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the need for employees and visitors to physically touch a surface when using an access control system — upgrading the outdated technologies can be cumbersome and expensive, especially for organizations that had not planned for an interruption like the pandemic.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

Infineon and Fingerprint Cards collaborate to drive mass deployment of biometric cards
Infineon and Fingerprint Cards collaborate to drive mass deployment of biometric cards

Biometric payment cards with an integrated fingerprint sensor make contactless payments more convenient, more secure and hygienic. The contactless card remains in the hands of the cardholder throughout the entire payment transaction, while eliminating the need for PIN entries or signatures to authorise even high-value payments. Infineon Technologies AG and Fingerprint Cards AB have joined forces to enable mass deployment of this emerging solution.  The pioneers for security controller in contactless payment and for fingerprint sensors, including their related software, aim to provide card makers with biometric semiconductor solutions which make integration particularly cost-efficient and scalable. The fingerprint information is stored on the card’s embedded secure element and not shared with any third party, thus protecting the user’s credentials.  Biometric payment cards  “Authorising payments without handing over the card is a huge step forward in terms of user experience, data security and hygiene. We selected Fingerprints as they are the leading biometric silicon and technology provider with market proven performance. Jointly, we want to drive the industrialisation of biometric payment cards from a niche into mass market rollout,” said Bjoern Scharfen, Head of the Payment and Transport Ticketing product line at Infineon. Collaboration is key in the payment ecosystem, in which Infineon is a leading player" “Combining Fingerprints’ leading biometric technology with our expertise in chip security, energy efficiency and contactless performance, we will develop a system solution that is easy to integrate and gives our customers a head start in an emerging growth market.”  “Collaboration is key in the payment ecosystem, in which Infineon is a leading player. Together we will produce an optimised solution that will make it easier for card manufacturers to integrate biometrics into future generations of contactless payment cards, ultimately putting these cards into the hands of consumers around the world to enable a worry-free payment experience,” says Michel Roig, SVP Business Line Payments & Access at Fingerprints.  Excellent contactless performance  Fingerprints’ sensor modules, combined with Infineon’s 40 nm high-performance and energy-efficient security controllers based on the 32-bit ARM® SC300™ SecurCore®, fully support the requirements of biometric payment cards. They enable:  Secured matching of the fingerprint image within the security controller where the private data is securely stored Excellent contactless performance despite the increased power required Convenient and reliable enrollment of sensitive biometric data in the card Almost every second payment card with a chip worldwide has an Infineon security controller at its core. Infineon also supplied chip solutions for major biometric card projects and pilots in 2020.  

Sectigo partners with Infineon Technologies AG to provide automated certificate provisioning
Sectigo partners with Infineon Technologies AG to provide automated certificate provisioning

Sectigo, a provider of automated digital identity management and web security solutions, announces a partnership with Infineon Technologies AG to provide automated certificate provisioning for Infineon’s OPTIGA™ Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0 using Sectigo IoT Identity Manager. The integration provides manufacturers with a complete certificate management solution, including issuance and renewal, starting right on the factory floor, with secure certificate creation and insertion using the OPTIGA™ TPM for private key storage. Strong authentication and secure communication “Including a TPM chip in an IoT device design is the first step in enabling strong authentication and secure communication for IoT devices,” explained Alan Grau, VP of IoT/Embedded Solutions at Sectigo. “Together, Sectigo and Infineon are enabling device manufactures to leverage strong authentication and secure communication for IoT devices during the manufacturing of the device itself. This integration not only automates the process of provisioning certificates for IoT devices, but also delivers a complete PKI solution leveraging Sectigo’s highly secure cloud infrastructure.” Device manufacturers across industries recognise the need to strengthen the security of their devices Device manufacturers across industries increasingly recognise the need to strengthen the security of their devices. The Sectigo-Infineon joint solution enables manufacturers to provide the enhanced levels of security required to protect their devices and to ensure compliance with ever-emerging and evolving IoT security standards and regulations across the globe. Device identity certificates For example, manufacturers are able to provision certificates into devices before they leave the factory, so that their connected IoT and IIoT products comply with the authentication requirements of the California IoT Security Law, along with other similar legislation. Device identity certificates enable strong authentication and the TPM—a specialised chip on an endpoint device—provides secure key storage to ensure keys are protected against attacks. The joint solution enables the insertion of certificates into the device during the manufacturing of the device, when the device is first provisioned into a network, or into the TPM chip itself before the chip is shipped to the manufacturer. By installing certificates into the TPM chip prior to manufacturing, manufacturers are able to track the component throughout the supply chain to protect against device counterfeiting, ensuring that only authentic devices are manufactured. Securing and authenticating connected devices Together with our partner Sectigo, we are now also able to offer automated factory provisioning" “Infineon’s audited and certified TPMs enable manufacturers of connected devices to achieve higher levels of security. Together with our partner Sectigo, we are now also able to offer automated factory provisioning. This gives our customers a proven path combining ease of integration with the benefits of higher security performance,” said Lars Wemme, Head of IoT Security at Infineon Technologies. The Sectigo IoT Identity Platform removes the complexity associated with securing and authenticating connected devices so that businesses can protect their infrastructure in an easy, scalable, cost-effective, way. The platform enables enterprises and OEMs to ensure the integrity and identity of their devices and maintain that security by managing certificates throughout the lifecycle of the device. Broad portfolio of security controllers Infineon’s OPTIGA™ security solutions, including the OPTIGA™ TPM, offer a broad portfolio of security controllers to protect the integrity and authenticity of embedded devices and systems. With a secure key store and support for a variety of encryption algorithms, the security chips provide robust protection for critical data and processes through their rich functionality—and are essential for strong device identity solutions because the crypto co-processor can securely store the private key of the device. Infineon’s proven key storage, coupled with Sectigo’s automated certificate issuance and management, delivers a robust, automated and easy-to-use PKI solution for device manufacturers.

IHS: Worldwide industrial semiconductor revenues grew by 18 percent in 2014
IHS: Worldwide industrial semiconductor revenues grew by 18 percent in 2014

Worldwide industrial semiconductor revenues grew by 18 percent year over year in 2014, according to IHS Inc., the leading global source of critical information and insight. Global industrial semiconductor revenue in 2014 totaled $40.4 billion, up from $34.3 billion in 2013. The year-over-year increase follows solid growth of 13 percent in 2013, a decline of 3 percent in 2012 and 12 percent growth in 2011. The strong performance achieved in 2014 represents the highest annual growth rate, since the 36 percent boom in 2010. “Gradual acceleration in the global economy, led by the United States and China, continued to lift industrial equipment demand,” said Robbie Galoso, principal analyst, IHS Technology. “Broad-based growth in industrial electronics gained momentum in the semiconductor industry, especially in products used for factory automation control, commercial avionics, LED lighting, digital internet-protocol cameras, climate control, renewable energy, traction, wireless application-specific testers and oil and gas exploration equipment.” Moderate growth expected this year Based on the latest information from the IHS Industrial Semiconductors service, the industrial electronics category is expected to continue its strong momentum, as the top application-revenue driver in the semiconductor industry, through 2019. Industrial semiconductor revenue growth is expected to increase 7 percent in 2015, with continued growth forecast for many segments; however, more moderate growth is expected this year, due mainly to slowed growth in memory, logic and analog products used in building and home control, military and civil aerospace, and test and measurement. With improving financial results in the long term, the industrial semiconductor market is expected to be on track to reach 6 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2014 and 2019. 2014 top 10 company ranking variations Texas Instruments maintained its strong position as the largest industrial semiconductor supplier in the world, followed by STMicroelectronics and Infineon Technologies. Both Micron Technology and ON Semiconductor both made their way into the top-10 industrial semiconductor supplier ranking list in 2014. "Micron jumped into the top 10 last year, due to the success of their product-longevity program, which reinforced their commitment to the industrial market", said Robbie Galoso, principal analyst, IHS Technology “Micron jumped into the top 10 last year, due to the success of their product-longevity program, which reinforced their commitment to the industrial market and leveraged the company’s 2013 acquisition of Elpida Memory,” Galoso said. “Micron’s product longevity program continued to grow quickly in 2014, which helped the company become the undisputed global industrial memory chip supplier.” The other big mover among the top 10, On Semiconductor, was boosted by its acquisition of Aptina, a leading complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) image sensor supplier in the industrial market, which moved the merged company into tenth position in the rankings. Because both Micron and ON Semiconductor made their way into the top 10 rankings, both Maxim Integrated Products and Cree were displaced. Strategic acquisitions to play major role “Strategic acquisitions will continue to play a major role in shaping the overall semiconductor market rankings in key industrial semiconductor segments,” Galoso said. “Infineon and NXP will soon upgrade their positions among the top semiconductor suppliers in 2015, due to their acquisitions of International Rectifier and Freescale Semiconductor respectively.” The combined industrial semiconductor revenues for NXP and Freescale last year would amount to $1.3 billion. A joint NXP Freescale would be ranked in sixth place, behind Analog Devices; NXP was previously ranked 16th while Freescale was ranked 17th. The combined company will catapult into the top 10 for major industrial applications, and impressive share gains will be realised -- especially in manufacturing and process automation, military and civil aerospace, power and energy and medical electronics. On the other hand, the combined Infineon International Rectifier would generate $2.3 billion in industrial semiconductor revenues, which would catapult the merged company into second place in last year’s rankings. Among the top 10 semiconductor suppliers, nine companies achieved growth in 2014 and seven of those companies posted double-digit growth. Out of the top 10 companies, only one, Renesas Electronics, suffered a decline, as the Japanese semiconductor market and suppliers continued to struggle. Industrial semiconductor market revenues on the upswing Among the top 10 semiconductor suppliers, nine companies achieved growth in 2014 and seven of those companies posted double-digit growth Optical Semiconductor delivered the strongest performance, thanks to the continued strength of the LED market. The highest semiconductor device absolute revenue growth from 2014 to 2019 will come from LEDs, which is expected to grow from $6.3 billion to $12.6 billion—stemming from the global general lighting LED lighting boom, with most countries banning incandescent bulbs in 2014. Discrete power transistors, thyristors, rectifier and power diodes are expected to grow from $6 billion to $7.3 billion, due to the policy shift toward energy efficiency. Microcontrollers (MCUs) are also expected to experience robust growth in the long-term, growing from $4.3 billion to $5.8 billion, because of advances in power efficiency and integration features. Out of more than 27 semiconductor segments, 26 achieved increased year-over-year growth in 2014. All 7 major semiconductor components grew last year, led by optical, analog integrated circuits (ICs), logic ICs, discretes, micro component ICs, memory ICs, and sensors and actuators. Both analog ICs and logic application-specific ICs achieved the strongest turnaround in growth, moving from relatively flat growth in 2013 to over 20 percent growth last year.

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