Responsible for the safety and security of a huge number of public facilities, including leisure centres, libraries and event spaces, local authorities are increasingly looking for ways to improve security, while also streamlining the security management process.

With multiple requirements from a legislative, insurance and public safety perspective, local authorities need a simple and effective solution that provides flexibility through advanced technology. Security must be closely monitored and access restricted where necessary, while at the same time enabling easy access to public areas.

Electronic key technology

Advanced software suites can provide access to all operations performed by users

Through innovative electronic key technology, local authorities can simply and cost-effectively replace existing mechanical locks, with a solution that provides integrated intelligence in the key, with permissions stored within it. If your key has authorisation for that lock, it will open. If you don’t, you won’t be allowed to enter and all of the activity carried out by your key will be recorded.

With high volumes of people entering and exiting local authority facilities, it is important to be able to trace who has been where, when and for how long. Advanced software suites can provide access to all operations performed by users, including a complete audit trail. This information is often used by local authorities for audits, improvements or compliance. Utilising the latest contactless technology further enhances the electronic key solution, enabling multiple access options and deeper levels of access rights.

Manage access operations

The most innovative system is compatible with badges and cards, and the keys are equipped with a radio-frequency identification (RFID) module. Combining the solutions enables local authorities to manage access operations in great detail, with access rights granted depending on specific conditions. For example, the members of an orchestra may only be able to access the music conservatory, using their membership card or badge, if a music professor has already entered the premises using his electronic key.

Permissions can be added or updated from a computer or, even more conveniently, using an app on a smartphone at any time, which will update your key's permissions via Bluetooth. This allows shortened validity periods, constrains movements to be in line with local authority access policies and removes travel and fixed authoriser costs.

Public safety and security

Saint-Avertin's access points are now managed by the new LOCKEN solution

In turn, this delivers increased flexibility and higher levels of security. With public safety and security high on the government’s agenda, local authorities are increasingly required to adopt the most technologically advanced access control solutions and LOCKEN, the leader in cable free access control solutions is on hand to help with their solution based on advanced software LOCKEN Smart Access.

Equipped with LOCKEN electronic cylinders since 2010, Saint-Avertin's access points are now managed by the new LOCKEN solution. More efficient and communicative, this makes it possible to adapt to even more varied types of access. Laurent Lacour, head of the municipal police, highlighted the benefits of this decision: “It is a very positive step for us. Firstly, because the new contactless key is much faster than the previous one. It is impressive and very important for our day-to-day work: as soon as the key is entered into the lock, the cylinder opens. It opens regardless of whether any dust or foreign bodies have built up."

New-generation keys

Above all, the MyLocken app significantly enhances the system’s security by allowing rights to be allocated anywhere and at any time.” Christophe Fort, deputy head of the police, added: “The new-generation keys offer another vital advantage for our town. The system is compatible with the use of badges and the keys are equipped with an RFID module, which acts as a badge.”

While an electronic key cannot be given to every member of a sports association, it is possible to give the members a badge. This means that, eventually, several thousand people will have access to the facilities while respecting the security of the premises as a whole.

Access control solution

Combining the solutions does not stop the management system from remaining perfectly effective"

Combining the solutions does not stop the management system from remaining perfectly effective. On the one hand, because the program manages access operations in great detail. And on the other, the badge reader specific to a building is only triggered if access to the site has previously been unlocked by an electronic key belonging to a manager. For example, the members of a swimming association will only be able to access the building if a swimming pool manager is already on the premises.”

The future prospects mentioned by the two police officials - installation in a new gymnasium, fitting electronic padlocks to the mobile barriers around the château, etc.- demonstrate the extent to which the solution meets the municipality's needs across the board. Saint-Avertin, is a dynamic town with a population of 15,000, which forms part of the university town of Tours, twenty times larger. LOCKEN hopes to extend its access control solution to other areas of this historic city.

Share with LinkedIn Share with Twitter Share with Facebook Share with Facebook
Download PDF version

In case you missed it

Managing security during unprecedented times of home working
Managing security during unprecedented times of home working

Companies are following government guidance and getting as many people as possible working from home. Some companies will have resisted home working in the past, but I’m certain that the sceptics will find that people can be productive with the right tools no matter where they are. A temporary solution will become permanent. But getting it right means managing risk. Access is king In a typical office with an on-premise data centre, the IT department has complete control over network access, internal networks, data, and applications. The remote worker, on the other hand, is mobile. He or she can work from anywhere using a VPN. Until just recently this will have been from somewhere like a local coffee shop, possibly using a wireless network to access the company network and essential applications. CV-19 means that huge numbers of people are getting access to the same desktop and files, and collaborative communication toolsBut as we know, CV-19 means that huge numbers of people are getting access to the same desktop and files, applications and collaborative communication tools that they do on a regular basis from the office or on the train. Indeed, the new generation of video conferencing technologies come very close to providing an “almost there” feeling. Hackers lie in wait Hackers are waiting for a wrong move amongst the panic, and they will look for ways to compromise critical servers. Less than a month ago, we emerged from a period of chaos. For months hackers had been exploiting a vulnerability in VPN products from Pulse Secure, Fortinet, Palo Alto Networks, and Citrix. Patches were provided by vendors, and either companies applied the patch or withdrew remote access. As a result, the problem of attacks died back.  But as companies race to get people working from home, they must ensure special care is taken to ensure the patches are done before switching VPNs on. That’s because remote desktop protocol (RDP) has been for the most part of 2019, and continues to be, the most important attack vector for ransomware. Managing a ransomware attack on top of everything else would certainly give you sleepless nights. As companies race to get people working from home, they must ensure special care is taken to ensure the patches are done before switching VPNs on Hackers are waiting for a wrong move amongst the panic, and they will look for ways to compromise critical serversExposing new services makes them also susceptible to denial of service attacks. Such attacks create large volumes of fake traffic to saturate the available capacity of the internet connection. They can also be used to attack the intricacies of the VPN protocol. A flow as little as 1Mbps can perturbate the VPN service and knock it offline. CIOs, therefore, need to acknowledge that introducing or extending home working broadens the attack surface. So now more than ever it’s vital to adapt risk models. You can’t roll out new services with an emphasis on access and usability and not consider security. You simply won’t survive otherwise. Social engineering Aside from securing VPNs, what else should CIO and CTOs be doing to ensure security? The first thing to do is to look at employee behaviour, starting with passwords. It’s highly recommended that strong password hygiene or some form of multi-factor authentication (MFA) is imposed. Best practice would be to get all employees to reset their passwords as they connect remotely and force them to choose a new password that complies with strong password complexity guidelines.  As we know, people have a habit of reusing their passwords for one or more online services – services that might have fallen victim to a breach. Hackers will happily It’s highly recommended that strong password hygiene or some form of multi-factor authentication (MFA) is imposedleverage these breaches because it is such easy and rich pickings. Secondly, the inherent fear of the virus makes for perfect conditions for hackers. Sadly, a lot of phishing campaigns are already luring people in with the promise of important or breaking information on COVID-19. In the UK alone, coronavirus scams cost victims over £800,000 in February 2020. A staggering number that can only go up. That’s why CIOs need to remind everyone in the company of the risks of clickbait and comment spamming - the most popular and obvious bot techniques for infiltrating a network. Notorious hacking attempts And as any security specialist will tell you, some people have no ethics and will exploit the horrendous repercussions of CV-19. In January we saw just how unscrupulous hackers are when they started leveraging public fear of the virus to spread the notorious Emotet malware. Emotet, first detected in 2014, is a banking trojan that primarily spreads through ‘malspam’ and attempts to sneak into computers to steal sensitive and private information. In addition, in early February the Maze ransomware crippled more than 230 workstations of the New Jersey Medical Diagnostics Lab and when they refused to pay, the vicious attackers leaked 9.5GB or research data in an attempt to force negotiations. And in March, an elite hacking group tried to breach the World Health Organization (WHO). It was just one of the many attempts on WHO and healthcare organisations in general since the pandemic broke. We’ll see lots more opportunist attacks like this in the coming months.   More speed less haste In March, an elite hacking group tried to breach the World Health Organization (WHO). It was just one of the many attempts on WHOFinally, we also have bots to contend with. We’ve yet to see reports of fake news content generated by machines, but we know there’s a high probability it will happen. Spambots are already creating pharmaceutical spam campaigns thriving on the buying behaviour of people in times of fear from infection. Using comment spamming – where comments are tactically placed in the comments following an update or news story - the bots take advantage of the popularity of the Google search term ‘Coronavirus’ to increase the visibility and ranking of sites and products in search results. There is clearly much for CIOs to think about, but it is possible to secure a network by applying some well thought through tactics. I believe it comes down to having a ‘more speed, less haste’ approach to rolling out, scaling up and integrating technologies for home working, but above all, it should be mixed with an employee education programme. As in reality, great technology and a coherent security strategy will never work if it is undermined by the poor practices of employees.

How does audio enhance security system performance?
How does audio enhance security system performance?

Video is widely embraced as an essential element of physical security systems. However, surveillance footage is often recorded without sound, even though many cameras are capable of capturing audio as well as video. Beyond the capabilities of cameras, there is a range of other audio products on the market that can improve system performance and/or expand capabilities (e.g., gunshot detection.) We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How does audio enhance the performance of security and/or video systems? 

How have standards changed the security market?
How have standards changed the security market?

A standard is a document that establishes uniform engineering or technical criteria, methods, processes, and/or practices. Standards surround every aspect of our business. For example, the physical security marketplace is impacted by industry standards, national and international standards, quality standards, building codes and even environmental standards, to name just a few. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How have standards changed the security market as we know it?