TDSi’s comprehensive product range features extensive integration and network capabilities
TDSi’s comprehensive product range features extensive integration and network capabilities

TDSi's extensive suite of products has been designed with integration and network capability to the forefront, with IP connectivity a standard feature across the range.Amongst the company's most recent product developments are the addition of an IP option to the proven MICROgarde range and an updated version of the access management software system, EXgarde PRO, which provides powerful integration capability.MICROgarde IPMICROgarde IP is a powerful addition to TDSi's range of controllers.  Available for both one and two door controller options, this product offers all the functionality of the established MICROgarde system - with the added benefit of being able to be directly connected to a LAN or WAN.MICROgarde offers an extremely cost-effective, entry level controller, containing many of the features that would ordinarily only be found in much larger, more expensive systems. Operating with TDSi or third party readers, the system has an operational capacity of 5,000 card holders and is capable of supporting up to 400 doors - as well as controlling the automatic release of fire doors, upon an active input.Featuring distributed intelligence, MICROgarde controllers can operate as a fully integrated part of a system network, providing users with full control and event reporting - which may be customised to suit specific needs.Integration Capability with EXgarde PROEXgarde PRO is TDSi's market-leading, fully featured access management software application that delivers a wide range of functionality through a user-friendly interface.The new version, V3, offers unparalleled integration capabilities, providing users with a flexible and dynamic platform and the ability for complete building and security management.Through the use of a suite of database tools, EXgarde PRO delivers seamless integration with a wide range of proprietary and bespoke systems - such as Schools Information Management Systems, HR, Payroll, Time and Attendance, CCTV, Fire, Intruder and One-card software applications, offering the potential for considerable resource savings, in both time and cost.Powerful and versatile, EXgarde PRO is capable of controlling a single door at one site with a small number of users, right up to thousands of doors across multiple sites with thousands of users.

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TDSi offers combined IP and PSU with latest model of popular MICROgarde Controllers
TDSi offers combined IP and PSU with latest model of popular MICROgarde Controllers

TDSi is pleased to add a new model to its MICROgarde controller range, offering integrated IP and PSU. The MICROgarde entry level range of networkable access control products give many of the benefits of a bigger system, without the need for a big budget. For organisations exploring the world of access control for the first time, MICROgarde offers easy installation, reduced cost of ownership and highly competitive pricing to offer the best value and most practical access control system available. The addition of this latest model means MICROgarde I and MICROgarde II can be purchased with IP, Power Supply or both, offering customers greater choice. MICROgarde also delivers unrivalled flexibility of system design. Available in one or two door versions, TDSi has designed the product to cater for the diverse range of needs and situations that may arise. All controllers feature distributed intelligence (with a battery backup), meaning the controller operates and makes decisions even when communication to the host PC is lost. Should this happen, events are stored within the controller until communication is restored and this is uploaded with no loss of data. MICROgarde also offers a further money saving and practical advantage by its ability to be integrated with other TDSi or third-party systems such as CCTV, biometrics and photo ID cards - to make the most of other building services investments. TDSi has also designed MICROgarde to make the life of installers easier, with a number of useful features to significantly reduce the effort and time required for installation and/or integration. To find out more about the benefits of installing and using TDSi's MICROgarde controllers please visit: www.tdsi.co.uk/microgarde or contact us on 01202 723535.  

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TDSi has launched a re-designed power supply unit for its EX series access control units
TDSi has launched a re-designed power supply unit for its EX series access control units

TDSi has launched a re-designed power supply unit for its EX series of access control units.The new unit incorporates a range of key design and performance enhancements, resulting in significant improvements to the ease, speed, and therefore the cost of installation.Key features of the new system include:Low profile case - new design makes the installation less obtrusiveFully accessible mains input connections - allows the incoming supply to be connected without the need to dismantle any part of the caseHigh-quality 3 A output - minimises noise and maximises reliabilityFused distribution of power - provides individual fused supplies for both the access control unit and the associated locksKnock-outs for interfacing to trunking and conduit - provides multiple installation optionMultiple rear cable entry optionsSimple cable screen termination clamps - provides reliable connection of the cable screensSpace for standby battery with charging facility - provides un-interrupted operation in the event of power failureLEDs to indicate power supply or fuse failure - provides diagnostic aid in the event of a system problem TDSi's range of EX-series units continues to provide users with the widest choice to meet their access control needs, as well as the ability to support future expansion of the system, if required.  The company's EXpert range also provides for more advanced hardware integration - such as lift control and alarm point monitoring.

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Now available from TDSi, SOLOgarde is a dedicated stand alone door controller
Now available from TDSi, SOLOgarde is a dedicated stand alone door controller

Now available from TDSi, SOLOgarde is a dedicated stand-alone door controller.  Providing a high-quality, cost-effective access control solution for a wide range of applications, SOLOgarde is fast and easy to install and to program. Capable of supporting up to 1,000 users, SOLOgarde utilises the highly secure MIFARE® smartcard technology, enabling users to carry and use just a single card for multiple applications.The SOLOgarde controller provides a great deal of flexibility.  For example, the ‘toggle mode' feature allows the system to be used to set or unset an intruder alarm for specific users.  The same functionality may be used to allow specified cardholders to unlock and then lock specific rooms for a period of time, simply by presenting their card to the reader at the start and end of the period. The unit has been developed with the needs of disabled users in mind; a DDA user group automatically applies an extended lock time for card-holders assigned to that preset group. SOLOgarde features an innovative hand-held programmer.  Easy to use, the programmer completely eliminates the need to manage and control shadow cards, allowing not only the easy and clear management of all user cards, but also enabling more advanced functionality - including controller settings and diagnostic features. A second reader may also be connected to the SOLOgarde controller providing true read-in/read-out capability.Installation is quick and straightforward.  SOLOgarde requires just a standard electrical back box - there is no need for a special enclosure and the spring-loaded terminals mean that no special fitting tools are required.

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Access control controllers - Expert commentary

The intersection of education and fire and security
The intersection of education and fire and security

Protecting against fire and security risks is an essential aspect of life for people and across all sectors. However, there is an increasing expectation and demand on fire and security providers, in areas such as education. The securitisation of our world paired with the rapid speed of communication and news updates means that young people especially have the potential to be more aware of potential dangers and threats to their own safety and the safety of those around them. Education institutions are large and sometimes sprawling sites that present considerable fire and security challenges. From kindergarten to university Each education site brings distinct challenges, with differing facilities and specialties, as well as the need to maintain the capacity of students, teachers and lecturers to study, learn and teach at the high level expected.Each education site brings distinct challenges, with differing facilities and specialties While some schools and universities are based in urban areas with a mix of heritage and high rise buildings, others are sprawled across green open spaces. Some of these sites have specialised sporting facilities, while others may be focused on engineering or scientific study, with costly technical equipment. Kindergartens and primary schools have their own unique requirements. Parents expect the highest safety standards, while schools require safety in addition to efficient facilities management. The demographic of these institutions is predominantly young children, who are often unaware of or only just learning about fire safety and personal safety. This creates a huge vulnerability and an added onus on teachers to keep their students safe. Facial recognition at West Academy of Beijing In response to this need, Chubb China upgraded the closed-circuit television (CCTV) system for Western Academy of Beijing (WAB) focusing on elevating video content analytic features, including maximised CCTV monitoring, automatic police calling, and a smart search solution. Complementing this, a facial recognition system capable of finding the exact location of a student on campus within 30 seconds was added, aided by real-time remote gate operation. This integrated and advanced system resulted won the "High Quality Educational Technology Suppliers for School" award for the WAB project at the 2019 BEED Asia Future Oriented Construction of Universities and Schools Seminar. This award recognises outstanding solution design and project execution. Parents expect the highest safety standards, while schools require safety in addition to efficient facilities management Awareness remains important at university As students graduate from kindergarten, primary school, junior and senior school, they become more aware of fire safety, relevant dangers and how to protect themselves. Unfortunately, external dangers remain. There are particularly high stakes for university campus facilities managers The safety of students in a university environment is also critical. It is often the first time young people live away from their family home and have the independence of adulthood. For this reason, there are particularly high stakes for university campus facilities managers. In the eventuality of a fire, students could be at great risk and, beyond the immediacy of physical harm, this can have serious ramifications for the reputation of an educational institution. Integrated solutions Integrated solutions must be nimble and adapted to a range of site types including campus residences, recreational areas, open spaces and lecture theatres. Chubb Sicli recently identified and overcame these challenges through the installation of a full suite of fire safety and security equipment and services at Webster University Geneva. Established in Switzerland in 1978, Webster University Geneva is an accredited American university campus that offers programs in English to students interested in undergraduate or graduate-level education.  Located in the Commune of Bellevue, just a few kilometres from Geneva's central station, the campus of Webster University Geneva includes five buildings in a park-style atmosphere. Full fire and security audit Chubb Sicli provided Webster’s fire extinguisher maintenance for over 25 years. This business relationship led to a full fire and security audit that identified the need for updates to the university’s security installation. The initial audit showed several improvements to the university’s security profile were needed.The challenge was to create and provide an effective and interconnected fire and security solution The challenge was to create and provide an effective and interconnected fire and security solution, enhancing the security of the student population and its ever-evolving needs. This included complete fire detection and intruder alarms for all five buildings, upgrades to existing CCTV systems, new video surveillance equipment and an automated fire extinguishing system in the kitchen areas. In addition to this integrated system solution, Webster University required access control for all main entrances, with the requirement that all documentation to be made available in English, because Webster is an American company. Customised solution Chubb Sicli’s quality, capability, and security expertise provided a customised solution for the unique educational establishment. Not only was the solution both tailored and integrated, the approach and planning were based on audit, fire extinguisher and emergency light maintenance, fire detection, intrusion detection, access control, video surveillance and Fire Detection. Through dedicated and integrated fire safety support, Chubb provides students and families peace of mind and security. From the moment a young child enters the education system, Chubb’s diligent and effective surveillance and fire safety systems work to prevent and protect, offering a new kind of ‘end-to-end’ service for education systems around the world.

How to build an insider threat programme
How to build an insider threat programme

Insider threat programmes started with counter-espionage cases in the government. Today, insider threat programmes have become a more common practice in all industries, as companies understand the risks associated with not having one. To build a programme, you must first understand what an insider threat is. An insider threat is an employee, contractor, visitor or other insider who have been granted physical or logical access to a company that can cause extensive damage. Damage ranges from emotional or physical injury, to personnel, financial and reputational loss to data loss/manipulation or destruction of assets. Financial and confidential information While malicious insiders only make up 22% of the threats, they have the most impact on an organisation Most threats are derived from the accidental insider. For example, it’s the person who is working on a competitive sales pitch on an airplane and is plugging in financial and confidential information. They are working hard, yet their company’s information is exposed to everyone around them. Another type of insider, the compromised insider, is the person who accidentally downloaded malware when clicking on a fake, urgent email, exposing their information. Malicious insiders cause the greatest concerns. These are the rogue employees who may feel threatened. They may turn violent or take action to damage the company. Or you have the criminal actor employees who are truly malicious and have been hired or bribed by another company to gather intel. Their goal is to gather data and assets to cause damage for a specific purpose. While malicious insiders only make up 22% of the threats, they have the most impact on an organisation. They can cause brand and financial damage, along with physical and mental damage. Insider threat programme Once you determine you need an insider threat programme, you need to build a business case and support it with requirements. Depending on your industry, you can start with regulatory requirements such as HIPAA, NERC CIP, PCI, etc. Talk to your regulator and get their input. Everyone needs to be onboard, understand the intricacies of enacting a programme Next, get a top to bottom risk assessment to learn your organisation’s risks. A risk assessment will help you prioritise your risks and provide recommendations about what you need to include in your programme. Begin by meeting with senior leadership, including your CEO to discuss expectations. Creating an insider threat programme will change the company culture, and the CEO must understand the gravity of his/her decision before moving forward. Everyone needs to be onboard, understand the intricacies of enacting a programme and support it before its implemented. Determining the level of monitoring The size and complexity of your company will determine the type of programme needed. One size does not fit all. It will determine what technologies are required and how much personnel is needed to execute the programme. The company must determine what level of monitoring is needed to meet their goals. After the leadership team decides, form a steering committee that includes someone from legal, HR and IT. Other departments can join as necessary. This team sets up the structure, lays out the plan, determines the budget and what type of technologies are needed. For small companies, the best value is education. Educate your employees about the programme, build the culture and promote awareness. Teach employees about the behaviours you are looking for and how to report them. Behavioural analysis software Every company is different and you need to determine what will gain employee support The steering committee will need to decide what is out of scope. Every company is different and you need to determine what will gain employee support. The tools put in place cannot monitor employee productivity (web surfing). That is out of scope and will disrupt the company culture. What technology does your organisation need to detect insider threats? Organisations need software solutions that monitor, aggregate and analyse data to identify potential threats. Behavioural analysis software looks at patterns of behaviour and identifies anomalies. Use business intelligence/data analytics solutions to solve this challenge. This solution learns the normal behaviour of people and notifies security staff when behaviour changes. This is done by setting a set risk score. Once the score crosses a determined threshold, an alert is triggered. Case and incident management tools Predictive analytics technology reviews behaviours and identifies sensitive areas of companies (pharmacies, server rooms) or files (HR, finance, development). If it sees anomalous behaviour, it can predict behaviours. It can determine if someone is going to take data. It helps companies take steps to get ahead of bad behaviour. If an employee sends hostile emails, they are picked up and an alert is triggered User sentiment detection software can work in real time. If an employee sends hostile emails, they are picked up and an alert is triggered. The SOC and HR are notified and security dispatched. Depending on how a company has this process set-up, it could potentially save lives. Now that your organisation has all this data, how do you pull it together? Case and incident management tools can pool data points and create threat dashboards. Cyber detection system with access control An integrated security system is recommended to be successful. It will eliminate bubbles and share data to see real-time patterns. If HR, security and compliance departments are doing investigations, they can consolidate systems into the same tool to have better data aggregation. Companies can link their IT/cyber detection system with access control. Deploying a true, integrated, open system provides a better insider threat programme. Big companies should invest in trained counterintelligence investigators to operate the programme. They can help identify the sensitive areas, identify who the people are that have the most access to them, or are in a position to do the greatest amount of harm to the company and who to put mitigation plans around to protect them. They also run the investigations. Potential risky behaviour Using the right technology along with thorough processes will result in a successful programme You need to detect which individuals are interacting with information systems that pose the greatest potential risk. You need to rapidly and thoroughly understand the user’s potential risky behaviour and the context around it. Context is important. You need to decide what to investigate and make it clear to employees. Otherwise you will create a negative culture at your company. Develop a security-aware culture. Involve the crowd. Get an app so if someone sees something they can say something. IT should not run the insider threat programme. IT is the most privileged department in an organisation. If something goes wrong with an IT person, they have the most ability to do harm and cover their tracks. They need to be an important partner, but don’t let them have ownership and don’t let their administrators have access. Educating your employees and creating a positive culture around an insider threat programme takes time and patience. Using the right technology along with thorough processes will result in a successful programme. It’s okay to start small and build.

The benefits of an integrated security system
The benefits of an integrated security system

Today, the world is connected like never before. Your watch is connected to your phone, which is connected to your tablet and so on. As we’ve begun to embrace this ‘smart’ lifestyle, what we’re really embracing is the integration of systems. Why do we connect our devices? The simplest answer is that it makes life easier. But, if that’s the case, why stop at our own personal devices? Connection, when applied to a business’ operations, is no different: it lowers effort and expedites decision making. Integrating security systems Systems integration takes the idea of connected devices and applies it to an enterprise Systems integration takes the idea of connected devices and applies it to an enterprise, bringing disparate subcomponents into a single ecosystem. This could mean adding a new, overarching system to pull and collect data from existing subsystems, or adapting an existing system to serve as a data collection hub. Regardless of the method, the purpose is to create a single, unified view. Ultimately, it’s about simplifying processes, gaining actionable insights into operations and facilitating efficient decision-making. Although integration is becoming the new norm in other areas of life, businesses often opt out of integrating security systems because of misconceptions about the time and resources required to successfully make the change. So, instead of a streamlined operation, the various security systems and devices are siloed, not communicating with each other and typically being run by different teams within an organisation. Time-intensive process When systems are not integrated, companies face a wide range of risks driven by a lack of transparency and information sharing, including actual loss of property or assets. For example, a team in charge of access control is alerted to a door being opened in the middle of the night but can’t see what exactly is taking place through video surveillance. Without integrated systems they have no way of knowing if it was a burglar, an equipment malfunction or a gust of wind. Without integration between systems and teams, the ability to quickly put the right pieces in front of decision makers is missing. Instead, the team would have to go back and manually look for footage that corresponds with the time a door was open to figure out which door it was, who opened it and what happened after, which can be a time-intensive process. Integrating access control and surveillance systems Theft and vandalism occur quickly, meaning systems and users must work faster in order to prevent it This slowed response time adds risk to the system. Theft and vandalism occur quickly, meaning systems and users must work faster in order to prevent it. Security systems can do more than communicate that theft or vandalism occurred. Properly integrated, these systems alert users of pre-incident indicators before an event happens or deter events altogether. This gives teams and decision makers more time to make effective decisions. Integrating access control and surveillance systems allows for a more proactive approach. If a door is opened when it’s not supposed to be, an integrated system enables users to quickly see what door was opened, who opened it and make a quick decision. Integrated solutions are more effective, more efficient and help drive cost-saving decisions. Ideally, companies should establish integrated solutions from the start of operations. This allows companies to anticipate problems and adjust accordingly instead of reacting after an incident has occurred. Security camera system Although starting from the beginning is the best way to ensure comprehensive security, many companies have existing security systems, requiring integration and implementation to bring them together. Typically, companies with established security systems worry about the impact to infrastructure requirements. Is additional infrastructure necessary? How and where should it be added? What financial or human resources are required? These concerns drive a mentality that the benefits gained from an integrated solution aren’t worth the costs of implementation. Thankfully, this is becoming less of a problem as security providers, like Twenty20™ Solutions, work to offer adaptable solutions. With flexible options, operators don’t worry about adding or replacing infrastructure to align with a provider’s model. This allows users to monitor camera footage and gate traffic from one system If a company has an existing security camera system, but identifies a need for access control, a modern integrated solution provider can supply the gates for access points and equip the gates and cameras with the technology to connect the two. This allows users to monitor camera footage and gate traffic from one system. This model also spares operators additional costs by using a sole vendor for supplemental needs. Overall management of security While a single, unified system is beneficial for cost saving, it can also help the overall management of security. The ability to view all operating systems in one dashboard allows security personnel to manage a site from any location, reducing the expense and effort required to manage a system. The mobile world today means security directors no longer need to be in a centralised operations center to see alerts and make decisions. This simplifies processes by allowing users to quickly see an alert, pull up a camera, delete a user or check an access log from a phone. Modern networks are secure and accessible to those with permissions, without requiring those users to be physically present. Consolidating security systems is the first step companies can take toward streamlining work, information and costs. The next step is integrating all sites, both remote and on-grid. Energy and communication technology The integration of sites and systems turns mountains of data and information into actionable intelligence Traditional methods demanded two systems: one for on-grid facilities and another for off-grid locations. With advancements in energy and communication technology, the need for multiple systems is gone. Data from remote sites can be safely and securely fed into an existing system. These remote locations may gather, distribute and manage data in a different manner than a connected system due to the cost of transmission via remote connections (i.e., cellular or satellite connection). The end result, however, is a consistent and holistic view of operations for the decision maker. The integration of sites and systems turns mountains of data and information into actionable intelligence. With connected devices monitoring occurrences at individual sites, as well as events across locations, the data tells a story that is unhindered by operational silos or physical space. Identifying patterns and trends Instead of providing 10 hours-worth of footage that may or may not be relevant, system analytics can provide users with the specific set of information they need. Incidents once discarded as ‘one-off’ events can now be analysed and data-mapped to identify patterns and trends, directing future resources to the most critical areas first. Consumers are increasingly expecting everything they need to be right where they need it – and businesses are right behind them. The current generation of security professionals are increasingly expecting the simplicity of their everyday personal tasks to be mirrored in enterprise systems, which means giving them the ability to see what matters in one place. A unified system can provide just that, a single view to help simplify processes, promote cost saving and accelerate decision making.

Latest TDSi news

How have standards changed the security market?
How have standards changed the security market?

A standard is a document that establishes uniform engineering or technical criteria, methods, processes, and/or practices. Standards surround every aspect of our business. For example, the physical security marketplace is impacted by industry standards, national and international standards, quality standards, building codes and even environmental standards, to name just a few. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How have standards changed the security market as we know it?

How does audio enhance security system performance?
How does audio enhance security system performance?

Video is widely embraced as an essential element of physical security systems. However, surveillance footage is often recorded without sound, even though many cameras are capable of capturing audio as well as video. Beyond the capabilities of cameras, there is a range of other audio products on the market that can improve system performance and/or expand capabilities (e.g., gunshot detection.) We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How does audio enhance the performance of security and/or video systems? 

What is the role of security systems in case of fire or other emergency?
What is the role of security systems in case of fire or other emergency?

When a fire or other emergency occurs in a building or facility, first responders depend on every available resource to ensure a safe and orderly evacuation and response. One element in any response plan is the facility’s physical security systems, including access control, video surveillance and intrusion detection. How can these systems contribute to an orderly response to a chaotic situation?  We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the role of security systems in the event of a fire or other emergency evacuation?

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