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The automated future of retail and how to secure it
The automated future of retail and how to secure it

While the foundation of autonomous retail has been built up over the past few years, it is only now that retailers are beginning to fully experiment with the technology. There were an estimated 350 stores globally in 2018 offering a fully autonomous checkout process, yet this number is forecast to increase dramatically with 10,000 stores anticipated by 2024. This acceleration in the growth of unmanned retail stores has, in part, been boosted by the COVID-19 pandemic and a demand for a more contactless, socially distanced shopping experience. Physical security technologies Innovative physical security technologies can play a significant role in protecting a site while supporting its operation Many retailers are now exploring such solutions as a way to streamline their services and simplify store operations while reducing overheads. Of course, the security of unmanned sites is a concern, with many eager to embrace such a design, but wary about the prospect of leaving a store unguarded. This is where innovative physical security technologies can play a significant role in protecting a site while supporting its operation and also helping to improve customer experience. Comprehensive integrated solution To make the autonomous retail vision a reality, a comprehensive solution is needed that integrates network cameras, IP audio speakers, and access control devices. The cameras can be employed to monitor entrance points and sales areas, including checkout terminals, and can be monitored and operated remotely from a central control room. This offers management full visibility of operations, regardless of the number of stores. Recorded video material can be processed, packaged, and passed to authorities, when necessary, by applicable laws. Optimising operations As autonomous stores do not require staff to be present and run largely independently, managers can be notified automatically via mobile device if an event occurs that requires their attention. This could range from a simple need to restock popular items or clean the premises after a spillage, to a criminal break-in or attack. Again, network video surveillance cameras installed inside and outside of the premises provide high-quality video of any incident as it occurs, enabling immediate action to be taken. Improving customer experience Access control mechanisms at the entrance and exit points enable smooth, touch-free access to customers Access control mechanisms at the entrance and exit points enable smooth, touch-free access to customers, while IP audio speakers allow ambient music to be played, creating a relaxed in-store atmosphere and also offering the ability to play alerts or voice messages as required. Due to the automated nature of such audio broadcasting, consistency of brand can be created across multiple locations where playlists and pre-recorded voice messages are matched in terms of style and tone from store to store. Boosting profits The accessibility of premises 24/7 can ultimately lead to an increase in sales by simply allowing customers to enter the store and make a purchase at any time, rather than being restricted by designated retail hours. This also serves to improve customer loyalty through retail convenience. Utilising data from the access control system, managers can configure lights to turn on/off and ambient music to power down when the last person leaves the shop, to be reactivated the next time someone enters the premises. This approach can also conserve energy, leading to cost savings. Designing a future proof solution The threat of vandalism is greatly limited if everyone entering the shop can be identified, which is something that is already happening in Scandinavia using QR codes linked to an electronic identification system called BankID. This process involves a user being identified by their bank details, and their credentials checked upon entering the store. This not only streamlines the transaction process but vastly improves security because only those who want to legitimately use the services will go through the identification process, helping to deter antisocial or criminal behaviour. Physical security technology should be reliable and of high quality, without compromising the service to customers VMS-based network solution Both inside and outside of the premises, physical security technology should be reliable and of high quality, without compromising the service to customers, or hampering their experience. Door controls, network cameras, and loudspeakers, together with a comprehensive video management system (VMS), enable retailers to control every element of their store and remove any uncertainty around its management or security. Such a system, network-enabled and fully scalable to meet ongoing business requirements, can be offered using open APIs; this allows configuration and customisation while ensuring that the retailer is not limited by the technology or tied into any particular set-up or vendor as their requirements evolve. Additional security benefits As more businesses launch their unmanned stores, the benefits of such technology to streamline and improve every aspect of their operations become ever clearer. A comprehensive solution from a trusted security provider can bring complete peace of mind while offering additional benefits to support the retail business as it seeks a secure future.

‘We want to become better known for access control’ - Q&A with Bosch Building Technologies’ Gregor Schlechtriem
‘We want to become better known for access control’ - Q&A with Bosch Building Technologies’ Gregor Schlechtriem

Gregor Schlechtriem has worked in the access control market for over 20 years and is now responsible for the Access & Intrusion Business Unit at Bosch Building Technologies. In this interview, the expert talks about key industry trends, the impact of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, technical innovations and his company’s strategy. Mr. Schlechtriem, you have many years of experience in the security technology market. What is your background and what are your responsibilities as Senior Vice President at Bosch Building Technologies? Gregor Schlechtriem: I am a trained engineer and electrical technician, and have been involved with access control in the broadest sense, since I started my career in the late 1980s. I started in the field of parking garage technology and then switched to security technology in 2001, as Managing Director of micos GmbH, which specialised in traditional access control. micos GmbH was known for its highly available and highly secure access control systems, for critical infrastructure and government applications. Many systems from that time are still in use today and continue to be supported and upgraded. Bosch is continuing micos’ business here? Gregor Schlechtriem: Exactly, micos was taken over in 2004 by Bosch Security Systems, now known as Bosch Building Technologies. Since then, we have continuously been developing the access control business. Being part of the Bosch Building Technologies division, we benefit a lot from international cooperation with colleagues Being part of the Bosch Building Technologies division, we benefit a lot from international cooperation with colleagues and from overlap with other product lines, such as intrusion detection technology and video security. This gives us the opportunity to implement outstanding project solutions for demanding customers in an international environment. In developing this business, I rely on my experience from other interesting roles at Bosch that I took on, after micos was bought in 2004. For a time, I worked in the European System Integrator Business, which I also had the privilege of managing for several years, as well as being directly responsible for business units. In Fairport, USA, I had the overall responsibility for intrusion detection technology for many years, as I later did in Eindhoven for video systems. Since 2018, the global access control and intrusion detection business has once again been my direct responsibility. At Bosch Building Technologies, we have in the meantime assigned sales to the respective business units, so that we can develop our product and solution portfolio, in close cooperation with sales and our regular customers. Our main task now is to make our access control portfolio accessible to a broader market. We want to make Bosch much better known, as an access control provider, in the international market. After all, with our own access product portfolio, the power of the Bosch Group and over 40 years of experience in this sector, we have a lot to offer. As an expert in access control, how do you see the industry developing? In which direction is it currently evolving? Gregor Schlechtriem: First of all, I see that security requirements are constantly increasing. Whereas there are currently still simple ‘key replacement systems’ that merely record card numbers, such an approach, to a large extent, no longer meets today’s security and user experience requirements.The core task of access control has not changed over the years In the beginning, access control was more or less a kind of key replacement. Later, there was the possibility of increasing security via a pin code, i.e., via verification through simple data inputs. The next step in this direction was biometrics, which is another key step up, because it allows verification by means of unmistakable characteristics. However, the core task of access control has not changed over all the years and has basically always remained the same: access control means determining who has an access request and checking whether this request can be fulfilled. What’s next on this path to greater security? Gregor Schlechtriem: Biometrics-based access control is becoming increasingly powerful and user-friendly through the use of artificial intelligence (AI). Here, data protection plays a major role, as wherever identities are established and movement data is recorded, it is necessary to reconcile the evolving technology with data protection.Biometrics-based access control is becoming increasingly powerful and user-friendly through the use of artificial intelligence The question of data protection is becoming even more significant, as systems increasingly migrate to the Cloud. Bosch puts particular emphasis on ensuring that, even in the cloud, the data generated in access control is always in line with data protection rules, regardless of where it is located. In my opinion, this trend towards the Cloud will continue, because companies are increasingly looking for complete service offerings, so that they can focus on their core business. Also, a system in the Cloud is easier to maintain and always up-to-date with the latest software, which makes cloud solutions even more attractive for providers and users. How can higher security be reconciled with a good user experience? Gregor Schlechtriem: Today, the card still plays a central role in the user experience, as the essential credential. Another current trend is ‘one card for everything’: with the increasing availability of secure multi-function smart cards, the possibility arises to use cards beyond the pure access function, for example, for payment in the canteen, at the catering and coffee machines, and in the parking garage, as well as simple access to other properties and so on.The security of cards has evolved significantly and kept pace with requirements The security of the cards, the reading and encryption processes, has evolved significantly and kept pace with requirements, although we are also facing an installed base that no longer meets these requirements, due to outdated systems. Today, it is standard for communications between reader and card to be encrypted. In some cases, the keys are also only held centrally to further increase security. The security systems industry was also affected by the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. How do you think the industry has changed? What technical solutions have emerged during this time? Gregor Schlechtriem: First of all, there is a certain need for retrofitting in the industry due to changes in how buildings are used. For example, American retailers used to be open around the clock and always had staff on site. Now, due to COVID-19, stores are also closed, and this results in a whole new need for intrusion detection and access control systems to protect the buildings. For access control, an obvious task has arisen as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, namely to track contacts, as far as this is compatible with data protection. We actually expected more to happen here, but in our observation, many companies did quite little, despite clear and simple steps that could have been implemented relatively quickly. The installed access control systems clearly lag behind the technical possibilities. Another topic that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought into focus is hygiene Another topic that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought into focus is hygiene. Companies should actually have invested in contactless systems here and retrofitted speed gates or motorised doors. But in many cases this was not put into practice. The door opener is still often used, which has to be operated manually and therefore, is touched multiple times. But, if everyone presses the same button, that doesn't help hygiene. Surprisingly, this is different in North America. Here, ‘request-to-exit’ proximity detectors are used almost everywhere, which avoids this problem completely and releases the door, when an authorised person approaches it. Mobile access and smartphone-based access control are also growing markets. What kind of developments do you see in these areas? Gregor Schlechtriem: I already mentioned that users increasingly want to be able to use one card for several applications. But, what we are seeing here is that even with the most modern cards, which have a lot of applications loaded on them, we are reaching performance limits and the user experience suffers. If you compare the card with the smartphone as a credential, you have a much more attractive integration platform there, which is significantly faster and delivers much better performance. For us, the mobile credential or the smartphone is the future, because it simply offers more possibilities that the card will not be able to provide in the long term. What is the specific direction Bosch is taking here? Gregor Schlechtriem: We are currently working on a broad implementation. A whole team is working on the user experience around the smartphone, because it’s understood that smartphone-based access has to work just as easily, as it currently does with a card.A whole team is working on the user experience around the smartphone In theory it does, but if you look at some of the actual implementations, this topic is still relatively complex. In terms of user experience and automation, we still have quite a way to go, and we are working hard on that at the moment. The user experience is one side of the coin, the other side concerns establishing security in the smartphone as a whole. In other words: How do I make the smartphone secure enough as a mobile credential, to meet my access control requirements? We are also working intensively on this. That's actually an IT task. Do you do this yourself at Bosch or do you work with external experts here? Gregor Schlechtriem: We have our own powerful Bosch IT, which also manages our company smartphones. If our company smartphones are lost, the data on them is automatically deleted. The devices use biometrics to identify users, before they can access the data. It is a sound security concept that a card cannot offer. Moreover, we are working with other partners in the IDunion project, to create the additional infrastructure around mobile credentials as well. What exactly is the IDunion and what role does Bosch play? Gregor Schlechtriem: Digital identities must be openly accessible, widely usable, interoperable, and secure. This applies not only to access control, but to the digitised economy in general. The IDunion project has set itself the task of creating the infrastructure for this, in the form of an independent wallet, i.e., secure identity storage on smart devices. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWI), because digitisation is also a critical social issue. We are intensively involved in the ‘Physical access to the building’ work package in this consortium. Through this involvement, we want to ensure that our access control systems benefit from this infrastructure and are open to future digital business models. Does ‘digital identity management’, which includes biometrics and mobile access, also play a role for Bosch? Yes, it plays an important role for us, and I wouldn’t consider these topics separate Gregor Schlechtriem: Yes, it plays an important role for us, and I wouldn’t consider these topics separate. For me, a mobile device has the advantage that it has already ensured and verified my identity from the moment of interaction. That’s the fascinating thing about it. If I only allow the device to communicate with the access control system, if I have identified myself first, I have implemented biometrics and access control together in a widely accepted process. From my point of view, this is a very interesting perspective, in terms of security and user experience, because the biometrics procedures in smartphones are, I think, the best currently available. In my view, the smartphone has the potential to take over central functions in access control in the future. What are your goals for the access control business of Bosch Building Technologies in the near future? Gregor Schlechtriem: We will continue to focus on specific solutions for large customers. That is the continuation of our current strategy. In these projects, we will introduce new topics as I have just described, i.e., primarily new technology elements. I believe that, precisely because of the longevity of access control, a long-term migration capability is also of particular importance. We want to reach out to the broader market and make more widely available, what we have developed in terms of technology and innovation. We are currently in the process of setting up and optimising our sales organisation, so that it becomes much more widely known that we at Bosch have our own powerful access control portfolio, which can be used for all kinds of applications. In addition, we want to differentiate ourselves in the market with our systems, in line with the motto of our founder, Robert Bosch: ‘Technology for life’. The user experience with Mobile Access should be simple, straightforward, and secure: You hold your smartphone in front of the reader and the door opens.

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.

Latest Mercury Security, part of HID Global news

LifeSafety Power to showcase their intelligent networked power supplies at the GSX 2021
LifeSafety Power to showcase their intelligent networked power supplies at the GSX 2021

LifeSafety Power will showcase its award-winning intelligent networked power supplies at booth 1463 during this year’s GSX show, September 27-29 in Orlando. Featured products include: FPO Generation 2 - Recently redesigned and re-engineered with updated features and capabilities, the FlexPower® FPO Generation 2 (Gen2) power supply line brings additional enhancements to both installers and users in the access control market. Network communications module FlexPower Gen2 includes the groundbreaking OutSmart™ visual voltage indication across all boards, visually showing the technician the output voltage of the power supply boards and each distributed output. Optional RS-485 capability on FPO and M8 devices allows larger managed systems on fewer network drops with the NLX NetLink™ network communications module. Refinements like built-in low battery disconnect and battery current sensor foster cleaner installations Added data points such as AC input voltage and main output current measurements on the FPO power supply and output cycle counts on the M8 yield a comprehensive view of overall system health. Refinements like built-in low battery disconnect and battery current sensor foster cleaner installations. Access control boards E12M and E12S Enclosures - One of the most spacious enclosures in the industry, the E12 is available in Unified Power or ProWire with dimensions of 48 (H) x 36 (W) x 8 (D). The E12 handles larger enterprise access control deployments–accommodating more access control boards, power supplies and managed outputs in a single enclosure for hardware and deployment savings. The E12 houses up to three FlexPower FPO power supply boards to allow up to 750 Watts of power to locking hardware, access control boards and auxiliary devices. It comes in two configurations: the E12M integrates with authentic Mercury Systems and handles 24 doors of access control; E12S integrates with Software House (SWH) controllers to handle up to 32 doors. Security management software NetLink lets users remotely monitor, control, program and report on system power Access Control Integrations - LifeSafety Power’s solutions integrate with several industry-preferred access control security management software platforms, including Genetec Security Center; OnGuard® for Lenel S2; and C•CURE 9000 from SWH. Security Center Integration for Genetec - Leveraging the Genetec integration between NetLink network communication device and Security Center, users can seamlessly add NetLink devices into the software platform, allowing real-time alerts to appear directly within the interface. From Security Center, users receive detailed data on the health and viability of power, connected locks and other devices. NetLink lets users remotely monitor, control, program and report on system power and connected devices and features patented battery management that includes health reporting, remote battery testing, email/SNMP alerts and other proactive notifications. Advanced power management OnGuard Integration for LenelS2 - The LenelS2 integration allows LifeSafety Power’s NetLink NL4 and NLX Network Communication Modules to interface with OnGuard access control software versions 8.0, in addition to 7.6, for advanced power management of enterprise access control systems. NetLink adds proactive monitoring and management capabilities to LifeSafety Power’s power systems, interfacing directly to the OnGuard platform, with all power system alerts indicated on the OnGuard software. NetLink adds proactive monitoring and management capabilities to LifeSafety Power’s power systems CCURE integration for SWH - The native integration with SWH C•CURE 9000 and LifeSafety Power’s intelligent network monitoring modules allows users to receive and centrally manage alerts and notifications through the software, for monitoring and control of PSX power and distribution modules sold and supported through SWH. Critical networking notifications are driven directly into C•CURE 9000, relaying real-time data and analytics on the health and viability of iSTAR door controller power, lock power and battery condition. Streamlining power installations ProWire Unified Power Systems/Helix - ProWire Unified Power Systems, the highest level of integration between a power system and an access control solution, are an installer’s blueprint for consistent, streamlined power installations. ProWire makes it simple to create a connected power campus, eliminating installation variability for repeatable and professional results. Network-connected ProWire systems can interface directly into Mercury Security or SWH C•Cure 9000 platforms, allowing users to receive, manage and control alerts and notifications. ProWire is compatible with Multi-Site Manager (MSM) Enterprise™, which yields advanced analytics so end-users can actively network, monitor and manage connected power solutions for greater uptime and dependability. Mission-critical applications Helix reduces the risk of system downtime or outage and features network management Helix AC/DC is the only solution for mission-critical applications in government, finance, medical and high-tech industry vertical markets. Designed for seamless failover protection with the automatic backup switchover of AC or DC power, Helix reduces the risk of system downtime or outage and features network management for predictive reporting that optimises and maintains the highest levels of performance. AC Helix monitors separate AC branch circuits, reporting trouble with a primary branch immediately and instantly transferring power to backup for uninterrupted system operations. DC Helix uses redundant power supplies to instantly transfer power to the backup supply on the failure of the primary supply. Helix is now available in standard, Unified Power and ProWire configurations to provide the ultimate protection to any access control power system.

HID Global announces HID Signo readers, Aero and Mercury controllers are the industry’s first SIA OSDP verified access control products
HID Global announces HID Signo readers, Aero and Mercury controllers are the industry’s first SIA OSDP verified access control products

HID Global, a worldwide renowned company in trusted identity solutions, has announced that a selection of its reader and controller offerings have been tested and verified to meet the Security Industry Association’s (SIA) Open Supervised Device Protocol (OSDP) communications standard for access control security and interoperability. HID Global is the first manufacturer to have completed testing in the OSDP Verified Certification for Access Control Units (ACUs). The HID Aero and HID Mercury controller product lines, as well as HID Signo Readers now carry the distinguished OSDP Verified mark. SIA OSDP Verified Certification SIA OSDP Verified Certification is a comprehensive testing programme that validates whether a device conforms to the SIA OSDP standard and the related performance profiles. The SIA third-party testing lab verification ensures OSDP Verified products meet the stringent OSDP standards. Receiving OSDP verification also ensures that devices will work as intended for their access control use cases. Interoperable, high-security access control solutions OSDP Verified mark validates that our products are interoperable, high-security access control solutions" “We are long-time proponents of the OSDP standard and are proud to now offer the industry’s first controllers to be OSDP Verified by the SIA,” said Jim Dearing, Director of Product Marketing - Physical Access Control Solutions with HID Global. Jim Dearing adds, “The OSDP Verified mark validates that our products are interoperable, high-security access control solutions and makes it possible for integrators, specifiers and end-customers to use HID readers and controllers with confidence.” OSDP Background Committed to interoperability, industry standards and customer satisfaction excellence, HID Global and Mercury Security, which HID Global acquired in 2017, have co-developed the OSDP standard in 2008 and donated it to the Security Industry Association (SIA) in 2012, free of intellectual property charges. SIA launched its OSDP Verified Certification in April 2020, in order to test and validate that devices conform to the standard and related performance protocols.

Genetec broadens its access control offering for US Federal Government customers
Genetec broadens its access control offering for US Federal Government customers

Genetec Inc., a foremost technology provider of unified security, public safety, operations, and business intelligence solutions, announced that it is broadening its portfolio of FICAM-(Federal Identity, Credential and Access Management) certified options for its Security Center Synergis™ access control system with the support of Veridt Stealth access control readers. Traditionally, the options for Federal Government organisations to replace a non-FICAM compliant system or to secure a new site were restricted to a limited choice of proprietary solutions. Because Security Centre Synergis is a FICAM-approved open platform access control system, customers can choose from a range of non-proprietary choices to efficiently validate Personal Identity Verification (PIV, PIV-I, CAC, and TWIC) for federal employees and contractors. Cost-effective solutions “By bringing these new non-proprietary options to market with partners such as Veridt, HID and Mercury, we are offering government customers a choice of simple-to-deploy and cost-effective solutions so that they can easily comply with FICAM requirements while leveraging the most robust and extensible software solution on the market,” said Justin Himelberger, Enterprise Systems Business Development Manager, Federal & DOD at Genetec. Access management solution Veridt Stealth Series™ readers provide a full complement of capability enabling identity and access management solutions for traditional and trusted PACS using PIV, TWIC and CAC based credentials. This family of readers encompasses both biometric and non-biometric configurations while offering fixed, wireless, and mobile platforms. Veridt readers are well known for their compact design and operating capability in the harshest environments. Identifying federal standards “We are pleased to work with Genetec to offer our joint US-Federal market customers FICAM-compliant solutions that will enable them to comply with the most stringent access and identity federal standards as well as the flexibility to maintain and protect their investment for years to come,” said Bryce Lamers, Director of Sales and Marketing at Veridt.

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