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Video intercoms for a smarter, safer workspace
Video intercoms for a smarter, safer workspace

Though many office workers across the globe have found themselves working remotely for the past year, we are seeing a bit of a silver lining, as vaccine rollouts hint at a return to some pre-pandemic sense of normalcy. However, while some of us might opt for a fully-remote work life, others are anticipating a hybrid solution. Even before the pandemic, offices were taking a new, more open layout approach—moving past the days of cubicles and small office configurations. Going forward, offices and other workspaces will be tasked with supporting a hybrid work solution, as well as increasing hygiene measures. Video intercom solution This is where an IP video intercom solution can assist. Below are four ways they can help usher in a smarter, safer work environment: Video intercoms assist in creating a more hygienic work environment - The outbreak of COVID-19 has raised awareness of germs and just how easily a virus can be transmitted by face-to-face contact. Germ barriers are popping up in many aspects of our daily lives, where we were not likely to see them before Unfortunately, the door is also the easiest of these germ barriers to breach As such, we’re becoming accustomed to seeing plexiglass barriers at restaurants, grocery stores, and even coffee shops. However, many don’t realise that one of the best germ barriers is a simple door. Unfortunately, the door is also the easiest of these germ barriers to breach. All it takes is a knock or a doorbell ring to make us open our germ barrier and be face-to-face with whomever is on the other side. Increasing hygiene safety A simple step to increase hygiene safety and visitor security in commercial buildings and workspaces is an IP video intercom. Installing a video intercom will allow staff to see and speak with visitors without breaching that all-important germ barrier. A video intercom system provides a first line of defence, enabling the user to visually confirm the identity of the person on the other side of the door first before granting access. It can also be used to make sure proper procedures are being followed before a person is allowed to enter, such as using hand sanitiser, wearing a mask, and following social distancing guidelines. Basic security needs A major topic of conversation the past year has been how to manage occupancy in all facilities Video intercoms for occupancy management and basic security - A major topic of conversation the past year has been how to manage occupancy in all facilities—ranging from grocery stores and retail shops to restaurants and commercial buildings. Workspaces and offices are no exception. A video intercom provides a quick and convenient method of seeing who, or what, is on the unsecure side of the door before opening. For basic security needs, if a business has a door opening into an alley, a video intercom would be used to ensure no one is waiting outside to force their way in when the door is opened. Personal protection equipment Such solutions can also be used to ensure a person is carrying proper credentials, or wearing proper personal protection equipment (PPE), before entering a sensitive area. For example, if a lab has a room which can only be accessed by two persons at a time wearing specific protective gear, a video intercom could ensure each person is properly equipped, before allowing access that particular room. Additionally, for office or workspaces that have shared common areas, such as a cafeteria, gym or even conference rooms, managing access to these spaces will remain a priority, especially with post-pandemic restrictions in place. Video intercoms are a comprehensive safety and security tool for any workspace Deliveries of packages, work-related materials, or even food are common in any office or workspace. Video intercoms can assist in facilitating safe deliveries by visually and audibly confirming the identity of the individual. The visitor could be your next big client, your lunch delivery, a fellow employee with a faulty access card, or your mail. Video intercoms are a comprehensive safety and security tool for any workspace. Visitor management systems Video intercoms provide a cost-effective solution in small to mid-sized office facilities - One significant advantage of video intercom systems is the variety of applications available. Systems range from simple one-to-one video intercoms, to buzz-in systems, to full-fledged visitor management systems in mixed-use buildings. While they might lack the resources and manpower many enterprises have, small-to medium-sized offices can also take steps to ensure the safety of their staff and customers. Like any business, controlling who comes into the building is a primary way of maintaining safety. Video intercoms work in conjunction with access control systems to provide an identifying view of visitors or employees with lost or missing credentials. They allow staff to both see and hear those on the unsecured side of the door to determine intent before granting access. Most quality video intercoms will provide a clear enough image to allow an identification card to be read by holding it close to the lens, adding another opportunity to verify identity. Touchless intercom activation One major trend is the option of providing a touchless door activation Video intercoms provide a touchless option - Even prior to COVID-19, one major trend is the option of providing a touchless door activation or touchless intercom activation of a video intercom for those without proper credentials. Though touchless isn’t a new solution to the access control market, the pandemic introduced a renewed focus on these types of solutions to provide hygienic access to visitors. For offices and other workspaces looking to make investments into post-pandemic solutions to assist in reopening, touchless can support these efforts. When it comes to smart, secure workspaces, many people think instantly of cameras or monitors, access control, and alarm systems. Proper access credentials However, video intercoms are often the missing piece of a building’s security puzzle. A video intercom provides an identifying view that is not always available from a camera covering a large area. They allow those without proper access credentials a method of requesting entry, and just like cameras, they can be activated by alarms to allow staff to clearly see and communicate. If a workspace or office is important enough to be secure, it’s important enough to be sure of who is there before the door is opened. In 2021, it’s not enough to ensure the physical security of your staff and visitors, but also to ensure they are accessing a hygienic environment. Video intercoms provide that security and peace of mind.

Physical security in 2021: Post-pandemic solutions
Physical security in 2021: Post-pandemic solutions

In a world forever changed by the coronavirus pandemic, companies worldwide are now expanding their concept of physical security to best safeguard their facilities and employees. Few incidents have had as much of an impact on businesses globally as the COVID-19 pandemic; much of the world is still struggling to contain COVID-19, navigating the lasting effects and exploring what the “new normal” looks like. While some organisations are still engaged primarily in “anywhere operations”, i.e. remote work, many organisations are implementing strategic physical security solutions that better protect everyone through the use of video surveillance technology and advanced intelligence capabilities. As this new normal takes hold within the business environment, security strategies will largely be centered around several key initiatives like access control, people counting, occupancy controls, temperature screening, contact tracing, and reducing office touch points. With the use of a video management system (VMS) in the shadow of COVID-19, occupancy data from a VMS can trigger a lockdown and not permit new entrants until the occupancy drops below a certain threshold; this is significantly useful for organisations that have returned to in-person work.  But there’s a caveat: though many legacy security systems are being re-evaluated to allow for touchless or frictionless access control — a move designed to eliminate the need for employees and visitors to physically touch a surface when using an access control system — upgrading the outdated technologies can be cumbersome and expensive, especially for organizations that had not planned for an interruption like the pandemic. Security contractors will be vital So, what is the solution? Security contractors will play a vital role in helping end-users across a range of vertical markets — large and small — to achieve their goals in the new paradigm. For some, this may mean leveraging existing access control and video surveillance systems with upgrades where needed. For others, an entire overhaul is made possible with budget friendly solutions for businesses to migrate to integrated access control through end-to-end security solutions that tie into existing infrastructures without major disruptions (meaning the organisation will never be left vulnerable). Cybersecurity is becoming even more intertwined with physical security There is massive transformation occurring in the security industry, most notably the movement to digitise physical access and integrate it with video management systems and surveillance. This shift means that cybersecurity is becoming even more intertwined with physical security, allowing organisations the ability to correlate the metadata of people’s behaviors and activities — a plus point for those looking to remain vigilant against future pandemic-esque business interruptions. Access, video, and audio are converging into consolidated platforms. Due to lower costs and pairings with IP-based, wireless infrastructure, there are infinite solution configurations. IT security requirements are beginning to apply to physical security because of this integrated infrastructure. Multi-factor authentication The security industry is also beginning to see a trend of multi-factor authentication, which is going to dominate in the days to come as it makes solutions more reliable. Most people carry smartphones these days, which have green check communication capabilities that allow easy multi-factor authentication. Costs are going down, and algorithms are getting better, making more people willing to try it. Some new solutions have both the fingerprint reader and a camera for facial biometrics Some new solutions have both the fingerprint reader and a camera for facial biometrics. Cameras and CCD modules cost almost nothing, and they do not have to be super high-end anymore, especially if organisations are doing one-to-one verification. It’s not just about security now; it is security, health, and safety. Access control with video, intelligent readers, and credentials is a perfect platform for next generation solutions.

Access control and door entry management: How technology is driving change
Access control and door entry management: How technology is driving change

Access control and door entry is a huge responsibility, and challenge, for local authorities and housing associations UK wide. For councils, they’re accountable for the security and safety of many public facilities such as leisure centres, libraries as well as residential housing developments which are often large scale and home to hundreds of people. Housing associations manage affordable rental housing which also means they’re responsible for the appropriate access control management for each individual house or flat. Technology developments have enabled better entry systems that are far more secure yet also more convenient and easier to manage. For example, with modern intercom and access control systems, remote management and communication is something that offers local authorities and housing associations features that enable them to reduce costs and cut their carbon footprints by managing multiple sites from one place. On the other hand, such technological innovation has meant that local authority and housing association specifiers and consultants now have a wide range of systems and products to choose from which can cause issues in ensuring the right system for a specific building or development is chosen. Choosing an appropritate access control system In choosing an appropriate system, local authorities and housing associations need to opt for a cost effective solution that can be easily maintained with excellent support from the manufacturer and guarantees that the system and system parts will remain supported for the duration of its expected life cycle. It is also important that the chosen system is flexible to cater for the varying needs of the tenants and visitors. Of increasing importance is the reduction of anti-social behaviour which new technology can help by providing the use of data loggers which track the use and events of a door entry system, allowing specific evidence to be located by integrating with CCTV. Using technology to our advantage Through advancements in management systems and services, we can gain a much better visual representation of the events and general usage of an intercom entry system and not just its proximity access control. Systems, for example, can now send email alarms or notifications to the administrator or management. We are now able to modify user rights and access levels on the go from a mobile app which enables a much greater control over service and maintenance engineers, such as making sure they have full access when required via an app, rather than arriving to site with the incorrect keys or access fob. Systems, for example, can now send email alarms or notifications to the administrator or management Dealing with tenant’s lost and stolen keys has never been so easy either. The blocking or deletion of lost fobs and adding a new fob can be carried out in minutes while at the same time removing the cost of sending an engineer to the development to programme new fobs. This greatly reduces the carbon footprint of the whole task as fobs can now be sent out via post to a secure location for collection. Technology has also helped local authorities and housing associations to overcome the issue of not being able to have a concierge or building manager available 24/7 at some developments. Now with internet communication, it’s possible for tenants and visitors to get in touch with someone should they need assistance, whether that’s from within the apartment or from an entrance point. For example, lets take the Videx VX2200 with IP concierge integration. This system is exceptionally flexible, enabling calls to be answered on Videx intercoms and also mobile phones if required. With the integration of the IP concierge each block can be either standalone or networked via the internet back to a central control room. Reduced maintenance costs and carbon footprint We work with a wide range of local authorities and housing associations to help them overcome access control and door entry challenges. One organisation we have recently partnered with is The Living Group to help them greatly reduce their maintenance costs and carbon footprint by installing the MiAccess offline proximity system on many of their developments across the North East. Technology developments have enabled better entry systems that are far more secure yet also more convenient and easier to manage By installing an appropriate system, The Living Group has managed to overcome issues caused by the existing system’s limitations and also enabled much more flexibility when it comes to effectively managing the access control system of all their included developments. For those responsible for effective and appropriate access control, the management of the systems are easier, quicker and there’s no delay or on-going costs for needing a specialist programme to modify fobs and access rights as this can now all carried out in-house. Improved security legislation Further advancements in programmes such as Secured by Design (SBD), a police initiative that improves the security of buildings and their immediate surroundings to provide safe places to live, work and visit, means that there’s more security legislation being implemented that’s making intercoms and access control more secure, without affecting ease and convenience. Videx holds an SBD accreditation and we know, from first-hand experience, how it’s making a difference in keeping tenants safe. When you combine the safety features promoted by an SBD member company like ourselves with the likes of the Videx event logging, image capture and ability to modify access users on the go, for example, we can help to create a very safe and secure environment. Personally, I think there needs to be a greater emphasis on the role of security legislation Technology has completely transformed the way local authorities and housing association are able to choose, install and manage door entry and access control systems for tenants and visitors alike. Personally, I think there needs to be a greater emphasis on the role of security legislation such as Secured by Design to ensure all councils and housing association consultants are up to date with what constitutes a robust and secure system that’s also cost effective too. In my role, I see weaknesses in systems and constant ongoing costs that could easily be avoided. For instance, features such as timed remote entry means local authority and housing association management no longer need to worry about keys being lost, the wrong keys being supplied or locks needing to be changed. With new systems such as the Videx MiAccess and Videx WS4 range, we can help to massively reduce a housing association’s or council’s carbon footprint and engineer costs by allowing them the access to management and control from an offsite location. Crime prevention We can also use live and logged events to help prevent crime in different ways, from antisocial behaviour growing around a tenant being called or visited much more regularly than others, to knowing a tenant is currently still living at a property but isn’t paying rent or answering to any correspondence. Technology enables local authorities and housing associations to receive detailed data and therefore behavioural insights on the people under their management and care. If consultants and specifiers are advised on the most appropriate systems that meet their specific entry needs, they can ensure greater, safer and more convenient access control that meets the requirements of both the end user and the those responsible for its effective management.

Latest Baran Advanced Technologies (1986) Ltd. news

HID Global to demonstrates new iCLASS SE platform and secure identity solutions at ASIS 2013
HID Global to demonstrates new iCLASS SE platform and secure identity solutions at ASIS 2013

HID will highlight its new iCLASS SE Encoder at ASIS 2013 HID Global, a worldwide leader in secure identity solutions, is demonstrating its new iCLASS SE platform and secure identity solutions at ASIS International 2013 in Chicago. The company will highlight its new iCLASS SE Encoder for locally encoding credentials and managing keys and showcase its expanded pivCLASS Government Solutions portfolio. In addition to demonstrating its broad range of solutions for creating, using and managing secure identities, the company’s new experience zones will feature products and services that address the specific needs of Government, Healthcare, Enterprise, Education, Financial and Banking markets. At ASIS 2013, HID Global will demonstrate its extensive portfolio of secure identity solutions in booth #329 at McCormick Place, South Hall from September 24-26, 2013. Announcements include: HID Global Extends Its iCLASS SE Platform with Credential Encoding Solution that Simplifies Migration to Higher Security and Mobile Access HID Global Expands pivCLASS Portfolio to Include Credential Registration and Verification of FIPS 201-based Credentials for Government Agencies Top demonstrations include: Card and Reader Migration Solutions: for moving to higher security, interoperability and mobile access. Demonstrations will include HID Global’s iCLASS platform readers and smart cards including its iCLASS Seos credential for powering mobile access, and its new iCLASS SE Encoder that enables organisations to encode/manage credentials and configure readers. The multi-technology encoder makes it possible for customers to format a number of credential technologies using a single device, on demand. Government Solutions: featuring pivCLASS solutions that enable government agencies to comply with physical access control mandates to PIV-enable their existing physical access control systems (PACS) to meet any mandated assurance level without requiring a “rip and replace” of their existing PACS infrastructure. The recently expanded pivCLASS portfolio includes an extensive line of solutions for credential registration and verification of FIPS 201-based credentials from Codebench, part of HID Global. The recently expanded pivCLASS portfolio includes an extensive line of solutions for credential registration and verification of FIPS 201-based credentials from Codebench, part of HID Global Healthcare Solutions: that enhances workflow efficiencies and help meet regulatory compliance while increasing security without sacrificing convenience. Demonstrations will include: EasyLobby Visitor Management Solutions for visitor registration, badge printing, tracking and reporting; Genuine HID Technology in partner terminals; and HID Secure Identity Services that help customers manage the daily flow of ID card badge requests and large-volume re-badging projects as well as combine multiple technology platforms onto one credential and “tap in /out” authentication with OMNIKEY desktop readers. Enterprise Solutions: to help organisations maintain operational efficiency and reduce costs, while providing optimum security for their facilities and properties. Demonstrations will include: HID Global’s FARGO HDP5000 Printer/Encoder; iCLASS SE readers with OSDP; ActivID Authentication for secure computer log-on and identity verification; one-time password (OTP) tokens; and EDGE EVO and VertX EVO IP-enabled open architecture access control solutions. Education Solutions: for educational institutions with unique requirements for securing their facilities, improving administrative efficiencies, and doing more than opening doors with student ID badges. Higher education demonstrations will include: iCLASS SE Magstripe readers, EDGE EVO networked access control products, mobile access solutions including iCLASS Seos credentials that can be embedded into NFC-enabled smartphones, and the HDP8500LE Industrial Series Card Printer/Laser Engraver for high duty cycle, high-volume ID programs with Asure ID card personalisation software. Additional demonstrations in the K-12 zone will showcase enterprise-class EasyLobby Visitor Management Solutions and FARGO Direct-to-Card (DTC) Printer/Encoders.  HID Global’s strategic partners offer RFID and contactless solutionsthat use Genuine HID Technology to solve enterprise business problems Financial and Banking Solutions: for financial institutions to secure buildings, control access to critical network resources and sensitive data, and secure online banking services for their customers. Demonstrations will include: ActivID solutions that provide five critical layers for true, multi-factor authentication to enable trusted online transactions; Crescendo smart cards for strong PKI-based authentication supporting logical and physical control; and OMNIKEYdesktop readers. Partner Solutions: HID Global’s strategic partners offer RFID and contactless solutions that use Genuine HID Technology to solve enterprise business problems. Access control solutions that extend the use of a single secure credential will be on display by Networked Access Solutions, and HID Connect, partners including AMT, ASSA ABLOY, Baran Advanced Technologies Ltd., Freedom Pay, Innometriks, Integrated-MATRIX-Solutions, Essex Electronics, Inc., PCSC and others. During ASIS International Security Conference and Exposition, HID Global executives will present at their annual educational luncheon and other ASIS events: “Leading Change in the Secure Identity Ecosystem – HID Global president and CEO Denis Hébert will moderate a panel with leading organisations AIG, Academy Of Art University and Houston Methodist Hospital to discuss how they are working with HID Global to significantly improve their access control infrastructure. The organisations will explain how the changes they are making to their access control systems are delivering tangible value today, while better positioning their organisations for future benefits including the addition of mobile credentials on smartphones. The luncheon is being held on Tuesday, September 24, 2013. Customers interested in attending can contact HID Global. “Cryptography and PKI in Access Control,” Session 2306 – Robert Fontana, vice president of engineering, Federal Identity Solutions with Codebench, part of HID Global, on Tuesday, September 24 from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. The session is sponsored by ASIS Information Technology Security Council and ASIS Critical Infrastructure Working Group.

HID to showcase latest solutions on secure identity at ASIS 2012
HID to showcase latest solutions on secure identity at ASIS 2012

HID will also demonstrate its suite of technologies, products and services at ASIS 2012 HID Global, trusted leader in solutions for the delivery of secure identity, recently announced it will showcase its comprehensive range of breakthrough innovations to create, use and manage secure identity at next week’s ASIS International 2012 in Philadelphia. In addition to announcing the latest additions to its award-winning iCLASS SE® platform that provides the highest level of security, privacy and portability, the company will also conduct live demonstrations of its mobile access solutions. HID Global will demonstrate its extensive suite of technologies, products, solutions and services in Booth 1509 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center from September 10-13, 2012, including: Solutions for creating a secure identity Secure Identity Services: A comprehensive suite of services to help customers address every aspect of requirements for cards and digital credentials for mobile access, including managing the daily flow of ID card badge requests, large-volume re-badging projects, and combining multiple technology platforms onto one credential. PIV Enablement Solutions: pivCLASS® solutions that allow U.S. Federal Government agencies, contractors and other facilities to PIV-enable their existing physical access control systems to meet any mandated assurance level without requiring a “rip and replace” of their existing PACS infrastructure. Card Personalisation Solutions: HID Global will showcase its FARGO® HDP8500 Industrial Series Card Printer/Encoder for high duty cycle, high-volume ID programs; its FARGO Direct-to-Card (DTC) and High Definition Printing™ (HDP®) printer/encoder solutions; and Asure ID® card personalisation software. Visitor Management Solutions: HID’s EasyLobby® visitor management solutions for visitor badges and detailed visitor logs. Embedded Technologies: Embedded platforms to enable third parties to develop hardware that works within the Genuine HID™ ecosystem including the new iCLASS SE Reader module and the SIO® Processor that can be used across a variety of platforms to SIO-enable third-party hardware.  Partner Solutions: Access control solutions that expand the use of Genuine HID Technology™ will be on display by key Networked Access and HID Connect® partners including AMT, ASSA ABLOY, Baran/EverSwitch, Essex Electronics FreedomPay, Innometriks, NetAccess Controls and PCSC. Solutions for using secure identity Genuine HID Credentials and Readers: New Crescendo® credentials for strong PKI-based authentication supporting logical and physical control. Also highlighted will be its new OMNIKEY desktop readers in addition to HID’s new iCLASS SE platform credentials and reader solutions and its line of iCLASS SE/multiCLASS SE readers for higher security and migration to mobile access. Networked Access Solutions: Next generation EDGE EVO and VertX EVO™ IP-enabled access control solutions for fully distributed intelligence and decision making at the door. Solutions for managing secure identities Mobile Access Solutions: HID’s technology-independent iCLASS SE access control platform that delivers advanced security, portability and flexibility, while enabling the use NFC-enabled smartphones for access control and other applications. Come see our 2012 “ASIS Accolades Security’s Best” award-winning solution. Credential Management Solutions: ActivID Credential Management System appliance for easy issuance and management of strong and PKI-enabled smart cards and credentials, Authentication Solutions: naviGO, 4TRESS Authentication for secure computer log-on and identity verification, and one time password (OTP) tokens.

Baran Group launches Baran Access Solutions to target North America access control market
Baran Group launches Baran Access Solutions to target North America access control market

  Baran Access Solutions, subsidiary of Baran Advanced Technologies Ltd., will leverage the Piezo technology in its product line  New and old have come together with the launch of Baran Access Solutions, a reorganization of the familiar Barantec family of products that will now concentrate on access control solutions, including Everswitch single-door keypads and controllers, contactless smart card readers, proximity readers and magstripe readers. As part of the restructuring, security industry veteran and RFID technology expert, Bill Newill, has been named the company's president. The company is setting up its corporate offices in southern California. "Baran Access Solutions can now concentrate its efforts on the unique demands of the access control market without being distracted by ancillary products," said Newill. "In the end, greater focus will translate to tighter internal processes, better engineered products and a higher level of customer satisfaction." The new company will leverage the patented and highly reliable Piezo technology in its product line. "Having access to this industry-leading technology gives us a huge leg up on the competition," Newill added. Baran Access Solutions will begin by focusing specifically on the manufacture and delivery of access control solutions for commercial customers Baran Access Solutions is a subsidiary of Baran Advanced Technologies Ltd. and the Baran Group, a global leader in engineering, technology and construction services and a name which has come to epitomize excellence. While the Baran brand is not as familiar in the United States, Newill and the rest of the company's senior management team understand the deep roots of Baran Access Solutions' parent companies - and are fully committed to continuing the Baran tradition of excellence. Baran Access Solutions will begin by focusing specifically on the manufacture and delivery of access control solutions for commercial customers throughout the United States and Canada and gradually extend its reach globally.

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