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the need for employees and visitors to physically touch a surface when using an access control system — upgrading the outdated technologies can be cumbersome and expensive, especially for organizations that had not planned for an interruption like the pandemic.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

Hanwha Techwin announces its Wisenet Network Video Recorders are now supported by Seagate high-density hard disk drives
Hanwha Techwin announces its Wisenet Network Video Recorders are now supported by Seagate high-density hard disk drives

Hanwha Techwin has announced consultants, system designers and system integrators are now able to specify Wisenet Q series and Wisenet WAVE PoE NVRs supplied with Seagate hard disk drives (HDDs). High-density HDDs “Seagate’s space-efficient, high-density HDDs (hard disk drives) are able to perfectly meet the data storage demands of video surveillance systems and equally important, they have a reputation for being ultra-reliable,” said Uri Guterman, Head of Product & Marketing for Hanwha Techwin Europe. Uri Guterman adds, “Our decision to collaborate with Seagate Technology will therefore enhance the ability of these Wisenet NVRs (Network Video Recorders) to robustly fulfill the requirements of virtually any video surveillance applications, other than those, which require a server-based storage solution.”  Wisenet Q and WAVE PoE NVRs Wisenet WAVE PoE NVRs provide a cost-effective way of utilising the Wisenet WAVE VMS Wisenet WAVE PoE NVRs provide a cost-effective, seamlessly integrated and optimised way of utilising the latest version of the feature-rich Wisenet WAVE video management software (VMS), without having to install a server. Wisenet Q PoE NVRs are designed to be suitable for virtually any small to medium size video surveillance applications, which require a cost-effective, robust and reliable video recording and storage solution. Retail and corporate applications As such, they are ideal for budget limited office, retail and warehouse type applications that do not need a high number of cameras, but where users wish to have the ability to record high-definition images.

Hanwha Techwin expands Wisenet X PTZ PLUS range of cameras equipped with AI object tracking
Hanwha Techwin expands Wisenet X PTZ PLUS range of cameras equipped with AI object tracking

The six new cameras added to the Wisenet X PTZ PLUS range have been developed by Hanwha Techwin to enable users to capture evidence grade images of activity occurring in large open area applications. The ability of the new 2MP, 6MP and 4K Wisenet X PTZ PLUS cameras to operate effectively in environments such as airports, car parks, industrial estates, stadia and city centres, is enhanced by a long list of technically advanced features, which include AI-based object tracking, precise PTZ control and improved pre-set accuracy. The cameras, which have a lightweight, compact form factor, are also able to capture high-quality images of objects up to a distance of 200 metres regardless of the lighting conditions, with the help of adaptive IR technology which adjusts the angle of the camera’s IR LEDs to match the level of zoom. AI auto-tracking Operators can programme a camera to lock onto and auto-track a specific object with the help of deep learning video analytics An AI auto-tracking feature allows control room operators to efficiently monitor the movement of objects while remaining hands-free to control other cameras. With a right-click of a mouse, operators can programme a camera to lock onto and auto-track a specific object. It does so with the help of deep learning video analytics which detects and classifies people and vehicles. The video analytics is supported by AI algorithms unique to Hanwha Techwin. Alternatively, operators can take advantage of highly accurate manual control PTZ functionality to zoom in to see close up detail of target objects and track their movement. Other key features and functions Pre-set Accuracy: During their life cycle, most PTZ cameras are likely to be expected to ‘pan and tilt’ many thousands of times and it is not unknown for positioning errors to occur. Wisenet PTZ PLUS cameras, which have a pre-set accuracy of ±0.1˚, are able to detect if they are not precisely aimed at the specified field of view and will move within one second to the correct position. Focus Save: Applied to up to 32 pre-defined areas, focus save functionality ensures that regardless of the lighting conditions, a camera is able to rapidly come into focus when it is moved to a new position. Tilt Range: The cameras’ extended tilt range of up to 110⁰ allows any objects positioned above the cameras to be seen. Wisenet7 chipset At the heart of all Wisenet X PTZ PLUS cameras is Wisenet7, Hanwha Techwin’s most powerful chipset to date, which with extreme’ Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) functionality that utilises Local Contrast Enhancement and Scene Analysis technologies, is able to facilitate the capture of ultra-clear images from scenes containing a challenging mix of bright and dark areas. Excellent low light performance is also assured thanks to the utilisation of 3D noise reduction technology which, while minimising motion blur, uses several filters to isolate and remove pixels that are causing noise, while a new noise reduction algorithm improves the edge and colour of objects. Cyber secure Wisenet7 chipset incorporates a list of technologies that significantly enhance the cyber security credentials Complying with UL CAP and Secure by Default standards, the Wisenet7 chipset also incorporates an impressive list of ground-breaking technologies that significantly enhance the cyber security credentials of the Wisenet PTZ PLUS cameras. They also benefit from a Hanwha Techwin proprietary device certificate issuing system which embeds unique certificates into Wisenet products during both the development phase and manufacturing process. This further enhances the camera’s ability to prevent hackers from tampering with its firmware. Installer friendly Compact and approximately 65% lighter than most PTZ domes, the camera-mount installed Wisenet X PTZ PLUS cameras can be quickly and easily deployed, requiring engineers during a first fix to just ‘match 3 points and twist’. This conveniently enables them to tighten screws without having to hold onto the camera. Unlike conventional PTZ cameras which require up to 5 separate cables, the Wisenet X PTZ PLUS cameras only need a single RJ45 cable to operate and this is installed with a flexible bush to ensure the camera is waterproof. The new Wisenet PTZ PLUS cameras are as follows: Wisenet XNP-9250: 4K 25x PTZ camera Wisenet XNP-9250R: 4K 25x IR PTZ camera Wisenet XNP-8250: 6MP 25x PTZ camera Wisenet XNP-8250R: 6MP 25x IR PTZ camera Wisenet XNP-6400: 2MP 40x PTZ camera Wisenet XNP-6400R: 2MP 40x IR PTZ camera Authority comments “Our comprehensive Wisenet camera line-up offers a variety of options for monitoring wide open areas. However, I would encourage consultants, system designers and system integrators to take a close look at our PTZ PLUS range when there is a need to closely monitor and automatically track moving people or vehicles,” said Uri Guterman, Head of Product & Marketing for Hanwha Techwin Europe. “Our design, development and manufacturing teams have combined their expertise to pack these cameras with a long list of practical features and innovative technology which collectively will surely meet, if not exceed, users’ expectations.”

Hanwha adds Wisenet PNM-9022V and Wisenet PNM-9322VQP to their range of multi-directional cameras
Hanwha adds Wisenet PNM-9022V and Wisenet PNM-9322VQP to their range of multi-directional cameras

Two new Wisenet cameras equipped with Hanwha Techwin’s ground-breaking Wisenet7 chipset have reinforced the company’s claim to be the manufacturer of multi-directional cameras.  The 4-channel PNM-9022V utilises alpha blending technology to stitch the overlapping images captured by its four Full HD sensors into a seamless 8.3-megapixel 209° image, thus ensuring an operator never loses sight of a person or vehicle moving across a wide area. Digital PTZ functionality Superseding the highly successful Wisenet PNM-9020V, the PNM-9022V can also be used to capture 180° images, with operators able to take advantage of digital PTZ functionality across two of the camera’s channels. With Wisenet7 SoC, Hanwha Techwin’s most powerful chipset to date, at its heart, the PNM-9022V’s 4 sensors, which come with 2.8mm fixed focal lenses, are able to capture high definition colour images when the lighting level is as low as 0.03 Lux. Wisenet7 also features Hanwha Techwin proprietary ‘extreme’ Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) technology which, performing at up to 120dB, utilises new Local Contrast Enhancement and Scene Analysis technologies to enable the camera to capture ultra-clear images from scenes containing a challenging mix of bright and dark areas. Certificate issuing system Lens Distortion Correction (LDC) technology utilised by the PNM-9022V corrects the distortion created Lens Distortion Correction (LDC) technology utilised by the PNM-9022V corrects the distortion created through the use of wide-angle lenses. This delivers images which more closely resemble what is seen through the human eye. As part of the fast-growing number of new cameras which incorporate the UL CAP certificated Wisenet7 chipset, the National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA) compliant PNM-9022V is packed with an impressive list of technologies to protect it from cyber-attacks. It also benefits from a Hanwha Techwin proprietary device certificate issuing system, which embeds unique certificates into Wisenet7 products during both the development phase and manufacturing process. This further enhances the camera’s ability to prevent hackers from tampering with its firmware. Cable connection purposes 2 Micro SD/SDHC/SDXC slots enable up to 1TB of video or data to be stored at the edge should there be disruption to the network. Video of any incidents, which potentially might have been lost on the recorder side, can therefore be retrieved from the camera when the network connection has been restored. Minimising the time needed to be spent on site, the PNM-9022V has a hinged backplate to provide easy access for cable connection purposes. Installers have to simply install the back plate, clip the camera in place and tighten two screws. Intelligent video analytics Other key features include the following: A suite of built-in Intelligent Video Analytics (IVA), which includes audio detection, defocus detection, directional detection, enter/exit, appear/disappear, motion detection, virtual line and camera tampering detection. Heatmap video analytics which provides business intelligence on customer density and buying behaviour. Support for WiseStream II complementary compression technology, as well as H.265, H.264 and MJPEG compression formats. Bandwidth efficiency is improved by up to 75% compared to current H.264 technology, when WiseStream II is combined with H.265 compression. PoE+ which negates the need to install a power supply and separate cabling for the camera. IP66, IK10 and NEMA4X rated for protection against water, dust and mechanical impact. Cost-effective solution Coinciding with the launch of the PNM-9022V, the PNM-9322VQP with 4 sensors and an integral PTZ camera, is designed to provide a highly cost-effective solution for detecting and tracking objects over wide open areas. The option of exchangeable 2 and 5-megapixel lens modules enables the camera’s sensors to work together to seamlessly capture 360° images of up to 20-megapixel resolution. In addition, the device’s PTZ camera element can be configured to zoom in and track a moving object or move to a user defined preset position when the line crossing detection function of the multi-directional camera detects activity. It is also able to ‘hand-over’ to cameras covering adjacent areas to ensure operators can continue to observe people or vehicles as they move out of its field of view. Providing audio support The NDAA compliant PNM-9322VQP supersedes the highly successful PNM-9320VQP Equipped with the Wisenet7 chipset, the NDAA compliant PNM-9322VQP supersedes the highly successful PNM-9320VQP, with the additional benefit of providing audio support. “These two new models perfectly complement our other existing 2, 3, 4 and 5-channel multi-sensor cameras which collectively enable us to offer customers an affordable multi-directional camera solution for virtually any video surveillance project,” said Uri Guterman, Head of Product & Marketing for Hanwha Techwin Europe. Providing significant savings “All of these cameras will help users achieve a high return on investment (ROI) as they can perform the role of a greater number of standard HD cameras. In doing so, they provide significant savings on camera purchasing costs and with less cable, conduit, mounting hardware and network switches required, installation costs are reduced as well. With only a single IP connection, they also only require one VMS licence.” “The value of these two new cameras being NDAA compliant and UL CAP certificated should also not be underestimated. System integrators will quite often find that both can be a key requirement when they are submitting tenders for projects involving end-users which operate multi-nationally.”

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