Access control controllers - Expert commentary

Get the most from investments in building security
Get the most from investments in building security

From analogue to digital, from stand-alone to interlinked, building systems are in a state of transition. Moreover, the rate of change shows no sign of slowing, which can make it difficult to keep up to date with all the latest developments. If asked to pinpoint the single biggest driver of this revolution, one could point out the growing clamour for platform convergence. A security guard in a building doesn’t want to use different systems to check video cameras, fire alarms or if someone has entered a restricted area: – it simply isn’t efficient. For similar reasons, a building manager wants a single interface to control heating and lighting to match fluctuating occupancy levels, particularly in a hybrid working model. Applying the digital glue The demand from end-users for system convergence is growing, but to achieve full interoperability you still need to apply some ‘digital glue’ and that requires expertise. Yet bringing together disparate systems from different manufacturers can be problematic. Just as you get things to work, someone upgrades their solution and your carefully implemented convergence can start to come unstuck. Managing an implementation can quickly become more complicated, today’s quick-fix can become tomorrow’s headache This is one of the principal issues with all types of new technology; not everyone will choose the same path to reach the desired goal – it’s the old VHS/Betamax argument updated for building management and security systems. Managing and maintaining an implementation can quickly become more complicated than it first appears and without proper oversight, today’s quick-fix can become tomorrow’s technical headache. Effective support for a hybrid workforce Today’s hybrid workforce is a response to the pandemic that looks set to become an established part of working life for many companies across the world. Security systems have a massive role to play in facilitating this transformation that goes beyond simple intrusion detection, access control, and video monitoring. They can identify the most densely populated areas in a building to comply with social distancing guidelines and provide efficient use of space. The insights gathered from a security system can also be used to identify patterns of behaviour, which can then be used for planning and directing the use of building space to help create the best possible working environment while also minimising heating, lighting, and air conditioning expenditures. Identity credentials can help manage compliance with industry regulations by limiting access to certain areas Similarly, identity credentials – either biometric or mobile-based – can help manage compliance to industry regulations by limiting access to certain areas only to approved employees. Creating and maintaining the appropriate level of functionality requires a combination of innovative solutions and industry experience. The complete security package It’s not just physical security that’s important – cybersecurity is a major focus, too. Bringing together both the physical security and cybersecurity realms is increasingly becoming a ‘must have’ capability. What is evident is that the pace of technological change is faster than ever. Today’s functionality simply wouldn’t have been possible just a few years ago, while today’s leading-edge developments may seem commonplace in five years.

Is hybrid working a red flag for business security?
Is hybrid working a red flag for business security?

The ‘new normal’ was all we heard about when it came to the working model shift after the pandemic hit. Businesses worldwide adopted working from home, and then the hybrid model: a balance of remote work and office work. And according to a recent survey by 451 Research, nearly 80% of organisations surveyed said they have implemented or expanded universal work-from-home policies as a result of COVID-19, whilst 67% expect these policies to remain in place either permanently or for the long-term. With more vacant office spaces, the question is: is hybrid working a red flag for business security? Empty-office days When buildings and office spaces are still active with advanced technology, equipment and assets on show, yet footfall is not as busy as it once was, opportunistic criminals are closely watching and taking note. But what are they learning? Security systems provider, Expert Security UK, investigates our new normal. Offices are nests for expensive, valuable equipment, with maybe the latest technology Instead of a packed, busy office five or six days a week, hybrid working means more empty-office days, which is music to the ears of burglars. Offices are nests for expensive, valuable equipment, with maybe the latest technology and safes sitting there, or potential stacks of cash or company cards. You may be thinking, well, who leaves company cards or cash out? You’d be surprised, especially when business owners think they’ll never be a victim, or sometimes, staff make mistakes. Hybrid working model And don’t forget, burglars don’t always know what’s been left and will take their chances. And when a hybrid working model is the ‘new normal’, that means a lapse in security - at least in a thief’s mind. So how worried should business owners be? Well, the latest figures are pretty worrying, but also, not massively shocking. Reiterating the temptation and lure the working model shift has on robbers, Statista recorded a 12-year high for robbery offences in the UK in 2019/2020. When more businesses either shut up shop or sent staff away to home offices, it’s not hard to make a connection. These figures reflect how, when given the opportunity, thieves will strike and take advantage. Handing vital information Whether you’ve decided to go fully remote, it’s crucial to review and rethink your business security However, it’s worth noting that the lockdowns and empty streets would also have played a part in this spike, and now that we’re out of lockdowns with a world back to flipping its sign to ‘open’, many businesses will be carrying on working from home, but towns, shops, and streets are busy again. Whether you’ve decided to go fully remote, or have adopted the hybrid model, it’s crucial to review and rethink your business security, starting with your social media presence. It’s a good idea to review your social media channels. We forget how open we can be on social media, and how our digital presence can actually work as a perfect guide and insight for criminals. All they have to do is follow your channels to pick up on clues. And if you’re not giving it a minute’s thought about what you're putting out there, you may even be just handing them vital information and helping their plans. Remote working shift Of course, there is information readily available such as your opening times, location etc. But, do you really want/need to show off the new, state-of-the-art tablets you’ve just kitted your office out with? It can be hard as a business, or even as a social person, to not want to share positive news on social media, but we really do have to stop and think, especially if people know a lot about the company and its remote working shift. It’s also a good idea to have a meeting with your staff about a social media policy Maybe share a post about that new, intelligent security system you've installed instead. It’s also a good idea to have a meeting with your staff about a social media policy or maybe just a casual chat about best practices, e.g. not to tag the business in a post about their new office gadget etc. Improving business security With fewer office days, you probably won’t need to take up as much work space anymore. Maybe some equipment has become more ornamental. Anything you don’t use or need, you could sell or donate. If you do have expensive equipment lying around that’s not being used, try and make money back from it or store it elsewhere. If you are keeping a lot of expensive equipment in vacant premises, especially fixed equipment and technology, then consider installing bars and shutters over the windows. Whatever your budget, you can improve your business security tenfold with key security measures. One of them being access control. Security gates with access control are incredibly effective at stopping unauthorised people from gaining entry. There are also car park barriers and bollards that are highly effective at keeping any potential getaway vehicles out. Easily portable technology High-quality CCTV is a best friend to any business, but you need to be reviewing it frequently High-quality CCTV is a best friend to any business, but you need to be reviewing it frequently, especially if you’ve done a perimeter check and noticed any signs of forced entry or damage. Don’t forget those signs either, let visitors or trespassers know they’re on camera. To fit in with the hybrid working model, static fixtures are becoming redundant. For instance, companies are switching to laptops instead of computers, so that workers can transport them easily to and from the office. This is not only more efficient and convenient, but it means assets are more guarded. It’s the same for any other gadgets. Having easily portable technology is good for business, hybrid working, and security. Don’t forget about your deterrents. Simple signs to warn people of alarms, CCTV, and even the fact that you don’t leave equipment inside overnight can go a long way. Best security technology Thieves are famous for taking their chances. Some will meticulously plan, and many strike at a convenient, opportune time. So having signs in place that show you have high-quality, intelligent security in place can work wonders, making them think twice. It’s also worth noting that you may not have the best security technology in place at the moment, but those on the outside don’t need to know that; they can be fooled. However, having the best physical security in place is vital, as criminals lurk and will take chances. Keep reviewing your security, especially as your business adapts and reshapes - whether you return back to full office days or carry on the hybrid working model. This guest post was contributed by Danny Scholfield, Managing Director of Expert Security UK.

Access the right areas - Making a smart home genius with biometrics
Access the right areas - Making a smart home genius with biometrics

Household adoption of smart home systems currently sits at 12.1% and is set to grow to 21.4% by 2025, expanding the market from US$ 78.3 billion to US$ 135 billion, in the same period. Although closely linked to the growth of connectivity technologies, including 5G, tech-savvy consumers are also recognising the benefits of next-generation security systems, to protect and secure their domestic lives. Biometric technologies are already commonplace in our smartphones, PCs and payment cards, enhancing security without compromising convenience. Consequently, manufacturers and developers are taking note of biometric solutions, as a way of levelling-up their smart home solutions. Biometrics offer enhanced security As with any home, security starts at the front door and the first opportunity for biometrics to make a smart home genius lies within the smart lock. Why? Relying on inconvenient unsecure PINs and codes takes the ‘smart’ out of smart locks. As the number of connected systems in our homes increase, we cannot expect consumers to create, remember and use an ever-expanding list of unique passwords and PINs. Indeed, 60% of consumers feel they have too many to remember and the number can be as high as 85 for all personal and private accounts. Biometric solutions strengthen home access control Biometric solutions have a real opportunity to strengthen the security and convenience of home access control Doing this risks consumers becoming apathetic with security, as 41% of consumers admit to re-using the same password or introducing simple minor variations, increasing the risk of hacks and breaches from weak or stolen passwords. Furthermore, continually updating and refreshing passwords, and PINs is unappealing and inconvenient. Consequently, biometric solutions have a real opportunity to strengthen the security and convenience of home access control. Positives of on-device biometric storage Biometric authentication, such as fingerprint recognition uses personally identifiable information, which is stored securely on-device. By using on-device biometric storage, manufacturers are supporting the 38% of consumers, who are worried about privacy and biometrics, and potentially winning over the 17% of people, who don’t use smart home devices for this very reason. Compared to conventional security, such as passwords, PINs or even keys, which can be spoofed, stolen, forgotten or lost, biometrics is difficult to hack and near impossible to spoof. Consequently, homes secured with biometric smart locks are made safer in a significantly more seamless and convenient way for the user. Biometric smart locks Physical access in our domestic lives doesn’t end at the front door with smart locks. Biometrics has endless opportunities to ease our daily lives, replacing passwords and PINs in all devices. Biometric smart locks provide personalised access control to sensitive and hazardous areas, such as medicine cabinets, kitchen drawers, safes, kitchen appliances and bike locks. They offer effective security with a touch or glance. Multi-tenanted sites, such as apartment blocks and student halls, can also become smarter and more secure. With hundreds of people occupying the same building, maintaining high levels of security is the responsibility for every individual occupant. Biometric smart locks limit entry to authorised tenants and eliminate the impact of lost or stolen keys, and passcodes. Furthermore, there’s no need for costly lock replacements and when people leave the building permanently, their data is easily removed from the device. Authorised building access Like biometric smart locks in general, the benefits extend beyond the front door Like biometric smart locks in general, the benefits extend beyond the front door, but also throughout the entire building, such as washing rooms, mail rooms, bike rooms and community spaces, such as gyms. Different people might have different levels of access to these areas, depending on their contracts, creating an access control headache. But, by having biometric smart locks, security teams can ensure that only authorised people have access to the right combination of rooms and areas. Convenience of biometric access cards Additionally, if building owners have options. The biometric sensors can be integrated into the doors themselves, thereby allowing users to touch the sensor, to unlock the door and enter. Furthermore, the latest technology allows biometric access cards to be used. This embeds the sensor into a contactless keycard, allowing the user to place their thumb on the sensor and tap the card to unlock the door. This may be preferable in circumstances where contactless keycards are already in use and can be upgraded. Smarter and seamless security In tandem with the growth of the smart home ecosystem, biometrics has real potential to enhance our daily lives, by delivering smarter, seamless and more convenient security. Significant innovation has made biometrics access control faster, more accurate and secure. Furthermore, today’s sensors are durable and energy efficient. With the capacity for over 10 million touches and ultra-low power consumption, smart home system developers no longer have to worry about added power demands. As consumers continue to invest in their homes and explore new ways to secure and access them, biometrics offers a golden opportunity for market players, to differentiate and make smart homes even smarter.

Latest BPT Security Systems (UK) Limited news

Interphone safeguards Ardmore Construction buildings by installing integrated security systems
Interphone safeguards Ardmore Construction buildings by installing integrated security systems

Interphone, the security systems and building technology integrator, completes an advanced project for Ardmore Construction at the high-profile Sutton Point development, a vibrant new community at the heart of the London Borough of Sutton. The company was appointed to design and install the integrated security systems, which includes fibre infrastructure, BPT door entry, PAC access control, IP-networked CCTV and an IRS communal aerial system with SKY Q. The installation has been recognised by the UK Outstanding Security Performance Awards (OSPAs) with Interphone nominated as a 2019 finalist in the Outstanding Security Installer category. Fibre backbone network The Interphone project team took the decision to move to fibre infrastructure to improve performance “Through the effort and commitment of our team the project was successfully completed on-time, within budget, and to the highest possible standards notwithstanding design changes in the building along the way, which required modification to our own design and approach to aspects of the installation,” explained Albert Dwek, Sales Manager at Interphone Limited. In particular, the Interphone project team took the decision to move to fibre infrastructure to improve performance and ensure it could deliver a high-specification security system. As a result, the company created a fibre backbone network, which allows CCTV images to be viewed in true 1080p/4k without compromising any other components of the system. Responsive working relationships Interphone worked closely with services engineers QuinnRoss Consultants Limited throughout the project. Michael Keenleyside, Electrical Engineer at Quinn Ross commented: “We pride ourselves on our ability to deliver the best possible service and solution for each of our clients, so it is essential to have highly responsive working relationships in place with key technology partners.” “Interphone was flexible and adaptive throughout the design and installation phases of the development, which ensure that any changes to system requirements were handled quickly and efficiently. Their team’s knowledge, understanding and commitment was essential to the success of the project.” The sophisticated CCTV solution incorporates a site-wide, IP-networked camera system and full-perimeter PTZ (Pan Tilt and zoom) camera system from HIKvision. Greater compression The full-perimeter system runs in real-time over three towers, three remote stations and two virtual concierge points with interlock ability The full-perimeter system runs in real-time over three towers, three remote stations and two virtual concierge points with interlock ability. The external PTZ camera images, recorded onsite, are also shared with the local police. This means the management company can keep the site secure for its residents, while allowing the police to protect the area in and around the development against crime. The PAC access control system enables all management tasks related to the tenants and staff to be administered from the central computer as and when required, ensuring the highest level of security around the site and added peace of mind. Meanwhile, BPT’s XIP door entry system offers significantly greater compression, providing the clearest and highest quality AV currently available, even with the significant background noise. Building communications The added PCS concierge facility also has improved switchboard software performance, delivering full control of building communications at two desks, so the system will never be engaged and never miss a visitor call. The primary focus when designing this project was the delivery of a system that could expand to meet changing requirements" “The primary focus when designing this project was the delivery of a system that could expand to meet changing requirements. As a result, we have implemented a system that not only uses the most up-to-date technology, but by its design, has been future proofed with the ability to grow. Therefore, the developer can meet all its internal requirements and ensure high levels of security for residents, visitors and members of the public,” commented Dwek. Technical capabilities David Dobouny, Operations Director at Interphone Limited added: “We are committed to the highest levels of service delivery. This project was selected to demonstrate our technical capabilities covering access control and CCTV systems for our NSI accreditation. We achieved a grade A rating, with zero faults and no negative comments regarding on-and off-site documentation, design and installation. This is a fantastic achievement for everyone involved, especially considering the size of the project.” Sutton Point is a large-scale mixed-use scheme located close to the town centre. The high-profile development included the full demolition of an existing tower, and the design and construction of 332 one-and two-bedroom apartments, prime three-bedroom penthouses, 21,000 square feet of retail space, 18,000 square feet of office space and an 80-bedroom hotel.

IFSEC 2016: Physical Perimeter Security Zone to feature latest security products
IFSEC 2016: Physical Perimeter Security Zone to feature latest security products

The enhanced Physical Perimeter Security Zone at IFSEC International 2016 will occupy over 1,000 square metres of dedicated floor space IFSEC International, Europe’s largest security exhibition, will enhance its dedicated Physical Perimeter Security Zone in 2016 with many leading suppliers within the sector already confirmed to participate. Taking place from 21-23 June 2016 at London’s ExCeL, IFSEC International continues to announce further exciting details and new additions to the 2016 flagship event. Physical security suppliers exhibit latest products With more than 27,000 visitors annually attending IFSEC International and in 2015 5,200 of those directly expressed an interest in physical perimeter security, for 2016 organisers have confirmed that the Physical Perimeter Security Zone will host global leaders supplying a range of products. The UK’s premier supplier of automatic gates, parking barriers, retractable turnstiles and tubular motors, CAME UK along with sister company BPT, the UK’s number one provider of bespoke and vandal resistant audio video door entry systems, have been confirmed as a flagship exhibitor within the Physical Perimeter Security Zone. Taking a 60 square metre stand and exhibiting as CAME BPT they will showcase their latest products to launch within this sector in 2016. James Bostock, Managing Director for CAME BPT UK, said: “Commitment to excellent customer relationships and dedication to product quality are the cornerstones of our success. Our participation in this year’s IFSEC International provides an ideal opportunity to demonstrate both to a wider audience. As the UK’s leading multi-discipline manufacturer in the automation and access control sector, we look forward to showcasing why our products and people continue to set the standard, and why more and more security industry professionals are choosing to work with us.” Growth of perimeter security market Peter Poole, Sales Director for IFSEC International says: “We are delighted to see CAME BPT back at IFSEC International and taking a flagship position within the Physical Perimeter Security Zone. We are continually adding to this zone and plan to announce more major new additions in the coming weeks.  Having listened to feedback from the industry we wanted to ensure that our physical perimeter security offering met the needs of this vital market segment that showcases the very latest products, services and innovations.” According to a recent study by Marketsandmarkets the perimeter security market is expected to reach 13.18Bn by 2020. The rising numbers of perimeter intrusion incidents are the underlying reason behind this solid growth, prompting organisations to shell out more to mitigate losses in the eventuality of an intrusion. Additionally, with increased security threats from terrorism the importance of protecting property and assets is paramount to all security strategies. Security exhibitors at IFSEC International 2016 According to a recent study by Marketsandmarkets the perimeter security market is expected to reach 13.18Bn by 2020 Another leading exhibitor to confirm their spot within the zone is Marshalls PLC, the UK’s leading hard landscaping manufacturer, specialising in intelligent street furniture. Marshalls will exhibit the latest products from its Protective Street Furniture ranges including PAS68 crash tested seating, planters, lighting along with post & rail systems. The enhanced Physical Perimeter Security Zone at IFSEC International 2016 will occupy over 1,000 square metres of dedicated floor space. In addition, the zone will now offer much more space to specialist manufacturers to fully display and demonstrate their products. All aspects of the sector will be covered including barriers, acoustic barriers, boom barriers, height restrictors, high security street furniture, blast protection, perimeter detection, blast walls, perimeter structures, bollards, protective bunkers, fencing, roadblockers, gate automation and turnstiles. Currently joining CAME BPT and Marshalls PLC within the zone are over 30 other companies including; Birmingham Barbed Tape, Blok n Mesh, DEA System, Engtex, GIlgen Doors, GM Techtronics, Kijlstra Precast, LPCB, Nitesite, Robust UK, Townscape Products, to name a few. IFSEC International will run from 21-23 June in 2016 and will once again be presented as part of UBM EMEA’s Protection & Management Series, the UK’s largest event dedicated to protecting and managing property, people and information. The series incorporates major events including IFSEC International along with FIREX International, Facilities Show, Safety & Health Expo and Service Management Expo. The series of events annually attract more than 40,000 attendees over three days to ExCeL London, in 2016 the series will run from 21 -23 June.

All-over-IP Expo 2015 to witness latest security technology and innovations
All-over-IP Expo 2015 to witness latest security technology and innovations

All-over-IP Expo brings together recognised global ICT and security brands to educate local sales partners and end-customers Meeting the right people and getting hands on with the newest technology are central to the All-over-IP Expo experience. With new exhibitors joining the show in Moscow in 2015, local sales partners and end-customers have even a better opportunity. Latest innovations to be showcased In 2015, the latest innovations in video surveillance, data storage, networks, identity management, access control, enterprise communications, IP intercom, building automation, and physical security showcased at All-over-IP Expo are enriched by 2N, Commend International GmbH, Seagate, BPT/CAME GROUP, ALL Connect Systems, ACESEE, Lex Computech, LTV, Iron Logic, SpaceCam, STRAZH, VARIFO, ASTERO, etc. Global ICT and security brands Celebrating its 8th year, All-over-IP Expo brings together recognised global ICT and security brands to educate local sales partners and end-customers on the technology that will enable them to succeed: 3CX, Abloy, Axis Communications, Avigilon, AxxonSoft, BAS-IP, Basler, Bosch Security, Dahua, Dallmeier, Fujinon, GeoVision, HID Global, Hikvision, Milestone Systems, MOBOTIX, Net GmbH, NUUO, Panasonic, QNAP, SALTO Systems, SIEMENS, SONY, Suprema, Synology, Tamron, Urmet, UTC Fire & Security, VIDEOTEC, VIVOTEK, Western Digital, etc. All-over-IP Expo 2015 is a networking platform for global IT, surveillance and security vendors, key local customers and sales partners where they share knowledge and exchange ideas that are financially rewarding for business. All-over-IP Expo brings together major brands to ensure the best marketplace for the latest technology and innovation, and to lead customers to the Next Big Thing.

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