The Zigbee Alliance, an organisation of hundreds of companies creating, maintaining, and delivering open, global standards for the Internet of Things (IoT), announced the addition of two new team members to steer significant change, guide burgeoning growth, and set new directions for the Alliance as it moves into a pivotal year for its members and the broader IoT market. Michelle Mindala-Freeman joins effective immediately as Head of Marketing and Krista Ingram assumes the new Director of Marke...
The 2020s will be a wireless decade. From headphones to hoovers, consumers reap the benefits when they cut the cables and adopt a wire-free technology. In electronic access control, those benefits include improved cost-efficiency and flexibility, giving facility managers greater control over who should have access, where and when. A new report - from IFSEC Global, ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions and analysts Omdia - reveals fresh market data generated by a survey conducted at the end of 2020. Resp...
Paxton10, Paxton’s most powerful system yet, will launch on February 1. Paxton10 combines next generation access control and video management on a single platform with FREE Bluetooth® smart credentials (Zero licence fees), remote management functionality, licence free software and, for the first time - Paxton10 cameras. Delivering powerful features The launch follows a period of in-depth research, development and engagement with installers. Jonathan Lach, Paxton’s Vice Presiden...
Camden Door Controls, a premier provider of door activation, control and locking products, is proud to bring to market its Virtual Trade Show booth. While the COVID-19 era has prompted many companies to enhance their online presence, the Camden Virtual booth is unlike any other experience to hit the industry. It is built using Augmented Video Reality (AVR) – a software application that adds a layer of computer interface on top of a pre-recorded video presentation. Camden sales representa...
Alarm.com has developed the first cellular sensor with virtually no range limitations for monitoring valuable property and assets. The Alarm.com Flex IO™, a battery-powered device that is weatherproofed for outdoor durability, uses the latest LTE-M technology to operate anywhere there is LTE coverage and without a panel, hub or even Wi-Fi. The one-of-a-kind sensor works as a standalone solution or as an expansion of a person’s existing Alarm.com-powered system. The Flex IO™ se...
Camden Door Controls, a premier provider of door activation, control and locking products, is pleased to announce that its 2021 price lists are now available in both U.S. and Canadian editions. The 100+ page books detail all of Camden's offerings, including product overviews, features, specifications and pricing. In addition, the 2021 price lists re available in multiple formats, including printed hardcopy versions and electronic PDF. Printed price lists are also available by contacting Camden&...
Eagle Eye Networks, the globally renowned company in smart cloud video security, has shared the trends that will have the biggest impact on video surveillance, security, and use of analytics, to drive business intelligence and improvement in 2021. Cloud and advanced analytics Customers are asking for the cloud and advanced analytics will transform video surveillance systems into even more valuable business solutions. Compliance requirements are constantly evolving and IT departments are engaging with, and in many cases, owning video surveillance systems and customers are expecting systems to be open and connected. “A number of factors are driving the video surveillance trends in 2021,” said Hans Kahler, Vice President of Operations at Eagle Eye Networks, adding “Innovation from companies like Eagle Eye Networks and our partners is leading and meeting the demands of customers for their video surveillance systems to provide business insights in addition to security.” Combining AI and cloud video surveillance Combine the promise of AI and cloud video surveillance with the volatility, instability, and remote work environment of 2020" Hans Kahler adds, “Combine the promise of AI and cloud video surveillance with the volatility, instability, and remote work environment of 2020 and we have an environment where people are looking for their video surveillance and security systems to deliver more business value than ever before.” He further said, “The acceleration of cloud adoption and use of analytics to provide improved security and drive business improvement will make 2021 a transformative year for the industry.” Video Surveillance and Security Trends for 2021: Customers are asking for Cloud: The shift to the benefits of cloud in the video surveillance space are powerful and undeniable, including major cost savings, heightened data security, remote access and maintenance, flexible storage and retention, scalability, increased stability, and disaster recovery. Analytics and AI turn security systems into business solutions: Video surveillance systems are not just for security anymore, they’re also a valuable tool for business intelligence (BI). While AI has been talked about for several years, its deployment has lagged. This year, we’ll see AI move from the lab to practical adoption. Compliance requirements are constantly evolving: As video surveillance becomes a more widely adopted tool across industries and continents and more industries are using video for compliance purposes, regulating its use is becoming more prevalent. IT departments more engaged and owning video surveillance: IT leaders have not only got involved in the video management system, but have also started owning it. As part of their IT strategy, corporations are leveraging video for business process improvement while reducing unnecessary operational overhead. Demand for open, integrated systems: An open and connected ecosystem makes it possible for businesses and developers to integrate any number of applications on a single video management system (VMS) platform. The VMS platform handles all the heavy lifting of interfacing with the cameras, recording video, securely transmitting and storing video to the cloud, and making video available for use in the integrated applications. The days of vendors ‘locking’ users into their cameras or touting ‘hybrid’ systems (which require upgrades to vendor hardware to get new features) will not be accepted.
DITEK Networks is announcing the launch of a new line of Gigabit Power over Ethernet (PoE+) network switches designed for industrial applications. The products in this new line, which includes both 4-port and 8-port models, are built with a rugged metal case, and feature a fanless design that delivers a high PoE power budget. A welcome addition to the three other series of DITEK Networks PoE switches, this new line gives IT professionals and security integrators a new choice for cost-efficient, easy-to-install powered networks ideal for demanding environments. Extreme temperature tolerance Total PoE Budget for the 4-port model is 120W, and total PoE Budget for the 8-port model is 240W "In sharp contrast to most business and office settings, industrial environments can be a real challenge for network equipment," said Michael Molinari, Director of Marketing for DITEK. "We introduced this new line of Gigabit PoE+ Switches to meet these challenges head-on. They have the rugged strength, extreme temperature tolerance, high power output, and quiet, dust-resistant operation that would make them the ideal choice for these demanding applications." Two new DITEK Networks models are available: DTK-SW4IND 4-Port Gigabit Ethernet PoE+ Industrial Switch DTK-SW8IND 8-Port Gigabit Ethernet PoE+ Industrial Switch Industrial power supply Both models support up to 30 watts of power per port while delivering network speeds of up to 1 Gbps. Total PoE Budget for the 4-port model is 120W, and total PoE Budget for the 8-port model is 240W. Both models feature rugged, IP40-rated metal cases and a fanless design. Both models have a wide -40 to 75 degree C (-40 to 167 degree F) operating temperature range. Both models feature 10/100/1000 Mbps autosensing ports that automatically detect optimal network speeds. Both models feature two small form-factor pluggable GBIC module slots (SFP). The new models are ideal for PoE Network devices, as well as Wireless Access Points and IP Video Cameras. Both models come with an included DIN-rail mounting bracket, and require a separate DC industrial power supply (not included).
Silicon Labs, a provider of silicon, software and solutions, announces Z-Wave Long Range (LR) support for existing Z-Wave 700 Series products. With ten-year coin cell battery operation, backward compatibility and the addition of Z-Wave LR features, Silicon Labs Z-Wave 700 Series SoCs and modules extend seamless wireless connectivity beyond the smart home. The unique benefits of Z-Wave LR make it a perfect fit for Internet of Things (IoT) applications in commercial, multi-dwelling unit (MDU), and hospitality markets. Z-Wave LR is a new specification by the Z-Wave Alliance offering point-to-point wireless connectivity at ranges up to several miles and support for thousands of nodes. External power amplifier Z-Wave LR eliminates the need for mesh repeaters, saving time and money for developers and end customers. “The addition of Z-Wave Long Range support is a significant expansion of our Z-Wave 700 Series product offering, bringing Z-Wave beyond the home into IoT markets requiring substantially greater range and penetration,” said Jake Alamat, vice president and general manager of IoT home and consumer products at Silicon Labs. Z-Wave 700 products will be launched in 2021, further extending range with an increased +20dBm output Field testing of Z-Wave LR on Silicon Labs Z-Wave 700 Series products demonstrated one-mile point-to-point range (line-of-sight) at +14dBm output power, and new Z-Wave 700 products will be launched in 2021, further extending range with an increased +20dBm output. Several mile range can be achieved with an external power amplifier to meet the maximum Z-Wave LR specification limit of +30dBm. Optimising power settings Additionally, the 700 Series supports dynamic output control to optimise power settings and enables up to ten years operation on a coin cell battery. “Silicon Labs’ Z-Wave 700 solutions with Z-Wave Long Range will allow us to provide energy-efficient, scalable IoT connectivity to our smart apartment communities,” said Felicite Moorman, Co-Founder of STRATIS, an IoT platform for connected buildings. “With ease of installation and extended range capabilities, these Z-Wave solutions enable connected products that deliver an excellent experience for installers, staff and residents.” New development kits supporting Z-Wave LR are available for purchase. Software support for Z-Wave Long Range on Z-Wave 700 devices is available via Simplicity Studio 5, Silicon Labs’ free IoT developer environment. Z-Wave Alliance certification for Z-Wave LR devices will be added by end of Q1 2021, with customer products to follow.
Check Point® Software Technologies Ltd., a foremost provider of cyber-security solutions globally, has announced that it has been chosen by NHS National Services Scotland, the publicly funded healthcare service in Scotland to secure and streamline the management of its public cloud data, and provide complete threat prevention for vital public services such as Scotland’s Test & Protect and vaccine management services. About NHS Scotland NHS Scotland provides public health and social care services to the country’s population and has been transitioning healthcare data and services to Microsoft’s Azure public cloud for the past 18 months. The start of the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for security that seamlessly expands on-demand to hyperscale capacity. NHS Scotland’s cloud infrastructure powers the country’s Test & Protect services, which has over a million users, as well as the Protect Scotland proximity app, so it was critical these services were completely secured against threats and attacks. Vaccination management The organisation is also developing systems for scheduling and managing COVID-19 vaccinations in Scotland as the vaccines become available. “Check Point’s CloudGuard has been key in enabling us to add new cloud workloads and services without needing to constantly review or deploy new security infrastructure. This means we can focus on the critical public-facing tasks where we can add real value, such as developing and running Scotland’s ‘Test & Protect’ services,” said Deryck Mitchelson, Chief Information Security Officer, NHS Scotland. “Right now, we are building our vaccination management systems, and our cloud-first approach gives us the agility and scalability we need to roll it out nationally while being sure that data and services are secured.” Securing healthcare data and services As it runs multiple essential healthcare systems, NHS Scotland also needs to have full visibility of who is accessing data, where it is being shared and how it is used to comply with GDPR and national data security legislation. To secure its healthcare data and services to the public cloud, NHS Scotland has implemented: CloudGuard IaaS which delivers the same advanced threat prevention and data security in public clouds as the organisation’s on-premises security gateways, through the same management interface Check Point Maestro orchestration delivers the hyperscale features that NHS Scotland requires, enabling it to seamlessly expand the capacity of existing security gateways to meet growing demands Implementing Check Point solutions “Health data is probably Scotland’s most valuable asset, so it’s essential that it remains absolutely secure wherever it is being stored or accessed. We now have much more visibility than we had before we implemented the Check Point solutions,” added Mitchelson. “We can really understand where the data is and who is accessing it, from where, and ensure it is protected at every point of entry.” SIEM solution NHS Scotland also uses a Security information and event management (SIEM) solution. “One of the things I liked with Check Point is its integration with the SIEM vendor we’re working with,” said Mitchelson. “That means that we don’t have to go and actually start writing and creating configurations, it just links to the SIEM system and automatically starts to work, giving us the information, we need in a single console.”
Paxton has produced a new series of Net2 tutorials to support installers with the latest features in the innovative access control software. The short, informative videos provide guidance on how to make buildings more COVID-secure with Net2. The unprecedented nature of the coronavirus has led many businesses and building developers around the world to consider how people can move safely around their sites and maintain social distance while ensuring their business remains economically productive in the months ahead. In what seems to now be the new normal, varying degrees of social restrictions are likely to remain in place across many countries. Access control role Jonathan Lach, Paxton’s Vice President Sales explains, “We recognise the role that access control has to play in making buildings safer and limiting the spread of the coronavirus.” “As a technology company, we want to provide solutions that address the problems posed by the pandemic and help people to safely return to work.” Since the start of the pandemic, Paxton has introduced several updates to its flagship access control system, Net2. The system is installed globally in a variety of commercial and public sector buildings, as well as critical sites such as schools, hospitals and laboratories. Increase in demand Lach further explains, “Net2 is installed in many different types of buildings around the world. Making those sites safer for people during the pandemic means a lot to our installers and their end-users.” “Because of this, we have seen an increase in demand for contactless and thermal scanning technology. So, we have developed the features of Net2, and created some extra functionality that really does help make a difference.” Tutorial videos To roll out these updates quickly and efficiently, as well as provide simple and useful information for our installers and end-users, Paxton has produced five easy to digest tutorial videos. Each of these videos showcases the new features and the potential to reduce contamination among users on site. Contactless access control: Hygienic access via touchless entry and exit points, moving away from touch-based devices Flexible access permissions: Meeting social distancing guidelines, limiting access to high traffic areas and implementing a one-way flow of movement Occupancy management: Assigning visitors and staff to designated areas and monitoring people numbers with alerts to further support social distancing Thermal scanning: Using thermal cameras to support health and wellbeing in high-security areas and identifying people that could be at risk Checkpoint Control: Setting designated checkpoints in specific areas of a building where users must be validated before they can access other areas Alongside the software updates and tutorials, Paxton’s on-demand webinar is also available to help new and existing installers identify how access control can help make their specific sites more secure and in line with current guidelines.
The Z-Wave Alliance, announces that the Z-Wave Long Range (Z-Wave LR) specification is available for product development. Z-Wave LR connectivity enables new IoT applications beyond the home, without any need for repeaters, ensuring easy install and low cost. With a network size of up to 4000 nodes, Z-Wave LR provides the scalability needed in MDU and hospitality deployments. Z-Wave LR also reduces ongoing maintenance costs with up to 10 years of life on a coin cell battery. The Z-Wave LR specification supports distances of up to several miles with a maximum output power of 30dBm, while supporting up to 4000 nodes on a single network. This represents a 20x increase over Z-Wave mesh node support while co-existing on the same network as Z-Wave mesh. Z-Wave LR is backwards compatible and maintains interoperability with all Z-Wave certified devices. Foreseeable transmission range The first implementation of Z-Wave LR, by Alliance member Silicon Labs, has already achieved a direct line of sight transmission range of 1 mile (1.6 km) utilising +14dBm output power. With a foreseeable transmission range of several miles, the Z-Wave LR specification significantly expands the possibilities of system scalability beyond the confines of a single residential property. Z-Wave LR extends Z-Wave capabilities to larger, more complex installations and markets including hospitality, MDU, smart cities, commercial installations, large residential compounds, and more. Technology for smart home The Z-Wave Alliance Technical Workgroup has been working to fine-tune the Z-Wave LR specification for deployment" “The Z-Wave Alliance Technical Workgroup has been working to fine-tune the Z-Wave LR specification for deployment,” said Niels Johansen, Z-Wave Alliance technical committee chairman. “These significant enhancements position the Alliance to solidify Z-Wave as the de facto standard for IoT solutions where sub-GHz is mission-critical to device performance.” “For almost 20 years, Z-Wave has transformed wireless technology for smart home and security devices. As IoT technology has expanded beyond the walls of the home and to the sidewalk, to commercial buildings, smart cities, and beyond, we decided to support these evolving industry needs,” said Mitch Klein, executive director for the Z-Wave Alliance. “Implementing Z-Wave and Z-Wave LR into IoT networks maximises value and minimises costs while providing more breadth of choice.” Certification programme Z-Wave LR is now available from Silicon Labs on their Z-Wave 700 platform and the specification is now available to Z-Wave Alliance members for development. The Z-Wave Alliance certification programme will include Z-Wave LR by March 2021, anticipating numerous Z-Wave LR enabled devices to launch throughout the year.
Indoor positioning is, in many ways, an inside version of the satellite-navigation apps we rely on for outdoor navigation, but with an added twist – it can also be used to help locate people and things. Let’s say you’re at home and misplaced your car keys, or you’re in a grocery store and can’t find your favorite brand of coffee. Or maybe you’re working in a factory and need a particular tool from a storage bin, or you’re a site manager dealing with an emergency and need to make sure everyone’s exited the building. Indoor positioning helps in all these situations, because it can locate items and guide you to where they are. The importance of “where” Knowing where an asset is located in real time is useful in many ways. In industrial settings, it improves item utilisation rates and saves time spent searching for things. It opens the door for a new level of “just in time” efficiency on factory floors, and for inventory management in warehouses and retail environments. Safety is another benefit of accurate location, because knowing where people, automatic guided vehicles, and robots are in real time can help prevent accidents and keep people out of harm’s way. Accurate location in real time also enables contextual decision-making, so your smart house adjusts your stereo automatically as you move from to room or lets you control objects by simply pointing at them. Lets you control objects by simply pointing at them Security authorisations based on location is another possibility. Precise real-time location is something that can be hard to fake, so it can be used to restrict access to an area or used to add protections based on where an asset sits, where a piece of data resides, or the origination point of a communication. Getting the technology right Developing an effective technology for indoor positioning requires several things. To begin with, location readings needs to be very precise, with accuracy down to as small an area as possible. The technology has to be secure, because location often needs to be kept private. The technology has to be reliable, even in harsh environments, and easily scalable, too, so it can address the thousands of people and assets in large venues. It has to be low power and affordable, so it can be embedded in everything from high-end, complex devices like smartphones to low-end, simple devices like asset tags. And, of course, the technology has to have latency low enough that it can track movement in real time. Various wireless technologies, including Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, are already used for indoor positioning, but they don’t deliver on the full set of requirements, especially in terms of accuracy. A different kind of wireless, called Ultra-Wideband (UWB) checks all the boxes. It has the potential to change the way we do all kinds of everyday tasks. What is UWB? UWB is based on the IEEE standard 802.15.4a/z, which has been optimized for micro-location and secure communication. UWB is highly accurate. It can pinpoint people and things to within just a few centimeters, making it 100 times more accurate than the current implementations of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and Wi-Fi. UWB is reliable because it has high immunity to various types of interference, including multipath, which is when a wave from a transmitter traveling to a receiver by two or more paths causes interference. UWB also offers very low latency, with update rates of up to 1000 times per second and readings that are as much as 50 times faster than satellite navigation. UWB is also implemented using mainstream technology, so it’s both affordable and optimised for low power. Lastly, UWB leverages distance-bounding techniques defined by the IEEE to provide a level of security that makes it extremely difficult to hack. Ultra-Wideband (UWB) checks all the boxes How is all this possible? Physics! UWB out-performs other location technology because, unlike Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, which transmit narrowband signals and use Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI) to determine location, UWB transmits wideband signals (500 MHz) and uses Time-of-Flight to determine location. Already in 40+ verticals UWB is already bringing value to products and services in more than forty verticals covering the consumer, automotive, industrial, and commercial market segments. For example, it brings operational visibility to manufacturing and logistics, helps businesses protect workers, and reduces safety-management costs. UWB also lets robots and drones self-navigate, and enables secure, hands-free access to cars, front doors, and other secure locations. It even helps with contact tracing and social distancing in the fight against COVID-19. Now in smartphones Recent adoption in smartphones means UWB is ready to grow quickly. Developers are using UWB as part of new services, with an eye toward making various everyday activities more convenient and safer. With UWB as part of smartphone apps, purchases will be more secure, accessing your car will be possible without a key fob, and misplaced items won’t stay hidden for long. Retail outlets will use location for targeted marketing, and finding things on store shelves will be easier than ever. Home automation will become seamless, and friends and family will be easy to find even if they’re in a crowd. The question of interoperability Having UWB in smartphones is an important first step Having UWB in smartphones is an important first step toward making UWB an everyday part of life, but interoperability is another key factor, since smartphones have to interact with a wide range of other devices and services. That’s where the FiRa Consortium comes in. Launched just over a year ago, the FiRa Consortium is a member-driven organisation of market leaders from the consumer, mobile, industrial, enterprise, and semiconductor industries. FiRa members work collectively to define the future standards that will make interoperability across UWB products a reality. With FiRa making it possible for developers to use UWB in all kinds of new ways, the future of indoor location is really only limited by the developer’s imagination.
Motion detection is a key feature of security systems in residential and commercial environments. Until recently, systems have relied heavily on closed circuit television (CCTV) and passive infrared (PIR) sensors, which both require significant investment and infrastructure to install and monitor. Developments in wireless technology are increasing home security possibilities. Few years ago, these developments led Cognitive Systems to discover that the wireless signals surrounding oneself can be used to detect motion. Known in the wireless industry as WiFi sensing, this technology brings many benefits that other motion detection solutions have not been able to provide. The working of WiFi sensing At Cognitive Systems, the company has used WiFi sensing technology to develop a motion detection solution called WiFi Motion™, which measures and interprets disruptions in RF signals transmitted between WiFi devices. When movement occurs in a space, ripples in the wireless signals are created. WiFi Motion interprets these ripples and determines if an action, such as sending a notification, is needed. Enabling this functionality in a space is incredibly simple. With a software upgrade to only one’s WiFi access point (or mesh router), motion sensing capabilities are layered into one’s WiFi network. Existing connected WiFi devices then become motion detectors without detracting from their original functions or slowing down the network. Using artificial intelligence (AI), WiFi Motion establishes a benchmark of the motionless environment and learns movement patterns over time, which could be used to predict trends. This allows unusual movement patterns to be detected with greater accuracy while decreasing the potential for costly false alerts. WiFi Motion requires no line-of-sight or installation WiFi sensing and other home monitoring solutions All of these capabilities are made possible by WiFi sensing and together create a motion detection system that provides unparalleled accuracy, coverage, privacy and affordability compared to other solutions on the market. PIR integration is far more complex and imposes electronic and physical design restrictions compared to WiFi sensing. In terms of placement, PIR systems are difficult to install, requiring line-of-sight and a device in every room for localisation. WiFi Motion requires no line-of-sight or installation and is also a scalable solution compared to PIR. Much like cameras, PIRs can only cover so much space, but WiFi Motion can cover the entire home and even detect motion in the dark and through walls, without adding additional devices to the home. WiFi Motion detects less distinguishing context than cameras and microphones, but more context than regular PIR sensors for the perfect balance of privacy and highly accurate motion detection. Privacy solution While cameras have been the security solution for years, WiFi Motion offers a more affordable solution that can rival the privacy and coverage capabilities of even the most high-end cameras. With such a wide coverage area, one might think that WiFi sensing infringes on privacy, but actually, the opposite is true. With WiFi Motion, the contextual information collected cannot be used to identify a specific individual, unlike cameras which can clearly identify a person’s face or microphones, which can identify a person’s voice. It is different from other smart home security options that use cameras and microphones because it only senses motion using WiFi signals - it doesn’t “see” or “listen” like a camera or microphone would. This provides opportunities for added security in spaces where privacy might be a concern and installing a camera may not be a comfortable solution, such as bathrooms and bedrooms. The data collected is also anonymised and highly encrypted according to stringent industry privacy standards. Existing connected WiFi devices then become motion detectors Additional WiFi sensing applications Since WiFi sensing technology requires no additional hardware or subscription fees, it is much more affordable than other motion detection solutions. It can be used as a standalone solution, or it can be easily layered into more complex systems. This ease of integration, scalability and relatively low cost brings a lot of potential for various applications. Motion detection can trigger other smart devices in the network to turn lights on or off In eldercare, for example, WiFi sensing can be used to help seniors live comfortably in their homes for as long as possible. With the increasing aging population and high costs associated with care homes, the market for this application is considerable. Caregivers can use an app to monitor movement in their loved one’s home and be alerted about unusual movement patterns that could indicate a concern. For smart homes and other environments that have a network of smart devices, the artificial intelligence (AI) component of the technology allows for improvements to automated features. Motion detection can trigger other smart devices in the network to turn lights on or off or make adjustments to the temperature in a room. Security for the commercial sector For office buildings and other commercial properties, it is easy to see how all of these features could be scaled up to offer a highly accurate and cost-effective motion sensing and smart device automation solution. Cognitive Systems is closely involved with the development of WiFi sensing technology, working with various industry groups to establish standards and help it reach its full potential. WiFi Motion is merely the tip of the iceberg in terms of motion sensing possibilities, but its applications in the world of security are undeniably compelling. It is an exciting time for the wireless industry, as one works with stakeholders in the security space to explore everything this technology can do.
The emergence of smartphones using iOS and Android is rapidly changing the landscape of the IT industry around the world. Several industries, such as digital cameras, car navigation, MP3, and PNP, have been replaced by equivalent or even better performance using smartphones. Smartphones provide increasing portability by integrating the functions of various devices into a single unit which allows them to connect to platforms with network-based services and offer new services and conveniences that have never been experienced before. These changes have expanded into the access control market. Although not yet widespread, ‘Mobile access cards’ is one of the terminologies that everyone has been talking about. RF cards used for access security are being integrated into smartphones just as digital cameras and MP3s were in the past. While people might forget their access cards at home in the morning, they seldom forget their smartphones. Using smartphones for access control increases entry access reliability and convenience. Mobile/smartphone access control A key aspect of mobile credential is that it makes it possible to issue or reclaim cards without face-to-face interaction As in other markets, the combination of smartphones and access cards is creating a new value that goes beyond the simple convenience of integration enhancing the ability to prevent unauthorized authentication and entrance. People sometimes lend their access cards to others, but it is far less likely they might lend their smartphone with all their financial information and personal information – to another person. This overcomes an important fundamental weakness of RF cards. Another valuable aspect of mobile credential is that it makes it possible to issue or reclaim cards without face-to-face interaction. Under existing access security systems, cards must be issued in person. Since card issuance implies access rights, the recipient’s identification must be confirmed first before enabling the card and once the card has been issued, it cannot be retracted without another separate face-to-face interaction. Mobile access cards In contrast, mobile access cards are designed to transfer authority safely to the user's smartphone based on TLS. In this way, credentials can be safely managed with authenticated users without face-to-face interaction. Mobile cards can be used not only at the sites with a large number of visitors or when managing access for an unspecified number of visitors, but also at the places like shared offices, kitchens and gyms, currently used as smart access control systems in shared economy markets. The market share of mobile access cards today is low even though the capability can offer real benefits to users and markets. While the access control market itself is slow-moving, there are also practical problems that limit the adoption of new technologies like mobile access cards. Use of Bluetooth Low Energy technology While NFC could be an important technology for mobile credential that is available today on virtually all smartphones, differences in implementation and data handling processes from various vendors prevents universal deployment of a single solution to all devices currently on the market. Accordingly, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) has been considered as an alternative to NFC. Bluetooth is a technology that has been applied to smartphones for a long time, and its usage and interface are unified, so there are no compatibility problems. However, speed becomes the main problem. The authentication speed of BLE mobile access card products provided by major companies is slower than that of existing cards. Enhancing credential authentication speed Authentication speed is being continuously improved using BLE's GAP layer and GATT layers The second problem is that mobile access cards must be accompanied by a supply of compatible card readers. In order to use mobile access cards, readers need to be updated but this is not a simple task in the access control market. For 13.56 MHz smart cards (which were designed to replace 125 kHz cards), it has taken 20 years since the standard was established but only about half of all 25 kHz cards have been replaced so far. Legacy compatibility and the need for equivalent performance, even with additional benefits, will drive adoption timing for the Access Control market. While BLE technology helps resolve the compatibility problem of mobile access cards, it can identify some breakthroughs that can solve the speed problem. Authentication speed is being continuously improved using BLE's GAP layer and GATT layers, and new products with these improvements are now released in the market. Making use of key improvements allows Suprema's mobile access card to exhibit an authentication speed of less than 0.5 seconds providing equivalent performance to that of card-based authentication. AirFob Patch MOCA System's AirFob Patch addresses the need for technological improvements in the access control market in a direct, cost effective, and reliable way – by offering the ability to add high-performance BLE to existing card readers – enabling them to read BLE smartphone data by applying a small adhesive patch approximately the size of a coin. This innovative breakthrough applies energy harvesting technology, generating energy from the RF field emitted by the existing RF reader – then converting the data received via BLE back into RF – and delivering it to the reader. By adding the ability to use BLE on virtually any existing RF card reading device, MOCA allows greater ability for partners and end users to deploy a technologically-stable, high performance access control mobile credential solution to their employees, using devices they already own and are familiar with. Adding MOCA AirFob Patch eliminates the need to buy and install updated readers simply to take advantage of mobile credential, lowering costs and risks, and increasing employee confidence and convenience. Growth forecast of mobile access card market in 2020 In 2020, forecasts show that the mobile access card market will grow far more rapidly Several companies have entered the mobile access card market, but they have not set up a meaningful product solution stream until 2019. In 2020, forecasts show that the mobile access card market will grow far more rapidly. Reviewing new entries into the market allows identification of the latest products that provide improving solutions to compatibility and speed problems. MOCA AirFob Patch addresses development plans in process today that overcome the legacy installed base of card readers – allowing rapid creation of an environment that can make immediate use of BLE mobile access cards. Integrated mobile digital ID With proven usability and within suitable environments, mobile access cards will also begin to make inroads into other markets, not just the access control market. In the sharing economy market, which seeks access management without face-to-face interaction, the integrated mobile digital ID led by the 'DID Alliance' will serve as a technical tool that can be used in access authentication – forging increasing links between the access control and digital ID markets.
An impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been to accelerate change. In 2020, the security industry was among many others that sought to adapt to shifting norms. In the process, we grabbed onto new opportunities for change and, in many cases, re-evaluated how we have done business for decades. If necessity is the mother of invention, perhaps crisis is the mother of acceleration. This article will reflect on how these themes impacted the physical security industry in 2020, based on content we published throughout the year, and with links back to the original articles. Sensitive data leakage Since the lockdown came into effect, organisations globally have undergone years' worth of transformations in a matter of months. Whether it has been to transition their operations online or moving their IT infrastructure to the cloud, there’s no denying that the face of business has changed permanently, experiencing a seismic shift, both operationally and culturally. As we enter the ‘next normal’ there remains a great deal of uncertainty around what the next 12 months holds and how organisations can navigate turbulence in the face of a possible recession. One of the most notable and widely reported trends has been the switch to remote methods of work, or home working. With so many employees logging on from residential networks, through personal devices that may be more easily compromised, the overall attack surface has greatly increased, raising the risk of potential corporate and sensitive data leakage in their new home office settings. Security and data protection are larger issues than ever. Good cybersecurity hygiene Criminals will use the crisis to scam people for money, account information and more" With a majority of the world working from home, businesses had to respond to this changing landscape. While it used to be that in-person networking events and sales pitches secured new projects or opportunities, the current landscape pushes businesses to be more creative in how they reach their customers. For example, with ISC West being postponed, many companies have turned to online resources to share new product demonstrations and other company news. Others are hosting webinars as a way to discuss the current climate and what it means for the industry. Without the proper precautions, working from home could become a cybersecurity nightmare, says Purdue University professor Marcus Rogers. “Criminals will use the crisis to scam people for money, account information and more,” he says. “With more people working from home, people need to make sure they are practicing good cybersecurity hygiene, just like they would at work. There is also a big risk that infrastructures will become overwhelmed, resulting in communication outages, both internet and cell.” Work-life balance 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. There are many benefits of working remotely with productivity right up the top of the list There are many benefits of working remotely with productivity right up the top of the list. By reducing the unproductive time spent commuting and travelling to meetings, we are able to get much more done in a day. Add to this the reduction in stress and improved work-life balance and it makes for an impressive formula of happier, healthier and more motivated colleagues. And it’s still easy to measure results no matter where someone is working. Video conferencing platforms Trade shows have always been a basic element of how the security industry does business - until the year 2020, that is. This year has seen the total collapse of the trade show model as a means of bringing buyers and sellers face to face. The COVID-19 pandemic has effectively made the idea of a large trade show out of the question. The good news is that the industry has adapted well without the shows. A series of ‘on-line shows’ has emerged, driven by the business world’s increasing dependence on Zoom and other video conferencing platforms. The fact is, 2020 has provided plenty of opportunities for sellers to connect with buyers. Some of these sessions have been incredibly informative – and conveniently accessible from the comfort of a home office. Online training courses Online training has grown in popularity this year, and the change may become permanent Online training has grown in popularity this year, and the change may become permanent. “We have seen unprecedented international demand for our portfolio of online training courses ranging from small installation companies to the largest organisations, across a wide range of sectors,” says Jerry Alfandari, Group Marketing Manager of Linx International Group, a UK training firm. “More than ever, businesses are looking to ensure they have the skills in-house to coordinate their response to the changing situation. Individuals are also taking this time to upskill themselves for when we return to ‘normal’ by bringing something with them they didn’t have before. Perhaps unsurprisingly, people are still seeking to better themselves for what will be, eventually, a competitive market.” Virtual trade show ‘Crisis and the Everyday’ was part of Genetec’s Connect’DX virtual trade show last spring. The virtual conversation – emphasising both in form and content the topsy-turvy state of the world – included interesting insights on the current pandemic and its near- and long-term impact on the industry. In the middle of this pandemic, there is an opportunity to help security reinvent itself “In the middle of this pandemic, there is an opportunity to help security reinvent itself,” said Brad Brekke, Principal, The Brekke Group, one of the panelists. “Amid the business disruption, we should ask ‘what’s the new playbook?’ It’s an opportunity for security to look at ourselves now and look at a business plan of what the future might look like. We need to align with the business model of the corporation and define our role more around business and not so much around security.” Cloud-based platform As a cloud-based platform for service providers in the security, smart home and smart business markets, Alarm.com adapted quickly to changing conditions during the coronavirus pandemic. In the recent dynamic environment, Alarm.com has kept focus on supporting their service provider partners so they can keep local communities protected. “We moved quickly to establish work-from-home protocols to protect our employees and minimise impact on our partners,” says Anne Ferguson, VP of Marketing at Alarm.com. The Customer Operations and Reseller Education (CORE) team has operated without interruption to provide support to partners. Sales teams are utilising webinars and training resources to inform and educate partners about the latest products, tools, and solutions. Alarm.com’s partner tools are essential for remote installations and support of partner accounts.
If one employee stands less than six feet away from another employee, a fob attached to a lanyard around his or her neck emits an auditory beep – an immediate reminder to observe social distancing. If an employee were to be diagnosed with COVID-19, a cloud-based database provides a record of who at the company the sick employee had contact with. These capabilities of HID Location Services ensure social distancing and provide contact tracing to enable companies to return to work safely. They have been deployed in a pilot program at HID Global’s Corporate Headquarters in Austin, Texas. Social distancing using a BLE beacon To ensure social distancing, a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacon is emitted from an employee’s fob (or from a badge that has the same functionality). The beacon communicates peer-to-peer with a beacon emitted by another employee’s fob or badge to alert if the location of the two employees is less than six feet apart. To ensure social distancing, a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacon is emitted from an employee’s fob For contact tracing, the beacons communicate via a nearby “reader” (a BluFi BLE-to-Wi-Fi gateway) to the Bluzone cloud-based software-as-a-service. The building area covered by each reader constitutes a “zone,” and the system records when two beacons are signaling from the same zone, which indicates contact between employees. In effect, the system records – historically and forensically – who was near whom (and for how long) using the zone-based approach. “In the workplace, we provide organisations with visibility into the location of their workforce,” says Mark Robinton, Vice President, IoT Services Business Unit at HID Global. Pilot program spans variety of environments By documenting where a sick individual moved in the building, the system also can guide any need to close off a certain area for deep cleaning. Instead of quarantining a whole building, a company could quarantine a small subset of employees who were likely exposed. Importantly, the system only reports data, while management makes the actual decisions about how to respond. The site of the pilot program is the 250,000-square-foot HID Global facility in Austin, which includes a variety of environments, including manufacturing areas, an executive suite, cubicles, a training area, a cafeteria, and lobbies. This spectrum of use cases enables the pilot program to evaluate how the system works in various scenarios. The building in Austin has two floors, plenty of natural lighting and emphasises sustainability in its design. HID Location Services ensure social distancing and provide contact tracing Pilot starts small and expands For the pilot program, 80 readers were installed in a wide area in the facility, including a variety of environments. Initially 30 badges and 30 fobs, all BLE-enabled, were issued to employees. If a badge identifies another nearby beacon (suggesting a social distancing failure), it emits a blinking LED light, which can be seen by the offending co-worker. The fobs emit an audible beep, which employees have overwhelmingly said they prefer. Observers overseeing the pilot program have documented employee reaction and comments. It emits a blinking LED light, which can be seen by the offending co-worker There were challenges in setting up the pilot program remotely to ensure fewer employees were on site during the pandemic. The equipment was provisioned in Florida and then shipped to the Austin location. Fine-tuning was required to adjust the signal strength of the BLE beacons. The badges were initially more powerful, but the strength was dialed back to be comparable to the fobs and within the six-foot social distancing range. Signal strength is also a variable in diverse environments – the 2.4 Ghz signal tends to reflect easily off metal, so adjustments in signal strength are needed in a factory setting, for example, versus a collection of cubicles. “This facility is large enough and diverse enough that it provides great test results and quality data to analyse,” says Dean Young, Physical Security Manager at HID Global. “Our employees are eager to be part of the pilot to demonstrate that we use the technologies we provide to our customers, and they want to help us stay in compliance with social distancing and contact tracing.” Ensuring privacy while protecting employees HID Global’s headquarters had approximately 425 employees before the coronavirus pandemic lowered the number drastically to include only essential workers. As more people return to work, additional fobs and badges are being issued to expand the scope of the pilot program. The program is also incorporating contact tracing of suppliers and others who visit the facility. Except when triggered by contact among employees, locations are not recorded. Each employee’s location is always available in real-time (e.g. in case of an emergency), but they are not “tracked.” Through BluFi placement and geofence capabilities, the system closes off private areas where location should not be monitored, such as a rest room. Geofencing also identifies when employees enter and/or exit the area covered by the pilot program. Although each beacon is associated with an employee, the employee’s identity is not part of the data stored in the cloud, so there are no privacy concerns. Data is completely anonymised, and no personally identifiable information (PII) is stored in Bluzone. Other computer systems in a company, such as a human resources (HR) program, can privately and securely store the identities associated with each beacon. Other applications for HID location services In addition to social distancing and contact tracing applications, HID Location Services offer other use cases ranging from asset tracking and employee safety/security to location analytics. For example, the system can analyse room usage for better building management and operational efficiency. It can also quickly find people in emergency situations. These use cases ensure continued value for a system even after concerns about social distancing and contact tracing have faded. The system can analyse room usage for better building management and operational efficiency Another big selling point is the ability of a company to be better prepared in case of a future pandemic, or a second wave of this one, says Robinton. The HID Location Services social distancing and contact tracing applications will be available at the end of Q3 and will be rolled out through HID Global’s existing integrator channel. Vertical markets likely to embrace the technology include healthcare, where hospitals need to track patients as they come in and to know which other patients or staff they may have been exposed to. The financial sector is another likely market, as is manufacturing, which is looking to avoid the prospect of shutting down an entire plant. It’s better to address the three or four people who were near a sick employee than to shut down the plant. In the hospitality industry, fobs can be used to signal duress by the housekeeping staff.
The next step in the journey of digital transformation, the fifth generation of wireless communications technologies (5G) will have an enormous impact on mankind, and on every industry including security. In short, 5G will disrupt the way we live and work. To discuss the changes, we presented our questions to Benoît Jouffrey, VP 5G Expertise at Thales, which is at the forefront of the transformation with an emphasis on trust and security. Following are his responses. Q: In layman's terms, what is the difference between 4G and 5G ecosystems as they relate to opportunity, flexibility and choice in networking tools? Jouffrey: Compared with largely one-size-fits-all 4G services, the 5G ecosystem will provide organisations with much greater choice and flexibility in the way they communicate over mobile networks. The network slicing capabilities of 5G means that business can have their own independent networks, with each one customised to their unique requirements and backed up by service-level agreements (SLA). Another aspect of 5G will be the ability to drive latency between UE (User Equipment) and network down to below a few milliseconds, which will massively boost the performance and scalability of enterprise applications. Q: How can these capabilities drive a company's digital operations? 5G will allow enterprises to be connected more efficiently Jouffrey: 5G will allow enterprises to be connected more efficiently: they can rely on a higher density of connected devices exchanging more information in a better timeframe. Due to these slicing capabilities, 5G networks allow for much greater personalisation than 4G networks. This means that businesses could benefit from this personalised network, tailored to their portfolio of Internet of Things (IoT) use cases, and not be necessarily expected to rely on a one-size-fits-all network. By combining the unique capabilities of 5G with the insights derived from analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, enterprises will be in much better stead to run their operations efficiently and securely. Q: How might 5G impact the use of cloud systems? Jouffrey: 5G is the first communication environment that is cloud-native. As such, 5G networks will support cloud-based applications in a way that 4G, 3G and 2G can’t support. For instance, sensors (e.g. in a manufacturing plant) often have a small internal storage and rely on synced devices (e.g. gateways) to interact with the cloud. Soon, these sensors will be able to work more efficiently, interacting with the cloud via the ultra-low latency and the edge computing capabilities supported by 5G networks. Unlike current IoT services that make performance trade-offs to get the best from these existing wireless technologies, 5G networks will be designed to bring the high levels of performance needed for the increasing use of IoT. It will enable a perceived fully ubiquitous connected world, with the boosted capacity offered by 5G networks transferring exponentially more data at a much quicker rate. Q: How can one provide trustworthy 5G lifecycle management for IoT devices? Jouffrey: Trustworthy IoT lifecycle management is an end-to-end approach from the secure provisioning of keys within the devices, to the proper identification of the users, from the authentication on the network or the network slice, to the secure handling of the data either at stored or in motion. Resources need to be invested long before this to qualify the business model, in prototyping, as well as prototype testing. Most organisations don’t have the resources to counter all the security challenges of their 5G IoT deployments. Businesses will often end up choosing between navigating a risk-laden 5G environment, with inadequate or incomplete trust mechanisms, or outsourcing these requirements. When looking at outsourcing, companies must choose a provider with expertise in digital security, ensuring 5G IoT deployments have data protection and connectivity credentials built in, together with end-to-end data protection solutions such as encryption – protecting data in the device, network, and cloud at rest and in transit. Q: How can wireless modules address new 5G IoT use cases? Wireless modules can be expected to play a bigger role than in previous generations of cellular Jouffrey: As IoT considerations are integrated into the 5G ecosystem, wireless modules can be expected to play a bigger role than in previous generations of cellular. 5G modules support different characteristics to earlier generations – the 5G use cases are much more complex, varied, from high-end use cases requiring high data usage and throughput, such as for industrial routers, to low-throughput, energy consumption optimised devices, as required for some IoT sensors. At the end, compared to the largely one-size-fits-all approach that preceded it, 5G will increase the demand for vertical-tailored wireless modules. Importantly, these wireless modules need to support new data protection and security features that go well beyond conventional compliance to 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) standards. Due to the extent of personalisation within 5G networks, wireless modules must also offer providers and customers greater security as well as agility all along the device lifespan. Q: What are the new data protection challenges posed by 5G, and how can they be addressed? Jouffrey: The 5G era presents exciting opportunities, as well as security challenges. The greatest risks to enterprise data on 5G networks – including eavesdropping, man-in the middle attacks, denial of services, loss or compromisation of data – were already known in 4G. The 5G standards have looked at providing answers to these threats and come with some noticeable improvements, such as the encryption of the international mobile subscriber identity (IMSI), otherwise known as the Subscription Permanent Identifier in 5G. But what’s different with 5G is the threat surface area, due notably to the variety of devices that will be used over these 5G networks and the underlying technologies used for the deployment of the networks, such as cloud native virtualisation. On top of this, it’s the first generation of cellular to launch in an era of global cyber-crime, funded by organised crime and states alike. So, whilst enterprises should look to the ecosystem of telecom operators and cloud providers, vendors, and system operators to help understand the opportunities presented by 5G – this same ecosystem needs to guide them in countering any new risks that the 5G architecture may pose. The key to securing 5G enabled devices is to build security into devices from the outset using encryption. The key to securing 5G enabled devices is to build security into devices from the outset Q: What new roles can the 5G embedded universal integrated circuit card (eSIM) endorse in network authentication? Jouffrey: 5G is the first generation of cellular to launch in a buoyant eSIM market. The eSIM will be key in supporting network slicing authentication and security, enabling enterprises to leverage their credentials to pre-select network slices. However, to support secure authentication for mobile networks that may require the usage of different authentication algorithms over time, these 5G eSIMs must support this flexibility of usage of multiple authentication and authorisation credentials. With this capability built into these eSIMs from the start, mobile operators can remotely swap the authentication algorithm either for a dedicated primary authentication, or in a definitive way, thanks to key rotation management, thus maintaining a trusted environment.
HID Global, the globally renowned company in trusted identity solutions, has announced that Collectors Universe, Inc. has added HID Trusted Tag Services to its Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) coins and banknote holders, so as to enable collectors to quickly and easily validate the authenticity, grade, and condition of their PCGS collectibles, with a tap of their NFC-enabled smartphone. Product authentication technology With the rare coin market exceeding US$ 3 billion, product authentication technology has swiftly become a necessity to prevent counterfeit coins and banknotes without compromising the encapsulation or condition of the collectibles. Collectors Universe first launched HID Trusted Tag Services with approximately 100,000 coins and received overwhelmingly positive feedback from customers. The company has purchased an additional two million HID Trusted NFC Tags to embed into broader segments of the PCGS inventory. HID Trusted Tag Services HID Trusted NFC tags are embedded into PCGS’s coin and banknote holders using discreet wet inlays “HID Trusted Tag Services is the single biggest leap forward for third-party grading since the inception of the collectibles market. I hope that every third-party grading service in the industry considers integrating similar technology into their product lines as well. It’s simply that important for the hobby as a whole,” said Brett Charville, President of Professional Coin Grading Service. HID Trusted NFC tags are embedded into PCGS’s coin and banknote holders using discreet wet inlays. Collectors just tap their phone to a holder to authenticate their collectible through the HID Cloud Authentication service. Anti-counterfeiting technology Each tap generates a unique one-time URL that automatically launches Collectors Universe’s proprietary PCGS Cert Verification app or opens a web browser to display information about the collectible’s authenticity. The single-use URLs help prevent threats such as spoofing or other attempts to circumvent the HID Trusted Tag Services. “With the HID solution, Collectors Universe is the first in the numismatic industry and among the first in any of the collectibles fields to utilise this type of anti-counterfeiting technology at scale,” said Collectors Universe Chief Information Officer, John Nelson, adding “The technology provides peace of mind to customers who seek reassurance that their investment is going toward a verifiable collectable.” NFC technology and cloud authentication services “HID Trusted Tag Services was specifically designed for Internet of Things use cases that benefit from combining our trusted NFC technology and cloud authentication services to enable new, convenient experiences for customers,” said Mark Robinton, Vice President of IoT Services with HID Global. Mark adds, “Product authentication and brand protection are some of the many applications we automate by leveraging smartphones to streamline and simplify processes that were previously manual and paper-based.”
Hicking Building RTM Company Ltd has teamed up with Videx Security and Joes UK Limited to solve a major door entry issue for a large residential complex. The Hicking Building Ltd. is a Nottingham-based development comprising 329 self-contained flats, managed by property agents Walton and Allen. Many residents were struggling with a call issue because the existing intercom system developed a fault which meant residents weren’t receiving calls from the system panels. Because of this, tenants were missing visitors and deliveries with people thinking they weren’t home. Videx GSM 4812 intercom system Installer Joes UK Ltd. was tasked with finding a suitable intercom system Installer Joes UK Ltd. was tasked with finding a suitable intercom system that would also work in conjunction with the existing access control system, where the fob entry element of this was working normally. Joe, who owns and manages Joes UK Ltd., said “The system installed is a very old system and we were struggling to source the repair parts needed to fix the calling issue tenants were experiencing. To fix the problem and reduce the risk of the issue happening again, I recommended the installation of a digital audio GSM 4812 intercom system by Videx that could work concurrently with the fob entry function of the existing solution.” He adds, “With the Videx GSM 4812, when someone calls a specific apartment the call is automatically directed to a registered phone number of the tenant’s, which is usually their smartphone. They now will never miss that important visitor or delivery and are made aware of who has visited even when they are not there and can authorise entry if they wish, while away from their home.” Parallel operations with software-based fob entry solution The Videx system works alongside the existing software-based fob entry solution that residents have used for many years. Mobile phones are now the handset of choice for the majority of people and as they are enabled with Wi-Fi calling, there’s no need to worry about poor mobile signal. If the existing fob system also developed a fault and stopped working, the Videx GSM system includes a preinstalled fob reader so it would be easy to switch this over to the GSM solution. Mark Gibbon, Sales Manager at Videx Security, said “The GSM system is the ultimate entry system of convenience that also provides maximum security too. There’s no infrastructure or wiring involved; it’s very easy to set up and use.” The GSM system is the ultimate entry system of convenience that also provides maximum security Mark adds, “It’s a win-win situation for both the resident and management company because it means residents won’t have to stay home waiting for a delivery, or miss a visitor, as they can answer the call to their apartment from anywhere in the world. For management companies, our GSM solution offers a fixed cost and minimises the risk of call outs because there’s no handset maintenance involved.” Remote event log with online access A really useful feature of the GSM system is that it also carries a new remote event log that can be accessed online, allowing events to be viewed in real time, on the move via a phone, tablet/laptop. It’s a great security feature because it’s where a record is kept of calls, gate/door openings and much more. What’s also useful is that alerts can be programmed where an email will be sent should that alert be triggered. For example, if the gate or door is opened out of normal hours or if the registered number for a flat or property is changed too frequently - any unusual activity is flagged.
Redlands Unified School District, located in San Bernardino Country, California, hosts more than 21,000 students across its 16 elementary schools, four middle schools and four high schools. School security is paramount for the district. It’s taken extra precautions, including a focus on lockdown procedures across its locations and the district office. K-12 school security can be challenging, especially with the uniqueness of Redlands High School. It’s an older facility that was constructed more than 100 years ago. Additionally, students must walk outside to pass from building to building, and there’s a street that cuts through campus. A crosswalk is needed to get from one end to the other. The district needed to take all of this into account when assessing their security plan. Securing every layer The district’s security team took into consideration each physical layer that needed protection The district’s security team took into consideration each physical layer that needed protection at Redlands High School, from the district level to the classroom and many openings in between. Yet, there was a common area that needed addressed. There’s a fence around the campus to protect the property perimeter. And Redlands High School is extending that fence to include the cross walk, which will help funnel guests into a single point of entry, the main office. Schlage AD Series electronic locks This opening, as well as many other perimeter openings that lead into offices, gyms, auditoriums, libraries and hallways in the school feature Schlage AD Series electronic locks that are connected to the district’s access control system. At the classroom layer, each door has mechanical hardware that can be locked from the inside. Redlands School District has started district-wide implementation of a full-feature enterprise access control system through Vanderbilt, which is capable of operating across different schools, campuses and other locations. RedRock Security and Cabling, Inc. (RedRock Technologies) had implemented and continue to support the solution. Electronic access control “When these systems are managed district-wide, schools have the ability to lock down a door at a time, a school at a time or an entire district at a time,” said Jennifer Martin, Director of System Sales at Vanderbilt, adding “It’s all about protecting the students.” With electronic access control on main points of entry and many assembly areas, plus secure mechanical locks on classroom doors, Redlands High School had most of the layers prepared in the event of a lockdown event. However, the school’s cafeteria, Terrier Hall, was a vulnerable space. “Hundreds of students use Terrier Hall,” said James Fotia, Director of Maintenance, Operations and Transportation at Redlands Unified School District, adding “In a lockdown situation, that’s a place where we would secure the kids and keep them safe by clustering them into that area and having it locked down. But it was secured by one AD-400 lock on a pair of double doors. That was incomplete.” Von Duprin RU retrofit option Allegion representatives recommended a new K-12 security solution from Von Duprin To demonstrate how the school could affordably secure big banks of doors without having a reader on each opening, Allegion representatives recommended a new K-12 security solution from Von Duprin. The Von Duprin RU retrofit option is a cost-effective solution for openings with existing exit devices that enables remote locking, or un-dogging, for centralised lock down. This enables staff to initiate an immediate campus-wide lockdown from a secured location instead of putting themselves in harm’s way to manually undog exit-device doors throughout the building. Integrated request to exit (RX), latch bolt (LX) and door position switch (DPS) signals are included to provide real-time remote monitoring and confirmation of the security status of the door. Wireless connectivity to ENGAGE Gateway There’s also a ‘dog on next exit’ feature, which is a scheduled function sent to the device to allow the door to remain unlocked the first time someone depresses the push pad of the exit device to leave that space. The door is secured in the evening, and with ‘dog on next exit’ enabled at a specific time in the morning, staff simply depresses the push pad to unlock the door. This makes unlocking the door simple for scheduled events and daily lock-up easy by reducing the need to distribute keys to staff. Additionally, the RU option connects wirelessly via Bluetooth Low Energy to Allegion’s ENGAGE Gateway which provides real-time, bi-directional communication to the access control software. RU is a modular battery powered kit that can be added on to existing Von Duprin 98/99 and 33A/35A Series devices. Enhanced door security “The Von Duprin RU option fits into special applications that haven’t been addressed in the past,” said Russell Gamble, End User Consultant at Allegion, adding “There are several openings that will benefit from this secure lockdown solution.” At Redlands High School, the Von Duprin solution is installed on five doors that surround the cafeteria area. There are main entry doors where students enter, plug in their lunch numbers and go through the buffet line. From there, they enter the multi-purpose space, where there are four additional doors, which are secured with the RU options. Access control solution with lockdown capabilities There was also interest in implementing the security solution at the district office There was also interest in implementing the security solution at the district office. The school wanted to pilot the solution there to experience the product and its features, especially the lockdown capabilities. And being that the building is so unique, it has a need for enhanced security. “The district office is a converted warehouse, so it was never really meant for meetings and offices,” said Fotia, adding “Having the Von Duprin RU has been a wonderful fit in providing security in a not so ideal building.” Integration with Vanderbilt solution The main building is built U-shaped and the loading dock is in the middle. In the middle there is a courtyard area with four portable offices. The Von Duprin RU is on each portable door. At both locations, the Von Duprin RU options are integrated into the Vanderbilt solution and part of the broader lockdown solution. “The greatest thing about this solution is schools now have a way to electronically add control to doors that used to be manually monitored,” said Jennifer Martin. Remote lockdown and door access control She adds, “With the Von Duprin 99 Series, doors allow for free egress, but they aren’t usually monitored by access-controlled systems. If someone has it dogged so the doors are unlocked or propped open, someone has to manually go around and lock each door.” This solution ensures staff is alerted if a door is propped open and enables the ability to lock down the door remotely, even if it was previously mechanically unlocked. Enhanced lockdown capabilities for peace of mind Redlands Unified School District is pleased with the addition of the Von Duprin RU Redlands Unified School District is pleased with the addition of the Von Duprin RU to its school security plan. Integrating the solution with the Vanderbilt system, along with the Schlage electronic locks on campus has improved lockdown. According to the district’s Coordinator of Operations and Facility Planning, Ken Morse, it’s also improved peace of mind because there are less errors and more control over these areas. In the cafeteria, Terrier Hall, they’re able to secure doors that used to be manually controlled. This eliminates human error and the risk of manually locking doors in an emergency. Fotia said the school also likes the budget-savings aspect since it was able to simply upgrade the hardware it already had in place versus purchasing entirely new equipment. He’s excited to see other areas where the Von Duprin RU might be a fit. “The security measures and the lockdown capabilities are the main reasons we wanted the Von Duprin product,” said Morse, adding “Putting something on a schedule is also a great bonus because of how many common-use facilities we have. We’ve found that scheduling it is relatively easy. The doors are open only when they need to be. We have everything scheduled at the district office so it’s open during our hours, which has been a huge benefit.”
Interface Security Systems, a pioneering managed services provider that delivers managed network, business security and business intelligence solutions to distributed enterprises, recently provided Thrive Restaurant Group, one of Applebee’s largest franchisees in the US, with scalable network, communications and security services. Business security systems platform The new solutions include a next-generation secure SD-WAN architecture with network upgrades, 4G/LTE wireless capability, unified communications as service (UCaaS) with cloud-based VoIP and a secure and standardised business security systems platform. As a significant update to Thrive’s outdated legacy systems, the new Interface solution unclogs productivity bottlenecks and gives the flexibility the restaurant chain needs to address changing customer preferences. Managing multiple network and voice providers We needed a partner we could count on to manage our network, voice, and security for all locations" With 81 restaurants across the United States, Thrive found itself struggling with challenges common to many geographically distributed businesses, including managing multiple network and voice providers, dealing with outdated CCTV hardware, and a lack of accountability from vendors. “With 81 restaurants across ten states, we needed a partner we could count on to manage our network, voice, and security for all locations,” explains Brian Houchin, Director of IT for Thrive Restaurant Group. Troubleshooting technical issues When it came to managing vendors, Thrive simply had too many. Troubleshooting technical issues was challenging as it was difficult to pin accountability on a specific vendor. In addition, tracking invoices, service credits and administering multiple vendors was an inefficient and time-consuming exercise every month. Outdated hardware and changing regulations also posed a challenge. Unreliable CCTV equipment left the restaurants, employees and customers vulnerable to security risks on-premises. Constantly evolving Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance rules meant Brian Houchin had to devote hours of his limited bandwidth to keep up with the latest changes and updates, so that Thrive could avoid major penalties and security threats. With the COVID-19 pandemic significantly disrupting Thrive’s business, restaurant staff found it challenging to handle sudden spikes in call volumes, as they had to work with a legacy phone system that was not scalable. The lack of 4G wireless coverage, outside of the restaurant premises made curbside pickup and take-out services impossible to manage. Secure, scalable network and communications Thrive turned to Interface to implement a secure, scalable network and communications backbone that would unclog the productivity bottlenecks and give the flexibility the restaurant chain needed to cater to changing customer needs. Interface implemented a next-generation secure SD-WAN architecture with network upgrades to guarantee seamless connectivity between all of Thrive’s locations. To deliver a better guest experience for customers calling in with their orders and enabling curbside pickup and payment, Interface rolled out a 4G/LTE wireless network that also doubled up as a backup when the primary network failed. UCaas with cloud-based VoIP implemented With managed network services from Interface, Brian and Thrive never have to worry about PCI compliance With managed network services from Interface, Brian and Thrive never have to worry about PCI compliance. Interface also implemented unified communications as service (UCaaS) with cloud-based VoIP and auto-attendant features for Thrive’s locations to seamlessly route high volumes of customer calls to their dedicated order centre. “We wanted to take the call-in experience out of the individual restaurants and put it into the hands of professionals who weren’t in a hurry to get off the phone,” explains Brian Houchin, adding “The VoIP service from Interface lets us take additional orders, dramatically improving our customer experience and increasing revenue.” Deploying secure video surveillance platform To solve the limitations of Thrive’s legacy CCTV infrastructure, Interface delivered a secure video surveillance platform with easy remote viewing from any location and simplified access management to boost restaurant security. Thrive’s partnership with Interface has allowed the restaurant group to focus more on their growth strategy and long-term plans. By consolidating their SD-WAN, UCaaS, CCTV and 4G/LTE services with Interface, Thrive gets real accountability without having to deal with the vendor run-around. Perhaps the greatest advantage is Thrive’s ability to aggressively expand, confident that Interface’s 24/7 managed services will always be ready to support their growth. “We’ve had a chance to test out multiple vendors for network, communications and business security and Interface definitely has provided us the best experience,” concludes Houchin.
Sonitrol, the globally renowned provider of verified electronic security solutions, has announced that CMS Corporation, an award-winning construction contractor, relies on one of Sonitrol’s newest offerings, Sonitrol Network Protection. CMS Corporation’s scope of services encompasses new construction, renovations, fueling systems, and energy and sustainability projects for a wide range of commercial and federal government clients. The company’s projects are approximately 70% Federal and 30% civilian undertakings. Upgrading network security According to CSO Online, the average small business loss when a network has been breached is US$ 170,000 According to CSO Online, the average small business loss when a network has been breached is US$ 170,000. CMS Corporation’s management knew that they needed to upgrade their network security in an effective, comprehensive and cost-effective manner. Matthew Wilson, Director of Information Technology at CMS Corporation, was impressed with Cisco’s reputation, and he was aware of their Cisco Meraki software. He chose Sonitrol Network Protection as the preferred network security solution because it offered a world-class solution provided by a known and trusted provider, Sonitrol. SB/MBEs more vulnerable to cyber-attacks The company, CMS Corporation’s Bargersville, Indiana Office is a two-story administrative space with a large workshop and fabrication area, and a large detached workshop/storage area. Small Business and Minority-Business Enterprises (SB/MBEs), like CMS Corporation, are particularly vulnerable to cyber-attacks, because their relatively small size means that they have a lower IT budget and resources. Furthermore, with CMS Corporation’s large number of federal government contracts, effective cyber security is essential to the company’s continued growth and success. Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification compliance Due to upcoming Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) compliance, federal contractors are required to tighten their network security to protect Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI). “Cisco Meraki products enable us to have proactive insight into our network activity to help ensure compliance with current and new federal regulations,” Matthew Wilson explained. Sonitrol Network Protection Wilson was attracted to Sonitrol Network Protection’s ease of deployment, auto mesh VPN and seamless scalability Wilson was attracted to Sonitrol Network Protection’s ease of deployment, single pane of glass administration, auto mesh VPN, and seamless scalability. These features are powered by the Cisco Meraki products and solutions, installed by CMS Corporation, which include: MX68CW, MS120-8 FP switch, and four MR36 access points. They also have a handful of Z1 and Z3 devices in remote construction trailers that are able to support the software. In addition to topline network protection from potentially daily cyber-attacks and ransom-ware attacks, Wilson and his colleagues are now learning post-deployment that Sonitrol Network Protection offers a host of additional security features and benefits. Cisco Meraki and Sonitrol intregation Wilson noted, “Cisco Meraki and Sonitrol are a winning combination and Sonitrol’s knowledgeable, courteous installation staff made the transition to our powerful, new network protection quick and easy.” Sonitrol Network Protection, powered by Cisco Meraki, can protect any size company’s network, devices, and data from daily cyber-threats and attacks. Firewall and intrusion protection The solution provides firewall protection, intrusion protection and prevention, ransom-ware protection, anti-phishing, malicious file scanning and more, thereby protecting businesses from huge monetary and data losses. It is cloud-based and managed from a single dashboard GUI, making managing ones network easy. Sonitrol Network Protection solution also provides robust business management tools: content/URL filtering, application-aware traffic control, guest WIFI access, analytics and heat mapping, and custom reporting options. The technology stays current with automatic firmware and security patches, and it works within a connected ecosystem, delivering security on Day 1 of implementation.
Round table discussion
Driven by technology developments such as voice recognition, smart devices and the Internet of Things, our homes are getting “smarter” all the time. Increasingly, we expect our residential environments to be responsive to our voice commands, whether we are adjusting a thermostat, turning on a light, or lowering the window shade. Smarter home integration yields new opportunities and challenges for home security, too, which contributes an element of safety and protection to the convenience aspects of smart homes. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How are new smart home systems impacting security?
A basic tenet of sales is ABC – always be closing. But it's a principle that most professional salespeople would say oversimplifies the process. Especially in a sophisticated, high-tech market such as physical security, the required sales skills are much more involved and nuanced. We asked this week's Expert Panel Roundtable: What unique characteristics are required of salespeople in the arena of physical security systems?
Where does the time go? Before you know it, here we are at mid-year reflecting on an eventful first half of 2018 in the physical security market. It’s also a good time for our Expert Panel Roundtable to pause and look ahead at what we might expect in the second half of the year. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What technology development will have the greatest impact in the second half of 2018?
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