Access control controllers - Expert commentary

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 Gallagher Security (Europe) Ltd news

IDIS announces integration of its end-to-end video technology solutions with Gallagher’s access control solutions
IDIS announces integration of its end-to-end video technology solutions with Gallagher’s access control solutions

IDIS has announced powerful and affordable options for integrating video, access control, life safety and building management systems between its end-to-end video technology solutions with Gallagher’s access control solutions. This powerful off-the-shelf integration, from Korea’s renowned video manufacturer, gives systems integrators and end users everything that they need for complete, future-proofed site control. It enables straightforward integration of powerful security management platforms, removing cost and complexity. Gallagher Command Centre The Gallagher Command Centre access control and security management platform can be integrated with IDIS’s DirectIP range of NVRs and cameras, as well as its family of analogue DirectCX HD-TVI recorders and cameras. This allows customers to mix-and-match IP and analogue systems, including leveraging coax cabling if they need to. Users can choose between the free IDIS Center VMS, ideal for small-to-medium applications up to 1024 devices, or the fully-featured and enterprise-level IDIS Solution Suite that is both modular and scalable, allowing users to manage unlimited devices and unlimited sites, without the associated price tag. Enterprise-level integrated solutions There is growing demand for enterprise-level integrated solutions that combine the latest video and access technology, but that offer reduced upfront costs and lower total cost of ownership (TCO) long term. Customers also want greater system flexibility and adaptability, across longer lifecycles. Operationally, there are significant advantages for customers upgrading from siloed solutions. For example, seamless integration of access control with video enables instant verification of events, such as forced doors, with camera views automatically presented to system controllers. Security management system Integration of Gallagher Command Centre with IDIS opens up an easy route for customers" With integrated solutions, alarms from doors, cameras and other devices are pulled onto one platform, making it easier for operators to respond and reducing the likelihood of incidents being missed. The operational benefits increase as more technologies are integrated, from fire and HVAC to elevator controls, building management and wider corporate systems. “Integration of Gallagher Command Centre with IDIS opens up an easy route for customers, who want unparalleled control over every aspect of site security, alongside the AI intelligence advantages that come with IDIS Deep Learning Analytics,” said Mitch Parsons, Business Development Manager for Gallagher Security Europe. COVID-safe site solutions The growing toolkit of smart video capabilities now includes COVID-safe site solutions, enhanced security monitoring and review tools, and advanced business intelligence analytics that help to optimise operational efficiency. “Seamless, off-the-shelf interoperability between IDIS and Gallagher offers integrators and end-users everything they need to create complete, future-proofed security management platforms, without compromising on functionality,” said Jamie Barnfield, Senior Sales Director for IDIS Europe. Off-the-shelf corporate security Jamie Barnfield adds, “Systems integrators can now offer customers an affordable, efficient, and off-the-shelf corporate security and safety solution that encompasses enterprise-level video, access control, life safety, visitor management, and building management.”

Gallagher’s UK CPNI CAPSS high security system achieves UK cyber security standards
Gallagher’s UK CPNI CAPSS high security system achieves UK cyber security standards

Global security manufacturer, Gallagher, is excited to release their latest certified high security solution to market. The Gallagher UK CPNI CAPSS high security system features compliances to the Cyber Assurance for Physical Security Systems (CAPSS) standard, and the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) Readers and Tokens standards. This latest approval demonstrates Gallagher’s significant investment in delivering high security solutions for governments in the five eyes alliance. Cyber security requirements Passing the CAPSS evaluation provides UK critical national infrastructure sites confidence that Gallagher’s software and hardware meets the toughest cyber security requirements. The CPNI readers and tokens standards ensure physical access control readers and credentials are robust against both cyber and physical attacks. “With cyber threats growing in sophistication, cyber protection has never been more vital,” says Richard Huison, Regional Manager UK and Europe, for Gallagher. “Cyber security is an integral part of Gallagher’s physical security solutions. We’re pleased with the result from our CAPSS evaluation – it demonstrates our commitment to providing security solutions which offer the highest level of protection.” CPNI protects national security in the United Kingdom by helping reduce vulnerability to terrorism and other threats in national infrastructure. Gallagher’s range of compliant solutions can be found under the CPNI catalogue of security equipment. Gallagher’s UK CPNI CAPSS High Security System is now available.

Stark property develops Panama app with Gallagher’s access control to ensure secure environment for all
Stark property develops Panama app with Gallagher’s access control to ensure secure environment for all

Stark Property’s shared working environment sees about 150 people from 40 different companies co-working across their Panama properties. Stark Property sought to overcome the challenges of a shared working space by fostering a sense of community within the Panama buildings, streamlining processes, and ensuring a safe and secure environment for all. Panama app Stark Property worked with digital technology developers, Dynamo6, to develop the Panama app. Easy to operate, the app integrates Gallagher access control with other building functionality, including news, feeds, Wi-Fi access, and the ability to submit maintenance requests and book shared meeting rooms. Utilising Gallagher’s Mobile Connect SDK, Dynamo6 was able to incorporate the functionality of Gallagher Mobile Connect into the Panama app, offering a one-stop-shop for all things building-related. The app utilises Bluetooth® or NFC on users’ phones to gain access via Gallagher T-Series Readers Simplified access control Integrated access control creates a simple, easy access experience for app users while establishing a safe and secure working environment. Through Gallagher Command Centre, Stark Property can keep track of who is coming and going, while ensuring anyone entering the building is authorised to be there. Utilising users’ mobile phones to host access credentials means no time wasted replacing or issuing temporary cards for visitors Utilising users’ mobile phones to host access credentials means there’s no time wasted replacing lost or stolen access cards or issuing temporary cards for visitors. “People will lose an access tag, but not many people lose their phones,” says Matt Stark, Director of Stark Property. Effective communication In a co-working environment, it can be difficult to ensure important information, such as planned building maintenance or fire alarm testing, is shared with everyone in a timely manner. The Panama app mitigates this with a newsfeed on the app home screen, notifying tenants of any important information. Integrating the newsfeed with access control functionality ensures tenants stay up to date, with important information displaying prominently whenever they open the app to unlock a door. This simple but efficient method of communicating helps Stark Property adhere to their health and safety requirements by ensuring tenants are aware of any building-related issues that may arise. Efficient property management In shared working spaces, reporting building maintenance issues can be problematic, especially if there are just one or two main people from each group in contact with property managers. The Panama app offers tenants the ability to submit maintenance requests directly. By entering details of the issue, along with the capability to attach photos, requests can be reported directly to Stark Property by anyone working on site. Matt hopes this functionality will lead to Stark Property having the best-maintained buildings in town. “Often, it’s the small stuff that goes unnoticed by maintenance staff – cracks, dents, breakages. Now tenants can keep an eye out for any issues and report these to us directly. It has helped us to streamline our processes and keep on top of any issues.” Shared building resources are also managed through the app, with the ability to book meeting rooms and connect to the Wi-Fi. The future of shared spaces The app utilises cloud technology to deliver an app that can be customised to the building space and facilities Currently, the app is only in use across the Panama properties but there are plans to roll it out across other Stark Property sites in the future. “The app is still pretty new to us,” says Matt. “We’re still learning from it and looking to see what other services we can add to it, but overall it has saved us time, made lives easier, and allows us to keep progressing as a property group by delivering better, more efficient spaces.” Using cloud technologies Igor Matich, Founder and Executive Director from Dynamo6 said, “The app utilises cloud technology to deliver an app that can be customised to the building space and facilities. Everyone pretty much has a mobile phone on them." "Connecting access to mobile phones makes it easier for people to enter the building and the experience is more unique. It delivers a premium experience. Moreover, you’re more likely to remember your phone than an access card.” Igor continues, “The advantage of integrated access and the property app, particularly in a shared environment like this, is the community feel it creates. It helps foster a sense of community among tenants. We’re excited about the additional services the app brings, such as meeting room bookings, and other future developments.” Mobile Connect SDK The Mobile Connect SDK enables developers to incorporate the functionality of Gallagher Mobile Connect into a third-party app. In addition to access control, Mobile Connect includes the capability to receive push notifications on a mobile device directly from Command Centre, arm or disarm buildings, and control lighting and HVAC from the mobile device.

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