Access control controllers - Expert commentary

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the need for employees and visitors to physically touch a surface when using an access control system — upgrading the outdated technologies can be cumbersome and expensive, especially for organizations that had not planned for an interruption like the pandemic.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.

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

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

Latest Linear LLC news

Linear upgrades its e3 Series firmware to deliver enhanced security in its commercial access control systems
Linear upgrades its e3 Series firmware to deliver enhanced security in its commercial access control systems

Significant upgrades to the e3 Series firmware were announced in the Linear Essential, Essential Plus, Elite and ProControl commercial access control systems. The new firmware updates employ the latest code technology to provide improved security and web services protection against the rise in cyber threats for businesses of all sizes. Giving end-customers and users the features most in demand, the upgrades to the Linear e3 Series also include improved encryption, smart reporting and card types access control functionality. Access control security “Commercial businesses of all sizes are acutely aware of need for increased access control security due to the growing sophistication of electronic intrusion capabilities,” said Richard Pugnier, Vice President of Marketing at NSC. “The new e3 Series firmware updates and feature enhancements allow our dealers to offer heightened security confidence to deter intruders while keeping employees and facilities safe using the latest technological advancements.” “After listening to our dealer partners, this firmware upgrade is the first of several planned that will help address ongoing commercial security and access control needs for organisations large and small,” said Mark Prowten, Director of Product Management for NSC’s Linear brand. Commercial access control systems The Linear e3 Series firmware upgrades we’ve engineered open new customer opportunities for our dealers" “With tens of thousands of systems installed, customers depend upon the proven managed access and convenience of our systems, and we remain committed to constantly improving our security technologies to guard against the growing list of internal as well as external threats. Plus, the Linear e3 Series firmware upgrades we’ve engineered open new customer opportunities for our dealers to offer market-leading capabilities along with added security peace-of-mind.” The scalable design of Linear e3 Series is specifically engineered to minimise future costs and help lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) as organisational needs evolve and more functionality is needed. Based on a single hardware design, a single software code base and sophisticated integrated features, the Linear e3 Series can easily scale up to 128 doors. All Linear Essential, Essential Plus, Elite and ProControl commercial access control systems include the upgraded e3 Series firmware. Licence expansion capability Each is out-of-the-box ready to install, designed to match customer-specific needs and are readily upgradeable with a licence key. The top-of-the-line Linear Elite is a feature-rich system designed for four to 128 multi-door, multi-site facilities. The advanced capabilities of the Linear Elite system can accommodate more users, doors, readers, online transactions and overall capacity. The Linear Essential and Essential Plus access control systems give smaller and mid-size businesses access control that can grow with them. These systems provide entry-level value for one to four doors with immediate licence expansion capability to Elite system with no additional hardware needed.

SIA invites nominations for George R.Lippert Memorial Award
SIA invites nominations for George R.Lippert Memorial Award

The award is presented annually to honour a distinguished individual from a SIA Member company The Security Industry Association (SIA) recently issued a call for nominations for the George R. Lippert Memorial Award. The Lippert Award, as it’s known in the security industry, is presented annually to honour a distinguished individual from a SIA Member company for long-term, selfless service to the security industry and to SIA. In memory of George R. Lippert The award is named in honour of Mr. Lippert, who dedicated more than 20 years of his life to the security industry and SIA. In 1967, Mr. Lippert purchased a company called Cameras for Industry. He served in leadership positions with Morse Security Group, Aritech and Linear Corp. Mr. Lippert was elected to the SIA Board of Directors in 1971, and served on the board for 17 years. His insights and efforts had a lasting impacting on SIA’s standards program and many other initiatives that benefited the industry. Recipients of the George R. Lippert Memorial Award are individuals who exhibit the same characteristics as Mr. Lippert, providing exceptional service to the security industry and SIA. To qualify, a nominee for the award must be: Employed in the security industry for more than 10 years with a manufacturer, integrator, distributor or service provider; Affiliated with a company that is a SIA Member in good standing; Respected as a leader in SIA and the industry; Viewed as a goodwill ambassador for SIA and the industry, as demonstrated by activities with various industry segments, such as regulatory agencies, industry associations, etc.; and Recognised as honest, responsible, courteous and kind. When evaluating candidates nominated for the award, the SIA Lippert Award Committee will consider their long-term service to SIA and the security industry, the impact of their efforts on behalf of SIA and the industry, and their integrity, leadership and diplomacy as demonstrated in industry dealings. Deadline for the submission of nominees is Monday, August 10. SIA will announce the winner of the Lippert Award during SIA Honours Night: Celebrating Performance, Partnerships and People in the Security Industry in New York City on Wednesday, Nov. 18.

Farpointe Data long range wireless transmitter installed at Kolea, Waikoloa Beach Resort
Farpointe Data long range wireless transmitter installed at Kolea, Waikoloa Beach Resort

Integrated with gate entry system, long range solution opens Kolea at Waikoloa Beach Resort's main gate Farpointe Data, a DORMA Group Company, the access control industry's trusted global partner for RFID solutions, recently announced that its Ranger WRR-4+ 433 MHz receiver is used to gain admittance to the main gate of the Kolea at Waikoloa Beach Resort on the Big Island of Hawaii. Kolea is a very diverse community offering both private residences and two and three bedroom vacation villas. This exclusive gated community offers everything a vacationer could desire in a vacation rental. That includes insuring that only those authorised to be in the community can enter.Farpoint P-640 proximity cards Kolea's organically grown security system includes Napco locksets with integrated card readers and keypads, a Linear gate entry system and Cisco video surveillance. Some houses on the property use Farpointe P-640 proximity cards with keypad readers for access from the street and directly from the beach. Those entering the main gate in their car use a Farpointe transmitter which is read by the Farpointe WRR-4+ receiver integrated into the Linear gate entry system via the industry standard Wiegand protocol. Instead of using a card, which could activate more than one device or door at a time, the transmitter holder selects exactly the mechanism to be immediately triggered. Available in either a two- or four-button configuration (WRR-2+ or WRR-4+ models respectively) and equipped standard with a weather-resistant potted proximity or contactless smart card module, the transmitter can use either two or four buttons to open two or four different doors from ranges up to 200 feet (61 m). Each button outputs transmitter data over separate Wiegand outputs yet the receiver installs just like a proximity reader for easy integration with popular proximity or contactless smart card access control systems. "Being located here directly on the beach places unique demands on our electronic security infrastructure. Our access control needs have evolved over time and we've been very happy with the flexibility and reliability the Ranger series has given us," reports Trenton Johnson, facility manager for Kolea at Waikoloa Beach Resort. "This dependability means we  are no longer continually re-investing in new equipment." "Using standard 26-bit Wiegand protocol and featuring standard mounting holes, the WRR-4+ is used as an "add-on" or "wire-in" receiver at the resort," adds Scott Lindley, Farpointe Data president. "With custom Wiegand protocols and Farpointe's MAXSecure™ security option, the long range system can be made even more protected to prevent credential duplication and ensure that the readers will only collect data from this single system's coded credentials. The lithium cell battery is tested to exceed 250,000 presses."Farpointe for ISC West 2015 Attendees at the ISC West Show in Las Vegas April 15-17 can see how the new long range WRR-2+ and WRR-4+ 433 MHz receivers operate. At ISC West, Farpointe Data will be in Booth 8056.

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