Key
For many companies, the current state of their access control infrastructure is best described as being fractured
Identity management has now become a very important requirement for companies. The challenge, of course, lies in proper integration of different physical access control systems with an identity management system. Sophisticated security software can help overcome this challenge, says Ajay Jain, President and CEO of Quantum Secure, who adds that increasing regulatory compliance requirements make identity management ever more necessary.

For many companies, the current state of their access control infrastructure is best described as being fractured. Multiple disparate physical and logical access control systems and cumbersome manual processes are all too common. Standardizing one system throughout a company might address part of the problem, but replacing multiple access systems may require large amounts of capital.

A long-term access control issue for any company is how to manage its identities. It is important to ensure that individuals only have permission to enter authorized areas, both for the sake of security and compliance. With large numbers of employees, geographically distributed campuses and ever-changing authority levels, keeping permissions current is an important issue to address. Sophisticated identity management software can enable identity to be created for each individual across any organization. Integrating physical security systems with logical security systems requires software which can ensure synchronized and policy-based on-/off-boarding of identities.

Although effectively managing identity can be a challenge, it also provides many opportunities for any organization. These include enabling human resource and LDAP-format databases to connect instantly with physical access control systems and


...effectively managing identity can be a challenge, but it also provides many opportunities for any organization

 to receive real-time reports across any number of physical access control systems. It is also possible to manage badge/credentialing systems more efficiently and to track visitors and third-party contractors and link them to an internal identity. Other new opportunities include the ability to correlate identities with alarms, events and to grant access based on a risk profile of an identity or location. Access can be granted based on training or other special requirements.
 
Identity management software- features and benefits 

All types of identities can be managed with advanced software, including permanent and temporary employees, contractors, service providers and vendors. Users can manage details of a physical identity, such as biographic and biometric information, the results of security checks and historical usage. Software also enables various access levels to be assigned to an identity across multiple physical access control systems and can specify details such as time of scheduled access.
 
An urgent termination feature can allow authorized personnel to immediately deny physical access. In addition to aggregating access level information from various systems, the administrator can manage details such as risk level, area owner, multiple approvers and prerequisites for access, such as training. The system can also provide audit trails of all transactions. 
 
From a risk perspective, automated identity management systems enable organizations to lower liability and maximize protection of assets. Furthermore, systems promote standardization within a security organization and implementation of best practices.
 
Cost is another important benefit. A unified, software-based approach to identity management reduces the need for labor-intensive and repetitive processes.
 
Regulatory compliance requirements necessitate better identity management
 
People walking in an office space
Keeping permissions current is an important issue to address
A proliferation of regulatory requirements provides an additional incentive to manage identities more effectively. United States end-user companies are subject to a growing number of regulations that require verification of identities and access to facilities and information.
 
For example, all corporate entities are subject to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, a United States federal law that set new or enhanced standards for all U.S. public company boards. The act requires management of user identities and access to information while ensuring its integrity.
 
U.S vertical markets have their own specific regulations, such as the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) which imposes comprehensive federal security regulations for high-risk chemical facilities and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act enhances competition by providing a prudential framework in the financial services industry. HIPAA privacy rules for healthcare and NERC/FERC security regulations in the energy sector also moderate the actions of companies.
 
Furthermore, U.S governments face compliance with the Federal Information Processing Standard Publication 201 (FIPS 201) and the Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD-12) credentialing requirements. Airports are regulated by TSA, while Banking companies seek to comply with Basel II requirements, which consist of recommendations on banking laws and regulations. Pharmaceutical companies are regulated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, which aims to combat drug smuggling and use within the United States. Centralized identity management systems allow managers to easily monitor regulatory infractions and proactively enforce security policies and rules. Effective security software systems enable compliance initiatives to be automated in real time to create a transparent, traceable and repeatable global process to manage governance and compliance. To comply with regulations takes strict governance of security controls across both physical and IT infrastructures and management of risk on a holistic level.
 
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COVID-19 worries boost prospects of touchless biometric systems
COVID-19 worries boost prospects of touchless biometric systems

Spread of the novel coronavirus has jolted awareness of hygiene as it relates to touching surfaces such as keypads. No longer in favour are contact-based modalities including use of personal identification numbers (PINs) and keypads, and the shift has been sudden and long-term. Both customers and manufacturers were taken by surprise by this aspect of the virus’s impact and are therefore scrambling for solutions. Immediate impact of the change includes suspension of time and attendance systems that are touch-based. Some two-factor authentication systems are being downgraded to RFID-only, abandoning the keypad and/or biometric components that contributed to higher security, but are now unacceptable because they involve touching. Touchless biometric systems in demand The trend has translated into a sharp decline in purchase of touch modality and a sharp increase in the demand for touchless systems, says Alex Zarrabi, President of Touchless Biometrics Systems (TBS). Biometrics solutions are being affected unequally, depending on whether they involve touch sensing, he says. Spread of the novel coronavirus has jolted awareness of hygiene as it relates to touching surfaces such as keypads “Users do not want to touch anything anymore,” says Zarrabi. “From our company’s experience, we see it as a huge catalyst for touchless suppliers. We have projects being accelerated for touchless demand and have closed a number of large contracts very fast. I’m sure it’s true for anyone who is supplying touchless solutions.” Biometric systems are also seeing the addition of thermal sensors to measure body temperature in addition to the other sensors driving the system. Fingerscans and hybrid face systems TBS offers 2D and 3D systems, including both fingerscans and hybrid face/iris systems to provide touchless identification at access control points. Contactless and hygienic, the 2D Eye system is a hybrid system that combines the convenience of facial technology with the higher security of iris recognition. The system recognises the face and then detects the iris from the face image and zeros in to scan the iris. The user experiences the system as any other face recognition system. The facial aspect quickens the process, and the iris scan heightens accuracy. TBS also offers the 2D Eye Thermo system that combines face, iris and temperature measurement using a thermal sensor module. TBS's 2D Eye Thermo system combines face, iris and temperature measurement using a thermal sensor module Another TBS system is a 3D Touchless Fingerscan system that provides accuracy and tolerance, anti-spoofing, and is resilient to water, oil, dust and dirt. The 2D+ Multispectral for fingerprints combines 2D sensing with “multispectral” subsurface identification, which is resilient to contaminants and can read fingerprints that are oily, wet, dry or damaged – or even through a latex glove. In addition, the 3D+ system by TBS provides frictionless, no-contact readings even for people going through the system in a queue. The system fills the market gap for consent-based true on-the-fly systems, says Zarrabi. The system captures properties of the hand and has applications in the COVID environment, he says. The higher accuracy and security ratings are suitable for critical infrastructure applications, and there is no contact; the system is fully hygienic. Integration with access control systems Integration of TBS biometrics with a variety of third-party access control systems is easy. A “middleware” subsystem is connected to the network. Readers are connected to the subsystem and also to the corporate access control system. An interface with the TBS subsystem coordinates with the access control system. For example, a thermal camera used as part of the biometric reader can override the green light of the access control system if a high temperature (suggesting COVID-19 infection, for example) is detected. The enrollment process is convenient and flexible and can occur at an enrollment station or at an administration desk. Remote enrollment can also be accomplished using images from a CCTV camera. All templates are encrypted. Remotely enrolled employees can have access to any location they need within minutes. The 3D+ system by TBS provides frictionless, no-contact readings even for people going through the system in a queue Although there are other touchless technologies available, they cannot effectively replace biometrics, says Zarrabi. For example, a centrally managed system that uses a Bluetooth signal from a smart phone could provide convenience, is “touchless,” and could suffice for some sites. 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How to maximise your body temperature detection systems
How to maximise your body temperature detection systems

There are many companies jumping into selling temperature detection systems to the state, local governments, hospitals, airports and local businesses, but do they know how to drive one? Anyone can get behind a car and drive it into a wall by accident. The same can happen with a temperature detection system.  The first thing you should ask is “does my firm have a certified thermographer?”. If not, the firm are at risk of getting a low quality system that is being resold to make quick cash. Businesses that are doing this do not know how to operate it properly. Asking the right questions Secondly, you should ask whether the system is NDAA compliant. NDAA compliance means that your temperature detection equipment is protected by U.S. law. Does your system have a HSRP device (blackbody)? HSRP (Heat Source Reference Point) is a device that will allow the camera to detect the correct temperature a distance. Even if the room temperature does change throughout the day, treat it as a reference point for the camera to know the temperature at that distance. Can your system scan mutliple people at once? Can your system scan mutliple people at once? This is a bad question but often asked since most systems will say yes. For ease, everyone wants to scan many people at once, but the best practice according to FDA and CDC guidelines is to run one person at a time for best accuracy. Why? The HSRP (blackbody) device tells the camera what the correct temperature is at a given distance away from the camera. Every foot you are away from the HSRP device will be off by 0.1 degrees roughly. If you are in a room full of people, let's say 6, in view of the camera, every person that is not next to the HSRP device (5) will be given an inaccurate reading. Hence why it is so important to run the system correctly with just one person at a time. You will also need to follow the 6 feet rule. If you take that into consideration, one at a time at 6 feet apart, the device should tell you how you need to run the system. Sensitivity of thermal imaging Is your system’s sensor accurate enough? The FDA recommends an error of ±0.5°C or better. When looking for a system, make sure it is better than what they recommend. I would recommend ±0.3°C or better. Do not purchase a system over ±-.5°C degrees as you are doing yourself and your customers or employees an injustice.  Another thing to look at is how many pixels it can determine the temperature from. Some cameras can only tell the temperature of 6 points on the screen, whilst others can take a temperature reading from each pixel. Take a 384x288 camera, for example, which would be over 110,000 points of temperature taking on a single image.      Thermal cameras are very sensitive, so there are a lot of do’s and don’ts. For example, the system cannot see through glasses or hats. On the below image you can see a person with the visual camera on the right, whilst on the left side is through a thermal camera.  Both are pointing at the same area. It is clear the person on the left side is “invisible” to the thermal imaging camera. Demonstrating the sensitivity of thermal imaging If you are a company who wants to detect the temperature of customers or employees though the front door, window or a car window, the answer would be no. You need a clear line of sight without any interference to scan for temperatures. Other things you need to look out for is wind and distance away from the HSRP (blackbody) device. Air and distance away from the HSRP device will make the system less and less accurate the more space between the device. Air and distance away from the HSRP device will make the system less and less accurate Thermal imaging and COVID-19 If you have a clear line of sight, is there anything I need to know? The answer is yes. Reflective materials such as metal can interfere with your temperature readings. Reflective materials are easily picked up from the thermal side so pointing at a medal, glass or anything reflective can cause inaccuracies within the system. In the age of COVID-19, temperature detection systems are more important than ever. Organisations must get a system in place to help scan for high temperatures in order to reduce the spread of the virus.

What are the security challenges of the oil and gas market?
What are the security challenges of the oil and gas market?

Protecting the oil and gas market is key to a thriving economy. The list of security challenges for oil and gas requires the best technology solutions our industry has to offer, from physical barriers to video systems to cybersecurity. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: what are the security challenges of the oil and gas market?