Electronic keypads - Expert commentary

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.

The digital transformation of access control solutions
The digital transformation of access control solutions

The safeguarding of premises through the monitoring of entrance and exit points has traditionally been a very manual aspect of security. Human operators have been relied on to make decisions about who to admit and deny based on levels of authorisation and the appropriate credentials. But the access control business, like many industries before it, is undergoing its own digital transformation; one where the protection of premises, assets and people is increasingly delivered by interconnected systems utilising IoT devices and cloud infrastructure to offer greater levels of security and protection. Modern access control solutions range from simple card readers to two factor authentication systems using video surveillance as a secondary means of identification, right through to complex networks of thermal cameras, audio speakers and sensors. These systems, connected through the cloud, can be customised and scaled to meet the precise requirements of today’s customer. And it’s the ease of cloud integration, combined with open technologies and platforms that is encouraging increasing collaboration and exciting developments while rendering legacy systems largely unfit for purpose. Remote management and advanced diagnostics Cloud technology and IoT connectivity means remote management and advanced diagnostics form an integral part of every security solution.Cloud technology and IoT connectivity means remote management and advanced diagnostics form an integral part of every security solution. For example, as the world faces an unprecedented challenge and the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause disruption, the ability to monitor and manage access to sites remotely is a welcome advantage for security teams who might otherwise have to check premises in person and risk breaking social distancing regulations. The benefits of not physically having to be on site extend to the locations within which these technologies can be utilised. As an example, within a critical infrastructure energy project, access can be granted remotely for maintenance on hard to reach locations. Advanced diagnostics can also play a part in such a scenario. When access control is integrated with video surveillance and IP audio, real-time monitoring of access points can identify possible trespassers with automated audio messages used to deter illegal access and making any dangers clear. And with video surveillance in the mix, high quality footage can be provided to authorities with real-time evidence of a crime in progress. Comprehensive protection in retail Within the retail industry, autonomous, cashier-less stores are already growing in popularity The use of connected technologies for advanced protection extends to many forward-looking applications. Within the retail industry, autonomous, cashier-less stores are already growing in popularity. Customers are able to use mobile technology to self-scan their chosen products and make payments, all from using a dedicated app. From an access control and security perspective, connected doors can be controlled to protect staff and monitor shopper movement. Remote management includes tasks such as rolling out firmware updates or restarting door controllers, with push notifications sent immediately to security personnel in the event of a breach or a door left open. Remote monitoring access control in storage In the storage facility space, this too can now be entirely run through the cloud with remote monitoring of access control and surveillance providing a secure and streamlined service. There is much to gain from automating the customer journey, where storage lockers are selected online and, following payment, customers are granted access. Through an app the customer can share their access with others, check event logs, and activate notifications. With traditional padlocks the sharing of access is not as practical, and it’s not easy for managers to keep a record of storage locker access. Online doors and locks enable monitoring capabilities and heightened security for both operators and customers. The elimination of manual tasks, in both scenarios, represents cost savings. When doors are connected to the cloud, their geographical location is rendered largely irrelevant. Online doors and locks enable monitoring capabilities and heightened security for both operators and customers They become IoT devices which are fully integrated and remotely programmable from anywhere, at any time. This creates a powerful advantage for the managers of these environments, making it possible to report on the status of a whole chain of stores, or to monitor access to numerous storage facilities, using the intelligence that the technology provides from the data it collects. Open platforms power continuous innovation All of these examples rely on open technology to make it possible, allowing developers and technology providers to avoid the pitfalls that come with the use of proprietary systems. The limitations of such systems have meant that the ideas, designs and concepts of the few have stifled the creativity and potential of the many, holding back innovation and letting the solutions become tired and their application predictable. Proprietary systems have meant that solution providers have been unable to meet their customers’ requirements until the latest upgrade becomes available or a new solution is rolled out. This use of open technology enables a system that allows for collaboration, the sharing of ideas and for the creation of partnerships to produce ground-breaking new applications of technology. Open systems demonstrate a confidence in a vendor’s own solutions and a willingness to share and encourage others to innovate and to facilitate joint learning. An example of the dynamic use of open technology is Axis’ physical access control hardware, which enables partners to develop their own cloud-based software for control and analysis of access points, all the while building and expanding on Axis’ technology platform. Modern access control solutions range from simple card readers to two factor authentication systems using video surveillance as a secondary means of identification Opportunities for growth Open hardware, systems and platforms create opportunities for smaller and younger companies to participate and compete, giving them a good starting point, and some leverage within the industry when building and improving upon existing, proven technologies. This is important for the evolution and continual relevance of the physical security industry in a digitally enabled world. Through increased collaboration across technology platforms, and utilising the full range of possibilities afforded by the cloud environment, the manufacturers, vendors and installers of today’s IP enabled access control systems can continue to create smart solutions to meet the ever-changing demands and requirements of their customers across industry.

Smart home access control growth and the future of door security
Smart home access control growth and the future of door security

There’s growing noise around smart homes and smarter security. You’ve probably heard it. But there is a place where access control and more have been smart for decades: the workplace. Home automation and IoT are still playing catch-up with the commercial sector. A new insights report from ASSA ABLOY and IFSEC Global — “The Smart Door Locks Report 2018” — measures just how fast consumer smart technology is running. According to a survey conducted for the report, 61% of households now claim to own at least one smart home device or system. Energy monitors, home CCTV cameras, intruder alarms and smart door locks are the most popular, according to the report. All these functions, of course, have been available to businesses for years.61% of households now claim to own at least one smart home device or system Educating the smart home consumer Paradoxically, report data also questions how much consumers really know about their smarter home. A surprising 42% of those surveyed, for example, were unaware they could control a smart door lock from their phone. In fact, many leading smart door lock models offer this feature, delivered by Wi-Fi or Bluetooth and an app. Despite a wealth of features offered by the latest smart door locks — remote and location-based locking/unlocking; voice activation; timed access; emailed entry alerts; and integration with smart camera and lighting systems — most people still have limited knowledge of their capabilities.  Smart technology is increasingly becoming the new norm in terms of home security  Only 14% of survey respondents described themselves as “very familiar” with what a smart lock can do. Even though most of them probably use smart access control solutions at their workplace. Secure homes through smart technology Monitoring and security are not the only drivers for smart home adoption. We humans also love convenience, and modern living presents us with problems that smart home technology can solve. Ironically, given the report’s findings, it takes a smartphone to really unlock the convenient possibilities of smarter living. The device that’s “always to hand” is central to the newest generation of smart door locks.A smart door lock is a convenient way for a landlord or agency to offer round-the-clock check-in and check-out If homeowners wish to remotely manage property access for friends and family, many smart door locks oblige. You let in guests remotely, send them a virtual digital key, or provide a temporary or single-use PIN to unlock the door. It is just as easy to revoke a digital key, if you don’t want its owner to come around anymore. This is a significant improvement over sharing physical keys — or hiding one under the doormat. We cannot be totally sure where a metal key ends up and have no way to track or cancel it once it’s “out in the wild”. Commercial access control offers such functionality as standard, of course.  In addition, smart door locks offer more than just stand-alone operation and clever functions. In a domestic setting, magic happens when locks work in harmony with a home automation system, connected by protocols like Z-Wave, ZigBee or Wi-Fi. "Smart" security on the move  The smartphone is becoming a remote control for managing a connected life beyond just home (and even workplace) security. According to Accenture, the parcel delivery services market will grow by $343 billion by 2020. Just like home security, convenience is a major driver of change. Homeowners can send guests a virtual digital key to their phones, or provide a temporary or single-use PIN to unlock the door A recent PostNord pilot in Sweden aimed to remove the inconvenience of waiting home for a postal delivery. Selected customers of some major Scandinavian e-retailers could choose to have parcels delivered inside their front door, if it was equipped with a Yale smart door lock.  Home delivery is among potential smart services covered in “The Smart Door Locks Report 2018 ”. When asked whether the ability to receive parcels securely in a porch or lobby would make them more likely to invest in a smart door lock, 79% said it would.It is easy to revoke a digital key, if you don’t want its owner to come around anymore Holiday rentals and smart home tech ASSA ABLOY research published in 2017 forecasts continued growth in the European holiday rentals sector (at 5.8% CAGR). Smart door locks are also making an impact here, at both ends of the market: for service providers — agents and homeowners — and for travellers. A smart door lock is a convenient way for a landlord or agency to offer round-the-clock check-in and check-out, without creating extra work or staff costs. Both Intersoft, in Croatia, and Hoomvip in Spain have built holiday rentals management systems around an app and the ENTR® smart door lock. Agents issue, revoke, track and manage virtual keys for all their guests, saving everyone time and hassle. Travellers use their phones and an app to unlock their apartment. For these visitors the smartphone is already an essential travel accessory. It is a boarding pass, a credit card, a travel guide, and a postcard home... why not a door key, too? And if this key is backed by a trusted home security brand — and a company with vast experience in the mature market for commercial “smart” security — better still.

Latest HID Global news

HID Global announces Aero Controller Platform with encrypted communication and threat detection
HID Global announces Aero Controller Platform with encrypted communication and threat detection

Building on the success of HID’s Mercury, HID Global, a worldwide provider in trusted identity solutions, has announced the HID Aero platform featuring its next generation of open-architecture intelligent controllers that increase choices for a wide range of businesses while future-proofing access control investments as requirements change. “HID Aero is providing a broader market with features that were generally available only in solutions for larger organisations, while eliminating the ongoing cost and complexity of designing, manufacturing and maintaining panel hardware at the same time,” said Jaroslav Barton, Director of Product Marketing at HID Global. “It also brings end-to-end security to everyday applications with encrypted communication and threat detection, and robust features to meet corporate compliance.” Access control software with low maintenance Based on HID’s Mercury hardware used in more than four million panels shipped globally, the HID Aero platform speeds development time for access control solution providers by including all required hardware, firmware, software and development tools. Benefits for users include: Easily adaptable to evolving requirements: Users can choose from a large variety of access control software providers when deploying solutions. Systems are also easy to migrate to new software and highly configurable to dynamically enhance situational awareness. Lower installation and maintenance costs: HID Aero enables remote management capabilities with HID readers supporting Open Supervised Device Protocol (OSDP), including its recently announced Signo readers with built-in support. This minimises the need for field inspection and reconfiguration. Key encryption and backward compatibilty End-to-end security from credential to host: HID Aero brings to smaller businesses many features generally available only in enterprise-class solutions, including host and controller authentication, encryption to protect keys and sophisticated threat detection. Trusted reliability, proven technology: Based on HID Mercury panel hardware and system technology, the durable controllers fit in the same footprint as earlier HID VertX® controllers and are backward compatible with HID VertX modules to simplify upgrades.

HID Global helps banks to protect data and transactions and provide seamless customer experience
HID Global helps banks to protect data and transactions and provide seamless customer experience

As consumers embrace the convenience of online and mobile banking at traditional and the latest all-digital financial institutions, it has become an increasingly difficult challenge to combat cybersecurity threats while complying with regulatory data-protection mandates. HID Global, a provider of trusted identity solutions, has solved those challenges for numerous banks as part of their digital transformations. “Our solutions protect data and transactions while delivering a seamless experience for the consumer and maximum flexibility for banks,” said Brad Jarvis, Vice President and Managing Director of Identity & Access Management Solutions (IAMS) with HID Global. Cloud-based authentication services “This includes the option of cloud-based authentication services that remove the complexity of providing multifactor authentication to a growing and diverse user population while also offering the convenience and efficiency of centralised regulatory compliance audits.” Here are a few examples of how HID is helping address some of the most challenging mobile banking issues: A retail bank in Egypt has improved compliance and reduced fraud and operational costs with an HID® Trusted Transactions® solution that is pre-integrated with Temenos digital front office and core banking products. A Swiss wealth management group is using the solution, along with HID ActivID® Authentication Server, to optimise flexibility while protecting mobile banking transactions and securing corporate data, applications and systems. In addition to many others, two banks in Eastern Europe and the UK are using the solution for quick and easy compliance with Second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) regulations. Ensuring business continuity The use of digital channels has grown in Europe by up to 20 percent during the COVID-19 pandemic Even with financial institutions returning to normal operating hours, many believe digital banking will grow in importance as part of ensuring business continuity and supporting customers who prefer not to visit their local branch during the health crisis. According to a McKinsey & Company, the use of digital channels has grown in Europe by up to 20 percent during the COVID-19 pandemic. “In just a couple of months, customers’ adoption of digital banking has leapt forward by a couple of years,” the article’s authors wrote. Threat and fraud detection “Our most recent customer survey showed a 10 to 20 percent rise in digital banking use across Europe in April. Many Italian banks are striving to enable every single one of their customers to use digital banking. Such a jump in adoption opens the door for banks to turn digital channels into real sales channels, not just convenient self-service tools.” HID Global’s complete HID Trusted Transactions offering includes the HID Authentication platform delivered either as a server or service, plus a choice of hardware tokens or the HID Approve multi-factor authentication solution with mobile push notification capabilities, and HID Risk Management Solution (RMS) – Threat and Fraud Detection. The comprehensive offering delivers risk-based adaptive authentication, threat detection and transaction signing.

HID Global expands biometric identity verification to police forces and military installations around the globe
HID Global expands biometric identity verification to police forces and military installations around the globe

HID Global, a worldwide provider of trusted identity solutions, announced the expansion of its biometrics identification management solutions to police departments and military installations around the globe. A large police force that covers a major capital city in Europe is using its HID NOMAD 30 Pocket Reader for rapid suspect identification in the field. Initially launched for Android platforms, the solution’s SDK is now available for iOS devices. This extends Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) benefits to a wider scope of clients who seek a truly flexible and mobile single-fingerprint verification solution. Mobile biometric solutions “The expansion of our offering to include iOS platforms broadens the adaptability and application of our mobile biometric solutions and equips our customers - from law enforcement to military officials - with the confidence to achieve rapid identification anywhere,” said Jessica Westerouen van Meeteren, VP and Managing Director, Citizen Identity with HID Global. “Ensuring that our portfolio of proven solutions is optimised with the latest, best-in-class capabilities to create safer societies is key to our mission as a global leader in trusted identities.” Biometric reader hardware The HID NOMAD 30 Pocket Reader’s rapid identification capabilities offer improved operational efficiency The HID NOMAD 30 Pocket Reader’s PIV-certified sensor enables end-users, such as law enforcement officers, to quickly capture and verify single fingerprints against databases and eliminates the need to transport suspects to a central booking station. With Android and iOS availability driving wider adoption, officers can simply pair their own mobile devices with the biometric reader hardware and perform watchlist matching within minutes while in the field, leaving custody space open for confirmed offenders. The HID NOMAD 30 Pocket Reader’s rapid identification capabilities offer improved operational efficiency and reduce time and booking costs associated with processing a suspect in a police station. During the first year of deployment, one city saw a six-fold increase in the number of suspects identified and more than $600,000 in savings. Extending biometrics to military bases As a provider of mobile biometrics, HID Global also provides a broad range of biometric identity management solutions to customers beyond law enforcement. One of the company’s many offerings include the HID SEEK Avenger rugged handheld biometric reader that is used by military bases around the world to accurately identify individuals and provide access to their premises. The solution captures high-quality fingerprints and IAP-40 compliant iris images for verification against as many as 250,000 records and offers offline functionality in harsh environments where connectivity is compromised. HID recently extended the HID SEEK Avenger biometric reader with several features, such as support for Windows 10, an upgraded camera, double the memory and hard drive capacity for enhanced speed and performance, which expands upon its powerful watchlist matching capabilities.

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