Articles by John Allen
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.
Innovating for a smarter, safer world, industry leaders from Axis highlight the latest trends in surveillance and analytics technology. Ranging from cybersecurity and IoT audio products in retail, to new radar detection technology and access control, the innovations on show are substantial Industry leaders including Axis Communications, the market leader in network video, have taken to the floor at IFSEC 2017 to discuss how innovative security and intelligent IoT devices have the power to transform security and safety levels, as well as increase operational efficiencies for business success. In a video of news and views directly from the event, Martin Gren, Co-Founder of Axis and IFSEC’s top influencer of the security industry for 2017, was on hand alongside Axis experts, exploring: The importance of audio Internet of Things (IoT) technology within retail environments Axis’ push for greater cybersecurity expertise among its partner network The addition of analytics in retail contributing to the rise of the intelligent high street Axis’ access control integration with HID Global and SimonsVoss New radar detection technology to provide high-end perimeter security Innovations that address the key challenges of our time Martin Gren, Co-Founder of Axis Communications, states, “It’s a great pleasure to be voted as the leading influencer in the security industry for pioneering work in driving video surveillance from analogue to IP. Of course, we aren’t standing still and we continue to innovate for the future, driving towards an increasingly connected world. We have some great new technologies that can be integrated with security systems – horn speakers, IP door stations and even radar detection. Alongside our smart Zipstream compression, Axis’ radar detection is one of the most interesting new offerings on show.” Collaboration to ensure cybersecurity "When it comes to applying best practice to networks or security systems, there’s a gap in the cybersecurity market which Axis and its partners are directly addressing" Atul Rajput, Regional Director for Northern Europe, highlighted the scope and challenges of cybersecurity within the industry, stating, “We saw the Mirai botnet last year, and more recently the WannaCrypt ransomware. In the security industry, we have tremendous risk management expertise in relation to people, property, and assets. When it comes to applying best practice to networks or security systems, there’s a gap in the cybersecurity market which Axis and its partners are directly addressing.” “We have been extending IoT capabilities from video to audio, and these products are some of the solutions we’re most looking forward to showcasing at IFSEC this year. The ability for retailers to have a camera looking at a queue, then sounding an alert should that queue reach a certain size, really highlights the potential of synergistic IoT technology in retail.” Integrated analytics and the intelligent high street Andy Martin, Business Development Manager, Retail, confirmed, “The intelligent high street is about using the IP platform to connect new devices, giving it functionality for marketing, operations and sales departments, and of course security and loss prevention specialists. It not only includes connecting devices like tagging systems and Point of Sale, but also adding analytics to increase the value added. Real-time analytics can help retail specialists know how to respond to the number of people within, or the way people are behaving, in a store. Through analytics, retailers can start to change and flex their labour.” IoT access control Speaking on Axis’ latest innovations in the access control sphere, John Allen, Business Development Manager, Access Control, noted, “What we’re showing here is a combination of access control linked to audio and outdoor management solutions, to try and give visitors an idea of how we can deliver a solution to their taste, not to our product requirements. The two most important things we’re highlighting are our collaborations with HID Global and SimonsVoss, showcasing mobile access and wireless locking – there’s a fantastic demonstration available that’s been very popular.”
Axis Communications has collaborated with SimonsVoss Technologies GmbH to launch a fully integrated, IP-based digital locking and access control system. The integration represents an advanced, cost-effective wireless lock and access control solution that is ideal for replacing physical keys in buildings. SmartIntego battery-powered digital locks in the form of either cylinders, padlocks or door handles connect wirelessly via its GatewayNode to AXIS A1001 door controller and AXIS Entry Manager software. The solution represents a complete, scalable, fully integrated, and future-proofed access control system without limitation. Integration facts Useful facts about the integration: Each SimonsVoss GatewayNode has a 16-wireless digital lock capacity Each A1001 manages one GatewayNode This means that each Axis A1001 door controller can manage up to; Sixteen SimonsVoss wireless locks One hard-wired door reader Axis and SimonsVoss solutions can be stand-alone (no server) or fully integrated solutions using an Axis software partner for enterprise installations Axis solutions are open, IP-based, and ONVIF-compliant Seamless integration between wireless locks and access control Online integration between the AXIS A1001 door controller and SmartIntego wireless lock components via AXIS Entry Manager is seamless as all products are built on open, IP-based architecture. IT administrators can setup and manage the entire integration via a single AXIS Entry Manager interface. The integrated solution allows for management of wired and wireless doors, with real-time monitored access and detailed audit trails. SmartIntego locks are compatible with European and Scandinavian door profiles. Wireless lock technology has been enjoying strong growth globally in recent years as it begins to replace traditional physical keys Wireless lock technology has been enjoying strong growth globally in recent years as it begins to replace traditional physical keys. This is not only because physical keys provide very low security levels. Wireless keys are cost-effective, too. Wireless locks also enable multiple functionalities, previously only available through wired doors, for a much lower cost. Reducing lifecycle costs by 60% “A door with wireless locks typically reduces lifecycle costs by 60% when compared to a wired door. This is thanks to simple, cable-free installation as well as the high costs of key re-suiting when a physical key is lost,” says John Allen, Business Development Manager, Access Control in Northern Europe for Axis Communications. “Compared to physical keys, Axis’ integration with SmartIntego offers superior security and convenience.” "The integration of our SmartIntego wireless locks will enable a scalable access control solution that meets today’s needs," states Larissa Kaiser, Head of System Integration at SimonsVoss Technologies GmbH. SmartIntego wireless locks are embedded with integrated RFID-readers, so there’s no need for expensive or time-consuming cabling during installation. As important, the AXIS A1001 eliminates the need for power cables to wired doors and the door controller as it is a Power over Ethernet system.