, offers sophisticated and highly secure access and security, including intruder detection to European standard EN50131. Seamless integration possibilities include multiple CCTV products, along with visitor management, building automation, and business continuity systems, HR, payroll, health and safety, and compliance products. Integration partners Inner Range has also announced integration with SALTO doors for its Integriti system. While other integrations released this year include CCTV providers FLIR Latitude and IDIS CCTV, as well as Suprema biometrics and real-time location tracking system Quuppa.   The UK team at Inner Range will be showcasing Integriti’s vast integration capabilities, as well as its entry-level system, Inception, at the International Security Expo at London’s Olympia on September 28-29. Smart building management access Inner Range systems have been installed in over 25 countries, offering trouble-free access and smart building management for local sites as well as national and global estates. Customers include hospitals and high-security units, colleges, distribution centres, and pharmaceutical companies, government, and critical national infrastructure.

SIA recognises Gabrielle Shea as the 2021 recipient of the Industry Advocate Award
SIA recognises Gabrielle Shea as the 2021 recipient of the Industry Advocate Award

The Security Industry Association (SIA) names Gabrielle Shea – Public Policy Manager, government relations and public policy at NEC Corporation of America – as the 2021 recipient of the SIA Industry Advocate Award, which recognises leadership in public policy. Shea will be presented with the award on September 21 at Part 3 of the 2021 SIA GovSummit, SIA’s annual public policy and government security technology conference. The SIA Industry Advocate Award – formerly the SIA Statesman Award – recognises SIA member volunteers for their extraordinary contributions of professional time, leadership and resources to position SIA and its members to address the public policy challenges impacting the security industry. Biometrics technology policy Throughout 2020 and 2021, Shea has supported SIA’s government relations efforts to advocate for responsible biometrics technology policy, including assisting with legislative analysis and drafting, contributing to SIA’s state government affairs initiatives and helping to represent SIA in meetings with legislators in state capitals across the United States. In her role at NEC Corporation of America, Shea helps develop internal initiatives “I am honoured to receive the Industry Advocate Award,” said Shea. “Working with SIA and member companies to help develop and support policy initiatives that aim to simultaneously promote security, privacy, other civil rights and civil liberties and racial and broader social justice has truly been and continues to be, a privilege.” In her role at NEC Corporation of America, Shea helps develop internal initiatives to promote data privacy, artificial intelligence ethics and broader digital trust and helps manage related external engagements with federal, state and local governments. Addressing critical issues Shea holds a J.D. from the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William & Mary and a B.A. in ethics and public policy with a minor in chemistry from Wake Forest University. “SIA is proud to honour Gabrielle Shea as the 2021 SIA Industry Advocate Award winner – she has been an immense help to our government relations team in efforts to support responsible policy on biometrics technology, leveraging her legal expertise and assisting with strategy development and communications on key issues,” said Jake Parker, Senior Director of government relations at SIA. “We congratulate Gabrielle on her outstanding leadership and achievements and look forward to continuing to work with her in addressing the most critical issues impacting our members and security and safety overall.” Securing government facilities Additional session topics will include the latest on federal identity, credential and access management Each year, SIA GovSummit brings together government security leaders with private industry technologists for top-quality information sharing and education on security topics affecting federal, state and local agencies. Part 3 of the 2021 conference will be held as a full-day program on Tuesday, September 21, kicking off at 11 a.m. EDT. Attendees will enjoy a keynote presentation from Dr. David Mussington – Executive Assistant Director of the Infrastructure Security Division at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) – on security challenges and how we can address them as a nation. Additional session topics will include the latest on federal identity, credential and access management, new technologies for securing government facilities and the role of safety and security solutions in infrastructure modernisation. Biometrics technology market In addition to presenting the SIA Industry Advocate Award, SIA will also present the 2021 Women in Biometrics Awards, a globally recognised program co-founded by SIA and SecureIDNews and co-presented with sponsors IDEMIA, Biometric Update and the SIA Women in Security Forum that recognises innovative women creating a more secure world by guiding the biometrics technology market. On-site attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a SIAThere! networking reception Part 3 of the 2021 GovSummit will take place as a hybrid conference, with attendees having the option to join in person or participate virtually via Zoom. The in-person component of the event will be held at the SIA member company (and GovSummit sponsor) CertiPath’s facility at 1900 Reston Station Boulevard in Reston, Virginia. On-site attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a SIAThere! networking reception and can even schedule tours of the GSA testing lab, in addition to attending the full schedule of seminars. Public safety personnel Health and safety precautions will be in place at the in-person event, including physical distancing, and attendees will be required to provide proof of full vaccination. Masking will be strongly encouraged indoors per recent recommendations from the Fairfax County Health Department. This event is free for all government employees, including U.S. and international federal, state, county and municipal-level staff, plus all military, law enforcement and public safety personnel. SIA GovSummit is considered a ‘widely attended gathering’ and complies with all relevant event guidelines. SIA GovSummit 2021 is sponsored by Aiphone; Allegion; Ariel Technologies; Axis Communications; CertiPath; Dell Technologies; GSA Schedules, Inc.; Hanwha Techwin America; HID Global; Identiv; ISC Security Events; Leidos; LenelS2; Louroe Electronics; Security Information Systems, Inc.; and Smarter Security.

Related white papers

Top 5 ways to ensure visitor safety and security

Moving to mobile: A guide for businesses switching to mobile access control

School security moves to the cloud