Electronic locking devices - Expert commentary

Why is key management so important?
Why is key management so important?

More and more business security practices are going digital. Mechanical keys are still the backbone of most corporate security plans, and it can be very expensive for companies to switch to electronic access control on a large scale. Therefore, enterprises need to choose the most suitable access control system. What is key management? Key management is the process of protecting, tracking, and scheduling mechanical keys. Why is this important? Because the key carries access to sensitive locations and assets within the organisation, when you increase the security of the key, you can enhance the security of these valuable resources. The key management system also controls the cost of using physical keys. The system reduces the overhead caused by key loss or security breaches. Some smaller companies may be able to adopt a paper-and-pencil key management protocol. Larger companies, or those who want to better understand and control keys, usually choose to use an electronic key management system. Key management systems can store and assign keys securely and increase the efficiency of organisation Why use a key management system? The key management system can become the cornerstone of your key control process. At the most basic level, key management systems can accomplish two things that paper and pen systems cannot: they store and assign keys securely, and they increase the efficiency of your organisation's use of keys through automation and analysis. What can key management systems do? 1) Improve access control By better protecting the keys, you can improve the access control to the spaces and devices unlocked by these keys. You can use your key management to simplify the process of providing temporary employees with one-time-key access. In addition, the system can record all their key access records, so that everyone's behavior can be traced. 2) Enhanced accountability traceability The software is a good key management system that can generate reports on key usage, user access requests, access exceptions, and loss. In addition, you can track and audit key usage in real-time. Combined with a comprehensive key control strategy, you will implement better accountability for key use to meet any industry or risk management compliance standards. 3) Reduce costs and prevent losses When an employee loses a key, you will incur direct costs for a replacement key or relocking it when it is lost When an employee loses a key, you will incur direct costs, including purchasing a replacement key or relocking it when it is lost. However, the indirect cost of key loss is usually more significant. This is because employees first spend time looking for the lost key and then process the replacement request, all of which time is not spent on production work. 4) Improve workflow As we discussed, keys are often used in important workflows. The key management system allows you to better control these workflows. A passive electronic lock system, also known as a key-centric access control system, has outstanding advantages in key management. Compared with the electronic access control system, the passive electronic lock system's "passive" characteristics have reduced the update cost for many enterprises.

Why face recognition as a credential is the ideal choice for access control?
Why face recognition as a credential is the ideal choice for access control?

In the field of access control, face recognition has come a long way. Once considered too slow to authenticate people's identities and credentials in high traffic conditions, face recognition technology has evolved to become one of the quickest, most effective access control identity authentication solutions across all industries. Advancements in artificial intelligence and advanced neural network (ANN) technology from industry leaders like Intel have improved the accuracy and efficiency of face recognition. However, another reason the technology is gaining traction is due to the swiftly rising demand for touchless access control solutions that can help mitigate the spread of disease in public spaces. Effective for high volumes Face recognition eliminates security risks and is also virtually impossible to counterfeit Modern face recognition technology meets all the criteria for becoming the go-to solution for frictionless access control. It provides an accurate, non-invasive means of authenticating people's identities in high-traffic areas, including multi-tenant office buildings, industrial sites, and factories where multiple shifts per day are common. Typical electronic access control systems rely on people providing physical credentials, such as proximity cards, key fobs, or Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones, all of which can be misplaced, lost, or stolen. Face recognition eliminates these security risks and is also virtually impossible to counterfeit. Affordable biometric option Although there are other biometric tools available, face recognition offers significant advantages. Some technologies use hand geometry or iris scans, for example, but these options are generally slower and more expensive. This makes face recognition a natural application for day-to-day access control activities, including chronicling time and attendance for large workforces at construction sites, warehouses, and agricultural and mining operations. In addition to verifying personal credentials, face recognition can also identify whether an individual is wearing a facial covering in compliance with government or corporate mandates regarding health safety protocols. Beyond securing physical locations, face recognition can also be used to manage access to computers, as well as specialised equipment and devices. Overcoming challenges with AI So how did face recognition become so reliable when the technology was once dogged by many challenges, including difficulties with camera angles, certain types of facial expressions, and diverse lighting conditions? Thanks to the emergence of so-called "convolutional" neural network-based algorithms, engineers have been able to overcome these roadblocks. SecurOS FaceX face recognition solution FaceX is powered by neural networks and machine learning which makes it capable of authenticating a wide range of faces One joint effort between New Jersey-based Intelligent Security Systems (ISS) and tech giant Intel has created the SecurOS FaceX face recognition solution. FaceX is powered by neural networks and machine learning which makes it capable of authenticating a wide range of faces and facial expressions, including those captured under changing light, at different resolution levels, and varying distances from the video camera. Secure video management system A common face recognition system deployment begins with IP video cameras that feed footage into a secure video management system connected to a video archive. When the software initially enrolls a person’s face, it creates a "digital descriptor" that is stored as a numeric code that will forever be associated with one identity. The system encrypts and stores these numeric codes in a SQL database. For the sake of convenience and cost savings, the video server CPU performs all neural network processes without requiring any special GPU cards. Unique digital identifiers The next step involves correlating faces captured in a video recording with their unique digital descriptors on file. The system can compare newly captured images against large databases of known individuals or faces captured from video streams. Face recognition technology can provide multi-factor authentication, searching watchlists for specific types of features, such as age, hair colour, gender, ethnicity, facial hair, glasses, headwear, and other identifying characteristics including bald spots. Robust encryption SED-compatible drives rely on dedicated chips that encrypt data with AES-128 or AES-256 To support privacy concerns, the entire system features an encrypted and secure login process that prevents unauthorized access to both the database and the archive. An additional layer of encryption is available through the use of Self-Encrypting Drives (SEDs) that hold video recordings and metadata. SED-compatible drives rely on dedicated chips that encrypt data with AES-128 or AES-256 (short for Advanced Encryption Standard). Anti-spoofing safeguards How do face recognition systems handle people who try to trick the system by wearing a costume mask or holding up a picture to hide their faces? FaceX from ISS, for example, includes anti-spoofing capabilities that essentially check for the "liveliness" of a given face. The algorithm can easily flag the flat, two-dimensional nature of a face mask, printed photo, or image on a mobile phone and issue a "spoof" alarm. Increased speed of entry Incorporating facial recognition into existing access control systems is straightforward and cost-effective Incorporating facial recognition into existing access control systems is straightforward and cost-effective. Systems can operate with off-the-shelf security cameras and computers. Users can also leverage existing infrastructure to maintain building aesthetics. A face recognition system can complete the process of detection and recognition in an instant, opening a door or turnstile in less than 500ms. Such efficiency can eliminate hours associated with security personnel checking and managing credentials manually. A vital tool Modern face recognition solutions are infinitely scalable to accommodate global enterprises. As a result, face recognition as a credential is increasingly being implemented for a wide range of applications that transcend traditional access control and physical security to include health safety and workforce management. All these capabilities make face recognition a natural, frictionless solution for managing access control, both in terms of performance and cost.

How schools can make outdoor learning safe and secure
How schools can make outdoor learning safe and secure

Schools were never designed and built with social distancing in mind. So it’s perhaps not surprising that as children returned to schools for the autumn term this year, the prospect of outdoor classes and assemblies was mooted in the media and by the Government. Many in the education sector are making the case that, should there be further COVID-19 outbreaks, in the coming months, it would be better to utilise outside space, rather than resort to closing schools. In the COVID-19 era, head teachers are considering taking learning and large gatherings, such as assemblies outdoors, when possible. Managing ‘class bubbles’, hygiene and ventilation While Dr. Yvonne Doyle, the Medical Director of Public Health England (PHE) has publicly reassured parents that schools are not the ‘drivers’ or ‘hubs’ of COVID-19-19 infection in communities, there is a lot of pressure on school leaders to manage ‘class bubbles’, extra cleaning and hygiene, ventilation, and COVID-19 testing, to protect families and staff. It’s a logical step to switch, in certain circumstances, to outdoor activities where fresh air is on tap, and social distancing is far easier to manage. Specially built outdoor classrooms Across the school and nursery sector, there’s ongoing investment in specially built outdoor classrooms Across the school and nursery sector, there’s ongoing investment in specially built outdoor classrooms, which had been growing in popularity, even before the pandemic. These facilities offer numerous benefits as an extension of existing learning spaces and provide children the opportunity for hands-on learning, beyond a stuffy classroom. However, if outdoor spaces are routinely called upon as part of COVID-19 contingency planning, how can schools ensure that their outdoor classrooms and wider areas are secure, robust, and fit for purpose? When specifying outdoor classrooms and learning spaces, it’s essential to take into account the well-being of the students and staff, who will use them, noise pollution and acoustics. Most importantly, education managers need to ensure the surrounding area is secured and adequately protected from threats, including terrorism. Perimeter security measures for schools How can schools and nurseries secure their perimeters, so that outdoor learning is totally safe for all? A starting point is to seek out architects and suppliers, who have a good understanding of security standards. Worryingly, Jacksons Fencing’s research recently found that only one-third of architects are seeing both LPS 1175 and the UK police initiative, Secured by Design (SBD) physical security standards, specified for schools. This highlights a lost opportunity for architects to propose solutions that are appropriate to the level of risk and needs of the school, without turning the site into an unwelcoming fortress. Helping schools identify specific security needs Head teachers would be wise to work with architects, who not only know the latest security standards inside and out, but are also are willing to play a more advisory role, helping the school identify exactly what is needed. Head teachers should prioritise solutions appropriate to their site’s specific risks It’s also vital that architects don’t simply replace existing fencing and gates, with the same security systems that have been in place for years. Instead, they will need to meet changing needs and risks. Our research finds that teachers often report issues, with the school perimeter and gates, from being climbed over (28%) and causing injury, to gates not locking properly (10%). Head teachers should prioritise solutions appropriate to their site’s specific risks, which sometimes require altering of existing measures. School fencing is an important aspect of any education site. As well as defining its boundary and making a visual distinction between public and private property, the fencing and gates that surround and secure a school, will typically meet a wide variety of other important criteria, including preventing unauthorised entry to the grounds, protecting pupils, staff, and visitors from accidents and injury, deterring theft and anti-social behaviour, and reducing the risk of malicious damage, and acts of terrorism. Welded mesh panels for perimeter fencing Popular options for schools include welded mesh panels for perimeter fencing or sports areas, and railing systems to act as demarcation, in order to control foot and car traffic. Within the outlying boundary, barriers, bollards and parking posts will keep pedestrians, and vehicles safe from each other, while timber fencing and gates can be designed to control the flow of people, around the grounds and reduce the areas, where students can be hidden from view. Automated gates and access control Perimeter fencing must be complemented with safe entrances and exits for vehicles and pedestrians. Every school has unique entry-control requirements, determined by factors, such as size, location and the local environment. These needs influence the decisions you make, when preparing technical specifications for school security gates. Do you require gates to be steel or timber, manual or automated, single or double leaf? Specialist suppliers will be in the best position to offer inputs on school gates, which typically need to offer solid security and durability, with a welcoming aesthetic. Specifying access control system When specifying a school access system, it’s important to consider the areas of the school When specifying a school access system, it’s important to consider the areas of the school, such as sports fields, car parks, and children’s play and learning areas, and whether it requires playground segregation. Selected gates should meet the design of the fencing, to create a secure perimeter with no weak points, with automated gates conforming to all current safety regulations. . Noise pollution can be a problem as well, including noise coming in or leaving the school in residential areas. If more teaching is to be carried out outside, it’s worth considering acoustic barriers to reduce noise in and around the school. Timber acoustic barriers for security and privacy Timber acoustic barriers offer security and privacy, and can reduce noise levels, by as much as 32 decibels (in laboratory conditions), so are ideal for city centre schools or those located close to busy highways. There are many ways to build an outdoor classroom. Timber products can help to create a welcoming environment, such as wooden shelters, pergolas, fencing, and decking. Always check that high quality timber, ideally guaranteed for 25 years against rot and insect attack, is being used to provide an attractive, cost-effective, safe and sustainable solution, for all weather conditions. DBS approved installers And of course, installers must be DBS approved, so that they can install outdoor classrooms, during school holidays, or within term time, with minimal disruption. The COVID-19 pandemic had a huge impact on schools and learning. While nobody wants to think of fresh outbreaks of the infection, or any other virus, installing an outdoor classroom made from high-quality, long-lasting materials is a great way to future-proof school learning and ensure safety, and preparedness. Putting extra thought and care into the security angle will provide schools with decades of protection against a host of unforeseen events.

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Altronix demonstrates Trove Access and Power Integration Solutions at ASIS 2017
Altronix demonstrates Trove Access and Power Integration Solutions at ASIS 2017

Altronix, a recognised provider of power and transmission solutions for the professional security industry, is featuring its expanded offering of Trove Access and Power Integration Solutions at ASIS 2017 (booth # 2823). New additions to the Trove series include Altronix integrations with Bosch, DMP, Honeywell, Kantech and Sielox access. These new models join the versatile line of Trove solutions which accommodate AMAG, CDVI, HID/Vertx, KABA/KeyScan, Mercury and Software House access controllers. “Trove enclosures and backplanes simplify board layout and wire management, greatly reducing installation and labor costs, while providing the versatility and scalability that system designers and installers require to easily configure their systems.” said Alan Forman, President, Altronix Corporation. Enhanced performance efficiency Trove2 Access and Power Integration Solutions are designed for larger applications, allowing Altronix power/accessories combined with access controllers from the industry’s leading manfacturers to be wired and pre-tested prior to on-site installation. This reduces total cost and enhances performance efficiency. Altronix also offers the Trove1 Access and Power Integration Solution, a more compact version of the Trove2 for smaller applications which accommodate CDVI, HID/VertX and Mercury access controllers. All Trove enclosures include a cam lock, tamper switch and mounting hardware. Altronix has further simplified the product selection and configuration process by offering a free online Trove System Design Tool for configuring a access system.

First edition of Intersec Saudi Arabia 2017 to lead upward trend of fire safety and security markets
First edition of Intersec Saudi Arabia 2017 to lead upward trend of fire safety and security markets

Intersec Saudi Arabia 2017 is expected to host more than 100 exhibitors, including 22 launch partners Saudi Arabia and the UAE are leading the upward trend for the fire safety systems market in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), as stringent government regulations fuel demand for the replacement of existing and outdated equipment. According to consultancy firm 6Wresearch, the GCC’s fire safety systems market was worth US $ 1.36 billion in 2015, with Saudi Arabia (US $ 598.4 million), and the UAE (US $ 394.4 million) comprising 73 per cent of the regional market. The other Gulf States of Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, and Kuwait accounted for US $ 367.2 million (27 per cent). Fire safety system market growth 6Wresearch said Saudi’s fire safety systems and equipment market is projected to grow six per cent annually from 2016 – 2020.  By 2022, the market is estimated to be worth US $ 632.2 million, attributed to a recovery in the construction and real estate verticals. Other factors driving regional demand for new fire safety systems include government and transportation sectors, residential, retail, and hospitality verticals, while Saudi’s Vision 2030 and the upcoming Dubai Expo 2020 in the UAE is also likely to boost further growth. The latest market updates were told to more than 100 fire, safety and security industry professionals at a three-day Saudi roadshow promoting the upcoming Intersec exhibitions in Dubai and Jeddah. Intersec Dubai 2017 The first edition of IntersecSaudi Arabia meanwhile is expected to host more than100 exhibitors, including 22launch partners Intersec, the world’s leading exhibition for security, safety, and fire protection, runs from 22-24 January 2017 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, while Intersec Saudi Arabia will take place from 2-4 May 2017 at the Jeddah Centre for Forums & Events. In its 19th edition, Intersec 2017 will feature more than 1,300 exhibitors from 54 countries spanning over 55,000sqm of exhibition space, registering a 10 per cent growth over the previous year. Intersec Saudi Arabia 2017 The first edition of Intersec Saudi Arabia meanwhile is expected to host more than 100 exhibitors, including 22 launch partners; Al Alameya Group, Axis Communications, Bristol Fire Engineering – Corodex, the British Security Industry Association, CP Plus, Dahua, dorma + kaba, Draeger, Genetec, Hanwha Techwin, Harco Group, HID Global, Hikvision, Milestone, NAFFCO, Nedap, Pelco by Schneider Electric, Promise Technology, Smiths Detection, Tadween, NITIE, and ZMR. Fire & rescue section Fire & Rescue is one of seven show sections at Intersec 2017, and has nearly doubled in size over the last four years. The section, which attracted 350 exhibitors in 2016, is expected to continue its growth trend in 2017, having attracted the likes of Apollo, bsi, Bristol, Chemours, Fike, Hochiki, Grupo Komtes, LPCB, NAFFCO, Oshkosh, Rapidrop, Scott Safety, Securiton, SFFECO, Siemens, UL, and Velox. “Ongoing investments in the commercial, retail, industrial, hospitality, and the healthcare sectors, combined with upcoming high profile international events, means growth is the buzz word across all sectors in the GCC, and this also applies to the fire safety market,” said Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Messe Frankfurt Middle East, the organiser of Intersec, and Intersec Saudi Arabia. “Improvements in the enforcement of fire codes in the construction sector, and the constant need for fire protection and life safety means the GCC’s fire safety market is estimated to grow annually by 14-16 per cent to reach US$3.15 billion by 2020.” "Expenditures in the MiddleEast oil and gas sector are expected to increase by morethan 19 per cent for the 5-year period ending in 2017" “This robust demand for the latest equipment, fire protection and firefighting systems is reflected in the strong growth in the Fire & Rescue section at Intersec, while Intersec Saudi Arabia too will host the biggest names in the fire protection market,” added Pauwels. Oil & gas Oil & Gas is another key sector for the fire protection industry, and will be a key target area for Hochiki at Intersec 2017. The Japanese-headquartered company specialises in commercial and industrial fire detection and emergency lighting solutions, and will showcase its latest range of fire detection products designed specifically for use in oil refineries, gas processing plants and other high risk environments. “Expenditures in the Middle East oil and gas sector are expected to increase by more than 19 per cent for the 5-year period ending in 2017,” said Robert Head, Assistant Managing Director at Hochiki Middle East. “When operating in such hazardous environments, it’s important to ensure the building’s fire safety systems are robust and reliable. There is a variety of fire detection products designed specifically for use in oil refineries, gas processing plants and other high risk environments.” “Intrinsically Safe devices (IS) restrict the electrical and thermal energy in the circuit ensuring that ignition in an explosive atmosphere cannot occur; making them ideal for use in oil and gas facilities as well as chemical engineering plants. Hochiki have a wide range of IS devices, from smoke detectors to flame detectors, which have all been certified by BASEEFA to IECEx and ATEX,” added Head. New panel & product launches Global Fire Equipment from Portugal, a manufacturer of fire detection and extinguishing systems will return to Intersec 2017 with the launch of its new panels and several other products like PA/VA systems, and web enabled interfaces. "Our goal is to establish longterm partnerships with agents working in the security fieldwith the purpose of expandingour global presence whichcovers more than 70 countries" João Paulo Ajami, the Commercial Director for Global Fire Equipment, said, “We had several interesting projects in Saudi Arabia in the last 12 months, while exhibiting at Intersec has helped us launch several good distribution channels in countries like Kenya, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Tanzania, and Pakistan.” “Our goal is to establish long term partnerships with agents working in the security field with the purpose of expanding our global presence which covers more than 70 countries. Our systems are applied in residential, commercial and industrial sectors and its subsectors, since fire detection is applicable to almost all construction sectors.” Regional fire safety codes Elsewhere, Aman Fire Protection, an Oman-based fire protection engineering consultancy, will look to increase its business contacts at Intersec 2017 and explain the fire codes approvals process to those undertaking projects in the Middle East. Anthony Cole, Technical Director at Aman Fire Protection, highlighted the growing trend for better awareness of regional fire safety codes following recent fire incidents across the GCC. “There’s an increase in awareness for the need for review and approval of materials used in construction by fire protection consultants especially in high rise projects following the several high profile fires,” said Cole. “Oil & Gas, military, power and energy creation, large commercial developments such as shopping malls and integrated tourism leisure projects are the most important industries our business is targeting now.” Intersec’s other core sections include Commercial Security, Homeland Security & Policing, Safety & Health, Information Security, Smart Home and Physical & Perimeter Security. Save Save Save Save

Altronix showcases latest Trove access and power integration enclosures at ISC West 2016
Altronix showcases latest Trove access and power integration enclosures at ISC West 2016

New additions include backplanes for AMAG, CDVI, KABA/KeyScan and Software House access controllers and accessories Altronix, the recognised leader in power and transmission solutions for the professional security industry, is showcasing new additions to its popular line of Trove™ access and power integration enclosures at ISC West 2016. Additions to the Trove offering include backplanes for AMAG, CDVI, KABA/KeyScan and Software House access controllers and accessories, as well as the introduction of Trove1, a compact enclosure that accommodates CDVI, HID/VertX and Mercury controllers. Trove enclosures simplify board layout and wire management, greatly reducing installation time and labour costs. “Trove has been extremely well received by the industry since its introduction this past fall,” said Alan Forman, President, Altronix Corporation. “Our new backplanes and the smaller Trove1 enclosure provide installers with added versatility and scalability when configuring access and power board layout.” Maximum installation capacity and flexibility The new Trove backplanes accommodate access control boards and accessories, joining Altronix’s existing backplanes for Mercury and VertX. Trove accommodates a wide range of boards with or without Altronix power supplies and accessories. An optional TMV2 door backplane is also offered for maximum installation capacity and flexibility. Systems can be wired and pre-tested prior to on-site installation for added cost and performance benefits. All Trove units include a cam lock, tamper switch and mounting hardware. As with all Altronix products, Trove Enclosures are made in the U.S.A.

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