Access control controllers - Expert commentary

Wire-free, mobile first and data rich? The future of access control is within almost anyone’s reach
Wire-free, mobile first and data rich? The future of access control is within almost anyone’s reach

The 2020s will be a wireless decade in access control, says Russell Wagstaff from ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions EMEA. He examines the trends data, and looks beyond mobile keys to brand new security roles for the smartphone. The benefits of wire-free electronic access control are well rehearsed. They are also more relevant than ever. A wireless solution gives facility managers deeper, more flexible control over who should have access, where and when, because installing, operating and integrating them is easier and less expensive than wiring more doors. Battery powered locks Many procurement teams are now aware of these cost advantages, but perhaps not their scale. Research for an ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions (AAOS) benchmarking exercise found installation stage to be the largest contributor to cost reduction. Comparing a typical installation of battery-powered Aperio locks versus wired locks at the same scale, the research projected an 80% saving in installers’ labour costs for customers who go cable-free. Battery powered locks all consume much less energy than traditional wired locks Operating costs are also lower for wireless: Battery powered locks all consume much less energy than traditional wired locks, which normally work via magnets connected permanently to electricity. Wireless locks only ‘wake up’ when presented with a credential for which they must make an access decision. AAOS estimated a 70% saving in energy use over a comparable lock’s lifetime. Find out more about wireless access control at ASSA ABLOY's upcoming 29th June webinar Deploying wireless locks In short, every time a business chooses a wireless lock rather than a wired door, they benefit from both installation and operating cost savings. A recent report from IFSEC Global, AAOS and Omdia reveals the extent to which the advantages of wireless are cutting through. Responses to a large survey of security professionals — end-users, installers, integrators and consultants serving large corporations and small- to medium-sized organisations in education, healthcare, industrial, commercial, infrastructure, retail, banking and other sectors — suggest almost four locations in ten (38%) have now deployed wireless locks as a part or the whole of their access solution. The corresponding data point from AAOS’s 2014 Report was 23%. Electronic access control Electronic access control is less dependent than ever on cabling Without doubt, electronic access control is less dependent than ever on cabling: Even after a year when many investments have been deferred or curtailed, the data reveals fast-growing adoption of wireless locks, technologies and systems. Is mobile access control — based on digital credentials or ‘virtual keys’ stored on a smartphone — an ideal security technology for this wire-free future? In fact, the same report finds mobile access is growing fast right now. Among those surveyed, 26% of end-users already offer mobile compatibility; 39% plan to roll out mobile access within two years. Before the mid-2020s, around two-thirds of access systems will employ the smartphone in some way. The smartphone is also convenient for gathering system insights Driving rapid adoption What is driving such rapid adoption? The convenience benefits for everyday users are obvious — witness the mobile boom in banking and payments, travel or event ticketing, transport, food delivery and countless more areas of modern life. Access control is a natural fit. If you have your phone, you are already carrying your keys: What could be easier? IBM forecasts that 1.87 billion people globally will be mobile workers by 2022 Less often discussed are the ways mobile management makes life easier for facility and security managers, too. Among those polled for the new Wireless Access Control Report, almost half (47%) agreed that ‘Mobile was more flexible than physical credentials, and 36% believe that mobile credentials make it easier to upgrade employee access rights at any time.’ IBM forecasts that 1.87 billion people globally will be mobile workers by 2022. Workers in every impacted sector require solutions which can get the job done from anywhere: Access management via smartphone offers this. Site management device The smartphone is also convenient for gathering system insights. For example, one new reporting and analytics tool for CLIQ key-based access control systems uses an app to collect, visualise and evaluate access data. Security system data could contribute to business success. The app’s clear, visual layout helps managers to instantly spot relevant trends, anomalies or patterns. It’s simple to export, to share insights across the business. Reinvented for learning — not just as a ‘key’ or site management device — the phone will help businesses make smarter, data-informed decisions. The smartphone will also play a major role in security — and everything else — for an exciting new generation of smart buildings. These buildings will derive their intelligence from interoperability. Over 90% of the report’s survey respondents highlighted the importance of integration across building functions including access control, CCTV, alarm and visitor management systems. Genuinely seamless integration They offer greater peace of mind than proprietary solutions which ‘lock you in’ for the long term Yet in practice, stumbling blocks remain on the road to deeper, genuinely seamless integration. More than a quarter of those polled felt held back by a lack of solutions developed to open standards. ‘Open standards are key for the momentum behind the shift towards system integration,’ notes the Report. As well as being more flexible, open solutions are better futureproofed. Shared standards ensure investments can be made today with confidence that hardware and firmware may be built on seamlessly in the future. They offer greater peace of mind than proprietary solutions which ‘lock you in’ for the long term. Open solutions and mobile management are critical to achieving the goals which end-users in every vertical are chasing: scalability, flexibility, sustainability, cost-efficiency and convenience.

Secure access control is helping to shape the post-pandemic world
Secure access control is helping to shape the post-pandemic world

With the continued rolling back of COVID restrictions in the UK, there is a palpable sense of relief. A mixture of mass vaccinations, widespread testing, and track and tracing of the infection is helping to enable a healthy bounce back for businesses – with secure access control taking an important role in facilitating this. However, rather than just being a reaction to the wake of the pandemic, there is every sign that the economy, and consequently the security sector as well, are both rebuilding and reshaping for the long-term new normal. Prioritising Safety Already deemed an essential service even during the first wave of the pandemic, the security industry has of course taken a vital role in protecting people and property throughout the crisis. Now that venues in the UK are starting to reopen again, our services are key to occupancy management and ensuring that disease transmission is limited as far as possible. Access control is also key in reassuring people that their safety is a priority. Making the upgrade It’s all been about choosing the most suitable components and technology that already existed with a few “tweaks”  Businesses and organisations have a duty of care to their employees and the safety of visitors – so controlling access, employing lateral flow testing, and deploying suitable Track & Trace mechanisms are all key components. I think those outside our industry are surprised to learn that most of the technology being deployed and used hasn’t just magically developed since COVID appeared – it’s all been about choosing the most suitable components and technology that already existed albeit with a few development “tweaks” or adjustments for the situation at hand. This includes using or installing facial recognition readers rather than using fingerprint or contact tokens, it is swapping to automatic request to exit sensors instead of buttons; it is using powered secure doors rather than having people all grab the same handle. Using mobile credentials is also a key technology choice – why not use the highly secure, easy to manage, cost-effective, and of course contact-free benefits of this approach? Touchless solutions We have seen a clear shift in organisations looking to protect their staff and visitors. For instance, we have a big utility customer in Southeast Asia that has just replaced close to 200 sites using fingerprint readers with an additional facial recognition capability. We have also seen a big rise in demand for touchless request to exit sensors and Bluetooth Low Energy Readers for use with smartphone authentication. Working together Integration of security systems is of course nothing new, but in the post-pandemic or endemic age, it has perhaps never been more important. Installations need to be simple, straightforward, and rapid to help maintain safe distancing but also to ensure systems can be deployed as soon as they are needed. The world is changing and developing rapidly and there is simply no place for systems that don’t work with others or cause the end-user considerable cost and inconvenience to upgrade. This flexible delivery of security solutions perfectly matches the evolving and increasing demands of the market. It’s clear that end-users want systems that work well and can easily integrate with their existing systems – not only security but all the other business components which work in unison with each other over a shared network. Great opportunities ahead The recent work-from-home trend is also clearly changing the way organisations and businesses interact with the built environment. Lots of companies are downsizing, offices are being split up, there is lots of revitalisation and reuse of existing office space – all of which creates considerable opportunities for security providers. UK inflation more than doubled in April 2021 with unemployment figures dropping and the Pound rising in value There are also, in the UK at least, clear signs that the construction industry is rapidly growing again -with a forecast of 8% rebound and growth this year. UK inflation more than doubled in April 2021 with unemployment figures dropping and the Pound rising in value – all positive signs for UK-based security providers. Undoubtedly the highly successful UK vaccination rollout has helped considerably, but there are signs that the Eurozone looks set to improve considerably over the next few months as well. Using integrated access control Undoubtedly the pandemic has made security markets around the world more aware of the benefits of integrated access control in managing the needs of the new normal COVID endemic environment. For example, as a business, we have always had keen interest from the UK healthcare sector, but over the last 12 months, we have seen a big growth in previously modest international markets including Morocco, Kuwait, Bahrain, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Thailand – all of which are very keen to adopt improved access control solutions. Learning the lessons Nobody would deny the last year or so has been unprecedentedly tough on everyone, as a society we have had to make huge changes and sacrifices. Governments, organisations, and businesses all need to be better prepared in the future, to understand the things that went wrong and those that were successful. However, there is a world beyond the immediate pandemic and its effects. Flexible working practices and the changes these will have to the way we live and work will undoubtedly present great opportunities for the security sector in helping the world evolve. The pandemic has been a wake-up call for many organisations with regards to their duty of care to employees – particularly when it comes to mental health and providing a sensible work/life balance. Where we work and the safety of these facilities has received far more scrutiny than before. Flexible security systems Integrated security solutions have a vital role to play in not only protecting the safety of people during the post-lockdown return to work but also in the evolution of the built environment and move towards smart cities - which inevitably will now need to consider greater flexibility in securing home working spaces rather than just traditional places of work. Importantly, powerful access control and integrated security systems need to be flexible to the uncertainties ahead. The COVID pandemic has shown that nothing can be considered certain, except the need for greater flexibility and resilience in the way we operate our professional and personal interactions.

Antibacterial coatings open the door to a safe return to work
Antibacterial coatings open the door to a safe return to work

As the vaccine roll-out proceeds, people across the UK are counting the days until we can get back to some kind of ‘new normal’. Just as we’ve seen in education and healthcare, the return to the workplace and other public spaces will be accompanied by enhanced sanitisation and social distancing measures. To make the return as swift and safe as possible, those of us involved with managing, building and constructing buildings should consider how we can help facilitate and support those measures. Regardless of how rigorously we impose social distancing measures, there will always be some areas where we can’t help coming into contact with each other. Sanitising door handles Doors, for example – and door locks and handles in particular – are shared by nearly everyone in a building. Even in large, open spaces, we all need to pass through a single entrance. We all use the same door handles and locks – and they provide ideal surfaces for bacteria to breed and transfer. Another solution is for staff to regularly sanitise door handles and locks One solution to this problem is to provide hand-sanitiser dispensers at each door and insist on their use. But this can be difficult to manage in larger buildings where there may be multiple doors and entrances used by both staff and visitors. People could ignore the sanitisation rules too. Another solution is for staff to regularly sanitise door handles and locks – but this is a resource intensive option and, again, is dependent on everyone maintaining good practice. Potentially harmful chemicals A longer-lasting way to deal with the risk of locks and door handles spreading disease is to treat them with an anti-viral coating. These coatings come in various forms. Some, for example, slowly release anti-bacterial chemicals, while others have antiviral properties actually built into the material or the coating. Those coatings with built-in antiviral properties tend to be longer-lasting and more effective, and also avoid the issue of releasing potentially harmful chemicals into the environment. A number of different solutions with built-in protection are currently in development, and some already available. Northumbria University, for example (as reported in last Month’s PSB Magazine), is working on a ‘super-hydrophobic’ coating for use on high-contact areas such as handrails and trolleys. Optional antiviral coating Codelocks is working on a coating that attaches biocides to nanoparticles Another British company, Smart Separations, is working on a coating that attaches biocides to nanoparticles, and can be applied to a wide variety of surfaces. While these anti-viral coatings are either still in development or only available to large corporate clients, others are already readily available. Access control solutions provider Codelocks, for example is currently offering an optional antiviral coating with all of its products. Clean by Codelocks is clear coating that uses nanotechnology that can kill bacteria in a matter of minutes. Clean by Codelocks utilises a process called photocatalytic oxidation. The surface of the coating reacts with light and converts harmful bacteria and germs into a non-toxic compound, resulting in a clean and hygienic surface. Chemical cleaning products The coating has been proven to eliminate the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus (COVID-19) from surfaces within minutes and is resistant to chemical cleaning products, humidity, and UV exposure – all issues that can cause problems for traditional slow-release type coatings. It’s been said that COVID-19 has been a great technology accelerator. This has been proven true, not only in the areas of vaccine research and development, or in cloud and digital technology but even in everyday objects that we take for granted such as locks and door handles. By building anti-bacterial protection into access control solutions, we can make schools, surgeries, workplaces, leisure centres and other public spaces safer for all.

Latest PAC International, Ltd news

PAC introduces new versions of Access Central and EasiNet Residential to address post-lockdown access control challenges
PAC introduces new versions of Access Central and EasiNet Residential to address post-lockdown access control challenges

PAC, a supplier of innovative access control solutions, has announced new versions of its cutting-edge Access Central and EasiNet Residential software management platforms. The most comprehensive upgrades to both systems since they were initially launched, PAC has introduced a range of dynamic features that will enable commercial and residential premises to maintain high levels of occupant safety as lockdown begins to ease. ‘Access control technology has a significant role to play in helping to protect building occupants from infection, alongside its ability to configure smart and reliable strategies to help alleviate anxiety, enhance confidence and maintain regulatory compliance,’ commented Pete England, PAC’s global product manager. ‘Over the last year, we have been working hard to leverage the power of our technology. As a result, Access Central v5.3 has been designed to help limit person-to-person contact, control occupancy levels reduce surface touches, and swiftly initiates contact tracing procedures.’ Enhance security with access central Access Central acts as a central resource for keyholder records and access privileges, with the ability to set pre-configured alarms, track activities  Designed primarily for the commercial, educational, and healthcare sectors, Access Central acts as a central resource for keyholder records and access privileges, with the ability to set pre-configured alarms, track activities and maintain a full audit trail. To build on its existing capabilities, Access Central v5.3 now has additional occupancy management features including managed entrance, occupancy tracking, and global anti-passback for accurate tracing of keyholders. This will help make sure occupants adhere to designated one-way flow systems through buildings and do not overpopulate specific areas. Furthermore, a keyholder’s access privileges can be temporarily disabled if they do not read out when exiting an area. Access Central v5.3 also boasts enhanced building management and security features such as a guard tour that configures set routes around a building for security officers. Using pre-configured parameters, automated event notifications send PC pop-up notifications when occupancy limits are reached and/or exceeded restrict entry and provide a live display of the number of people in an area. This can form part of a broader health and safety policy, for example, temperature and mask checks or use of sanitisation stations, and can be used to configure a traffic light-style system, while time periods are configurable to enable one or multiple managed entrances per day. Cost-effective expansion Similar innovations are found in EasiNet Residential v5.3, which combines high-security access control with advanced keyholder configuration and management, which can be supported through PAC’s secure Residential Cloud. EasiNet Residential v5.3 enables cost-effective expansion into building management systems through the use of PAC input/output controllers to facilitate third-party equipment integration, allowing building services such as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems to be centrally managed. In addition, lift control means that keyholders are only assigned access to specific floors to maintain social distancing. These features can all be managed via Control Centre – PAC’s new ‘single pane of glass’ management tool for operators. Consolidating CCTV and access control functionality is more vital than ever and both Access Central v5.3 and EasiNet Residential v5.3 offer options for 3xLOGIC VIGIL integration. Cameras can be directly configured and monitored through each software solution, with access to VIGIL’s business intelligence capabilities achieved via integration with a VIGIL server. As such video verification through CCTV actions can be captured through pre-sets that, for instance, move a pan, tilt, zoom camera as an event is taking place. Smart access control PAC’s Pete England concluded, ‘As people emerge from their homes and begin to return to their workplaces, building safety and security needs to be rethought, reconfigured and adapted to meet a complex set of challenges. Access control technology must be used in smarter ways than ever before to help protect building occupants and achieving this objective is now possible thanks to Access Central v5.3 and EasiNet Residential v5.3’.  In order to help partners and customers maximise the potential of these state-of-the-art features, PAC will be hosting two webinars for the commercial and residential markets. 

3xLOGIC, PAC GDX and PACOM to demonstrate latest security innovations at IFSEC 2019
3xLOGIC, PAC GDX and PACOM to demonstrate latest security innovations at IFSEC 2019

3xLOGIC, PAC/GDX and PACOM, providers of security and access control solutions, have announced they will be exhibiting on stand IF2930 at IFSEC International 2019, which takes place on 18th-20th June at ExCeL, London. For over 15 years as one of the USA’s most respected innovators in server, cloud and artificial intelligence-based solutions, 3xLOGIC has an enviable track record in redefining what’s possible with security technology. After successfully launching into the European market earlier this year, 3xLOGIC will exhibit its diverse range of cutting-edge products as well as demonstrate their integration capabilities. Leading the way is the integration of 3xLOGIC’s NVRs and standalone cameras into PACOM’s GMS and Unison product lines. VIGIL enterprise grade VMS 3xLOGIC’s VIGIL enterprise grade VMS is the driving force behind the VIGIL range of NVRs, DVRs and PoE cameras3xLOGIC’s VIGIL enterprise grade VMS is the driving force behind the VIGIL range of network video recorders (NVRs), digital video recorders (DVRs) and Power over Ethernet (PoE) cameras. To further enhance VIGIL’s suitability for multi-site environments, it has been integrated with the PACOM Graphical Management System (GMS). Engineered to communicate over an IP network, the PACOM GMS allows for full integration of access control, alarm monitoring, video surveillance and many other security functions. 3xLOGIC’s Visix Facial Recognition camera is making its European debut at IFSEC 2019. This special purpose, low cost, dual lens 2MP device is designed for instant face detection, and the identification and notification of persons of interest. Using camera-based analytics and 3xLOGIC’s exclusive facial recognition software and mobile app, users can review images and choose which individuals to place on a watch list. Unison security management Furthermore, 3xLOGIC’s Facial Recognition camera has recently been integrated into PACOM’s Unison security management platform. An open security solution designed specifically for campus-based organisations, Unison is the solution of choice for organisations within vertical sectors such as healthcare, universities, commercial buildings, public facilities, municipalities, airports, shipping ports and data centres. The combination of Facial Recognition capabilities with Unison improves operational efficiency by quickly and accurately identifying persons of interest, and streamlining processes to use this information to meet the organisation’s security and marketing goals. TRENDS empowers the user to interpret vast amounts of disparate data more effectively and efficiently than ever before For those looking to optimise organisational efficiency, 3xLOGIC’s TRENDS cloud-based business intelligence tool incorporates exception-based reporting, video data and third-party applications into an easy to use dashboard that provides a simple visual snapshot of business operations. TRENDS empowers the user to interpret vast amounts of disparate data more effectively and efficiently than ever before, offering unrivalled levels of visibility to quickly spot issues and liabilities that can seriously impact a company’s bottom line. Bluetooth-based card reader Last, but certainly not least, visitors will have the chance to get hands on with the new PAC GDX Bluetooth-based card reader technology, which has been specifically designed to meet the requirements of companies of all sizes that want the most secure access control solution possible. Experts from the company will be available for product demonstrations and to discuss a new online training programme that has been developed to enable installers and end users to get the very best out of their PAC GDX solution. “It has been a tremendously exciting year, and we are looking forward to discussing our activities with those attending IFSEC,” commented Matt Kushner, Global President, Stanley Products and Solutions. “With a combined legacy 
of over 100 years in the security industry, 3xLOGIC, PAC GDX and PACOM lead the way in the design and manufacture of video surveillance, access control, and business intelligence solutions. By visiting Stand IF2930 and talking to our experts, visitors have a fantastic opportunity to find out how our technology can enhance security provision in a diverse range of built environments and how we can help them achieve their operational and security objectives.”

3xLOGIC, Inc. expands North American sales network with new hires
3xLOGIC, Inc. expands North American sales network with new hires

3xLOGIC, Inc., global provider of integrated, intelligent security solutions, and a three-time Deloitte Technology Fast 500 winner, announced that the company has added to its growing North American sales network, along with other personnel moves at its umbrella company, Stanley Products and Solutions (SPS). The company added two new RSMs to further penetrate key markets in the Pacific NW as well as the Mid-Atlantic regions and appointed a new Marketing Manager for the PACOM brand of products. 3xLOGIC adds security expert  3xLOGIC welcomes Joel Dombovy as a Regional Sales Manager (RSM) in the Northwest 3xLOGIC welcomes Joel Dombovy as a Regional Sales Manager (RSM) in the Northwest. Joel comes to the company with 14 years of security industry experience, working with companies such as Interlogix, GE Security, and Honeywell. John Saxen will support Joel as the Inside Sales Account Manager for the region. Jake Franklin takes over as RSM for the Mid-Atlantic. He joins the company from RF Technologies, a safety solutions company in healthcare where he was RSM for the Northeast. Prior to that, he worked as Critical Infrastructure Account Manager & Sales Representative at a security integration company. Jake’s passion for technology and previous security experience make him an excellent addition to 3xLOGIC’s powerful sales team. Bill Hobbs, Global VP of Sales for SPS, announced that both Joel and Jake will report to Jason Bryan, Director of Sales. PACOM expands marketing team Jennifer Joyce is the new Marketing Manager for PACOM, sister company of 3xLOGIC, as the company continues to expand efforts in the North American to market the wide range of PACOM solutions that have found success all over the world. She brings more than 25 years of marketing and design experience to the team. Her global marketing experience began with Firestone Industrial Products and Jennifer most recently spent her time in digital marketing as Marketing Director for Orbis Education. She will report to Suzi Abell, Senior Director of Global Marketing, SPS. Gavin O’Keeffe has been promoted to Director of Product Management Elsewhere in the larger SPS organisation Charlie Erickson has a new title reflecting his growing responsibilities—Chief Technology Officer. He continues to oversee Product Management as his team continues to expand. Reporting directly to Charlie, Michael Poe has been promoted to Director of Product Management. He will be leading the Video, Blue, DIY, and TRENDS products lines. Rick Walker will be aligned under Poe’s leadership.  New PAC, PACOM, infinias head Also reporting to Charlie, Gavin O’Keeffe has been promoted to Director of Product Management, and he will be leading the PAC, PACOM, infinias, and Sonitrol product teams. We also welcome Darren Monroe, Product Manager for infinias to Gavin’s team. Darren will work in the 3xLOGIC office in Indianapolis and Gavin works out of the PACOM Australia office. Drew Alexander continues as Sr. Director of Program Management, and he will continue to add Program Managers to his team to facilitate a growing list of product launches and business initiatives.

Related white papers

Four areas to consider in frictionless access control

Physical access control in higher education

Boosting on-site safety and security