Access control cards/ tags/ fobs - Expert commentary

Automatic Gates: Making The Right Investment For Access Control
Automatic Gates: Making The Right Investment For Access Control

The experience of the COVID-19 pandemic has made us all more conscious of who is coming and going from our property. Whether it is a family home, business premises or public building, property owners want full control over access for protection and peace of mind. As a provider of access control technologies, we are seeing a growing demand for automated gates with a variety of access control systems. There are a number of considerations that buyers need to make when investing. And as an installer, there is advice that you can offer to help your clients make the right choice for their property. Here are some of the key considerations you’ll need to make and discuss with your client. Whomever you buy from, you should be offered more than a simple instruction manual. Electronic locks, magnetic locks and code security In the first instance, you’ll need to advise on the type of lock and access control available. Electronic locks release on the operation of the automation system to allow the gates to open. Locks are required for all non-locking (also known as reversible) operators and are recommended for any gate on a multi-user site or any gate over 2.5m. Apply the same logic to an automated gate as you would to a domestic door – for example, you wouldn’t fit your front door with a lock on the same side as the hinges or a drop bolt at the hinge end of a manual gate so why dispense with this logic when the gate is automated? Electronic locks release on the operation of the automation system to allow the gates to open There are a number of locks on the market including magnetic locks, drop locks that “shoot” a bolt into the ground and side latching locks. These are all designed for external use. While the gate itself will provide physical security, the customer will want to feel in control of who enters their property, when and for what purpose. Consider access for mail and deliveries, waste disposal and visitors arriving on foot etc. There is a range of options available. Intercom systems will allow the user to vet visitors, keypad entry can allow remote access for visitors with a specific code, remote controls allow an oncoming driver to open the gates without getting out of the vehicle, and a timer control can be used to open or close the gates at certain times of the day. Vehicle detection loops can be installed discreetly under the tarmac allowing the presence of vehicles to exit the gates and prevent closing while obstructed. Sliding gates versus swinging gates There are a number of locks on the market including magnetic locks, drop locks that “shoot” a bolt into the ground and side latching locks Gates can be automated to either swing or to slide open and in the case of swinging gates, the opener may be concealed underground or gate mounted. The most suitable opener for your installation will depend on the space available and the type of gate selected. Concealed underground automation is ideal for highly ornate gates. However, where gates are fully infilled (typical of many timber designs), gate mounted openers are concealed from the front of the gate by the gate leaf and present a cost-effective option. The choice between slide and swing is largely down to space - swing gates require a clear space for their opening arc while sliding gates require space to one or both sides of the gate. Sliding gates are perhaps the best choice where the drive slopes or when drive space is limited, as they use the least space when opening. Voltage Most swing gate and sliding systems are available in 24v or 230v. The 24v systems still need 230v mains power – there is a transformer built into the 24v control panels. Deciding which voltage to use can include a combination of factors such as the material of the gates, the location of the system and the safety features you want. Concealed underground automation is ideal for highly ornate gates With wrought iron gates, the wind can pass through them whereas with fully boarded wooden gates (popular because they give full privacy) the wind has nowhere to go, so they act like sails. For commercial or industrial applications with larger entrances and a heavy gate, you may need 3 Phase 400v power (sliding gates only). Installing gate motors in confined spaces The environment in which you are fitting may well influence which gate and motor you recommend. Will it be in an exposed area which is subject to the elements? Will it be positioned on a slope? Sliding gates are perhaps the best choice where the drive slopes or when drive space is limited Installers have always faced the challenge of installing gate motors in confined spaces. When fitting a pedestrian gate, there is often limited space in which to work – potentially making an installation time consuming and technically demanding. If this is the case for you, consider a gate operator which is designed specifically for installations with limited space for maneuver. An example of this is the E5 compact gate operator. The operator is not only small but has an optional slide lever attachment designed for installations where there is extremely limited space, meaning that just 8cm of the pillar is needed for installation. What’s more, improved fixing points and a simple ‘hook and fasten’ process means assembly is safe, quick and straight forward. Ultimately, you’ll be looking for a good quality, reliable product with good service. Work with a supplier that offers more than just a manual. If they are happy to offer training, their time and advice when you buy, the chances are you’ll get their support long term.

4 Ways To Keep Your Workplace Protected From COVID-19
4 Ways To Keep Your Workplace Protected From COVID-19

The unprecedented global impact of COVID-19 has taken its toll on all of us, but as cases of the virus thankfully recede, employers are now forced to confront how they can enable a safe return to work for employees. For many employers, this means they will have to carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment, redesign workspaces to maintain social distances, carry out more frequent cleaning, manage the transmission risk and find alternatives to touch-based security devices. Protecting workplace occupants in any emergency requires preparation and clear communication. This is especially critical in a health crisis involving an infectious disease. These are some of the essential best practices that could help organizations reduce the impact on their employees and operations during this pandemic. 1. Use a visitor management system With a visitor management system, organizations have a single source of real-time and historical insights into who is, or was recently, in the workplace. This is especially important because of the need to perform contact tracing should anyone in the organization show symptoms of COVID-19, meaning everyone they have been in contact with needs to be contacted and asked to isolate. Yet still, first impressions are made at the front desk or lobby, where the visitor experience needs to be a positive one. At the same time, though, any emergency event requires that there be strict control over who is entering the workplace. This policy also needs to be clearly communicated to visitors. Doing this minimizes risk to visitors as well as the workforce. In addition to delivering a high-quality visitor experience, the ideal visitor management system must: Enable organizations to meet regulatory compliance mandates and facilitate check-in at a self-service kiosk to minimize wait times. Customize the visitor experience to support specific security needs, such as accelerating and simplifying check-in or requiring additional security pre-checks. Automate compliance as it relates to visitor access rules with historical visit reports. 2. Pre-check questions at visitor registration kiosks Organizations can strengthen security at the registration kiosk using a flexible, enterprise-grade visitor management system to add visitor sign-in steps. This has proven successful in the past when used to control the spread of infectious disease during an outbreak. An example of this is a U.S. children's hospital which managed to reduce facility infection rates by 25 percent over a two-year period using a commercial, off-the-shelf physical identity and access management (PIAM) solution from HID Global. The solution provides two particularly important capabilities that can be used by organizations to protect their workplace from the uncontrolled spread of an infectious disease: Enhance visitor registration policy with additional mandatory questions to help identify any visitors who may need other screenings. Extend the visitor registration kiosk with a mandatory pop-up asking further questions during visitor check-in. 3. Understand who has visited your workplace Successful controlling the spread of infection throughout a facility requires the ability to automatically maintain an auditable trail of activity. This can be done using an enterprise-grade visitor management system that makes it easy to retrieve historical visit reports. This provides a timeline of who was in the workplace, and when they were there. Key features include: A single dashboard providing useful visitor insights at your fingertips. Historical reports that provide visitor details including location and contact information, all in compliance with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other privacy regulations. 4. Clearly communicate how infection risks can be reduced Global organizations must actively communicate with visitors and employees on the outbreak of infectious diseases and follow best practices outlined by the World Health Organization (WHO). Here are several things organizations can do in this area to help maintain a safe and healthy workplace: Re-enforce and communicate WHO best practices with guideline posters in the front lobby and throughout the workplace. Add posters that also encourage regular and thorough washing of hands. Encourage everyone to cough or sneese into their shirt sleeve in their flexed elbow or cover their mouth and nose with a tissue. Encourage everyone to keep a relatively safe distance from each other and use alternatives to handshakes when saying hello. Organizations must contend with a variety of workplace challenges during the outbreak of an infectious disease. These challenges can be solved with best practices that include a comprehensive visitor management system that automates critical check-in policies and maintains an auditable trail of visitor activity.  

The Growth Of The Mobile Access Card Market In 2020
The Growth Of The Mobile Access Card Market In 2020

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.

Latest Ajax Systems news

Bitglass’ SASE Platform Achieves Perfect Score In KuppingerCole’s Cloud Access Security Brokers Market Compass
Bitglass’ SASE Platform Achieves Perfect Score In KuppingerCole’s Cloud Access Security Brokers Market Compass

Bitglass, the Total Cloud Security Company, has received full scores across all nine criteria in KuppingerCole’s Market Compass on Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASBs). The report covers vendors with offerings that address the challenges of security and compliance when using cloud services. This is the fourth time KuppingerCole has included Bitglass in its CASB Compass, demonstrating the company’s strong and consistent market validation. The criteria against which participants are reviewed include security, interoperability, usability, deployment, discovery, access control, data protection, compliance, and posture management. In addition to securing top marks for the above criteria, Bitglass’ CASB was selected as the solution “Featured for Innovation,” highlighting Bitglass for pushing the cloud security space forward with its advanced technologies. Agentless reverse proxy One major problem with the deployment of CASB is the need to install agents on devices or as part of a forward proxy" Specifically, the report focused on the uniqueness of its agentless reverse proxy. Powered by patented AJAX-VM technology, which ensures performance and uptime as applications are updated, Bitglass’ reverse proxy delivers agentless, real-time protection for any app accessed by any device - including personal devices. Additionally, the Market Compass highlights Bitglass’ SmartEdge Secure Web Gateway (SWG). As the world’s only on-device SWG, it decrypts and inspects traffic locally via a SmartEdge agent on each device, forgoing the need for on-premises appliances, VPNs, cloud proxies, and network hops. Real-Time data “One major problem with the deployment of CASB is the need to install agents on devices or as part of a forward proxy,” says KuppingerCole analyst and author of the report Mike Small. “The Bitglass solution leverages patent pending AJAX-VM agentless reverse proxy capabilities. This enables the Bitglass solution to provide support to any application with real-time data and threat protection, identity, and visibility.”

Ajax Systems Appoints Steve Norman As The Sales Leader To Expand Presence In UK Market
Ajax Systems Appoints Steve Norman As The Sales Leader To Expand Presence In UK Market

Ajax Systems, the developer behind the most award-winning wireless alarm in Europe, has hired a UK Sales Leader to strengthen the presence in the UK market and expand the local team. Steve Norman is a security industry veteran. For the last 20 years, he was working for major international manufacturers from the US and China, and a distribution and integration company in the UK - this experience lets Steve understand the industry from all sectors. Industrial intruder detection Lately, he headed up the business development team in Hikvision and then spent nearly 4 years managing the team in Dahua UK. Steve joins Ajax as the head of the UK sales team and will work towards its active development and growth. He will strengthen the Ajax team from October 1st. “Ajax has taken an industry that is firmly stuck in a particular way and has approached it with an Apple-esque viewpoint, and I believe that they will change the industry. The opportunity to be at the start of this in the UK and build a tight team to deliver this was too good to miss. I’d like to build a team that, working together, will exceed all expectations and deliver tomorrows intruder detection to an industry that can deliver so much more”, said Steve Norman, UK Sales Leader at Ajax Systems. Full-Fledged team For Ajax, the UK is one of the key markets, and therefore we are taking roots deeper and deeper into it" “For Ajax, the UK is one of the key markets, and therefore we are taking roots deeper and deeper into it. We have several products specifically for this market: the recent StreetSiren DoubleDeck, the current implementation of PD 6662 compliance, and the upcoming launch of DoubleButton." "Certainly, we’re actively striving to increase our presence there, and Steve is our next big step towards enforcing our team in the UK. Soon, the team will grow even more - Ajax will have a large full-fledged team on the UK ground”, said Aleksandr Konotopskyi, CEO of Ajax Systems. Alarm confirmation function Ajax Systems officially entered the UK market at the end of 2018. However, the system gained the recognition of the British professional security community even earlier. In 2017 Ajax was recognized as the “Intruder Alarm of the Year” at the IFSEC International, a renowned integrated security event in London. The company is working on launching new products for the British market. This autumn, Ajax will introduce the OS Malevich 2.10 update that will bring an alarm confirmation function including two detectors. Thus, the Ajax security system will meet all the requirements of the British PD6662 standard. As a result, not only security companies but also police patrols will be able to respond to Ajax alarms.

Ajax Systems Announces New Updates To OS Malevich 2.9 Software With 6 New Features Added To Security Systems
Ajax Systems Announces New Updates To OS Malevich 2.9 Software With 6 New Features Added To Security Systems

Ajax Systems have announced that the latest OS Malevich 2.9 update brings significant changes for users and security industry professionals. The new data import feature simplifies the process of replacing old hubs with new ones. Remote activation/deactivation  Detectors that work incorrectly can now be deactivated remotely and still be part of the system. Button and transmitter got new types of alarm notifications, adjustable in the app. Automation devices can now work in pulse mode and activate electrical appliances for a short period. The in-app panic button can now be used anywhere, not just at the protected property. Upon activation, it sends smartphone coordinates to an alarm monitoring company and all system users. Data import: Replacing hubs without reconfiguring the system With the import feature, all settings, connected devices, security groups, scenarios, and users can be easily migrated from an old hub to the new one. Engineers and user-administrators can install a more advanced hub model on the protected property without reconnecting each detector. Import feature also allows engineers to quickly restore the security system’s integrity, if its hub fails for some reason. Even if the system has hundreds of devices, dozens of scenarios, and several ReX range extenders, data import will take less than 15 minutes. The process is almost fully automated. Just connect the new hub to the internet, switch off the old one, start the data import, and follow instructions in the app. Temporary device deactivation Wrong installation, bad mounting choice, low signal level, broken tamper, or any other malfunction can easily result in a false alarm. With the release of OS Malevich 2.9, engineers can deactivate malfunctioning detectors remotely. No need to delete them from the list of devices. No need to rush to location. Two types of temporary device deactivation are available in the Ajax app, one is complete device deactivation and the other, deactivation of the notifications about the lid state. When the device is entirely deactivated, it doesn’t execute system commands and can’t take part in automation scenarios. Hub ignores all alarms and notifications of the deactivated devices. If notifications about the lid state of the device are disabled, the hub ignores only its tamper alerts. Alarm monitoring companies and users can still receive other alarms and notifications of this device. Temporary device deactivation function became one of the most popular requests from European PRO-users. Now, the functionality is available for all Ajax users. Pulse mode for Socket and WallSwitch Socket and WallSwitch (with firmware version 5.54.1.0 or higher) as well as Relay (with any firmware version) can now toggle switch devices, powered from the mains for a defined period, from 0.5 to 255 seconds. When the timer expires, devices switch back to their initial state: on or off. Previously, Pulse mode was available only in the Relay settings. It allowed electrical contacts to touch for up to 15 seconds and let the current flow. At the same time, Socket and WallSwitch could work only in bi-stable mode, closing and opening an electric circuit following the user’s command or executing a specific scenario. An additional command was required to change their state again. With OS Malevich 2.9 update, users have more options for automating lighting, electromechanical locks, and electric valves that control the water supply. Unlike Relay, WallSwitch and Socket can control electrical appliances without intermediary relays, rechargeable batteries, or an inverter. Adjustable alarm types for Button and Transmitter Information in alarm notifications defines how an alarm monitoring company and users will respond to the situation With OS Malevich 2.9 release, the settings of button and transmitter were expanded with an option to choose a type of alarm that the device communicates with an alarm monitoring company and other users: Intrusion Fire Medical help Alarm button Gas Information in alarm notifications defines how an alarm monitoring company and users will respond to the situation Information in alarm notifications Information in alarm notifications defines how an alarm monitoring company and users will respond to the situation. That’s why it has to correspond to the nature of the threat accurately. For instance, a wired gas detector connected to Ajax via a transmitter should notify about a gas alert. And button provided to an older person should notify about a medical emergency. By choosing an appropriate alarm type, engineers and user-admins change both the text of an alarm notification and a code of the event sent to the CMS. Transmission of smartphone coordinates to alarm monitoring companies using the in-app panic button Button, SpaceControl and panic button A panic button is a tool that is hardly ever used. But in case of an emergency, it can save lives. Button, SpaceControl, or the panic button in the Ajax app notifies CMS operators if someone is in danger and are located on protected premises. An alarm monitoring company will respond immediately, once the button is pressed. With OS Malevich 2.9 release, the in-app panic button transmits an alarm notification along with the smartphone coordinates to an alarm monitoring company. All system users also get the coordinates and can copy them to get directions using GPS apps. Now, users can call for help using the Ajax app from wherever they are. The second layer of protection from accidental pressing in SpaceControl SpaceControl key fob With OS Malevich 2.9 release, SpaceControl gets additional protection from accidental pressing SpaceControl key fob has to be within reach, in a pocket, bag, or keychain, the places where its buttons can be easily pressed by accident. So, they have equipped SpaceControl with firm buttons and developed a filter that ignores any pressing shorter than 0.15 seconds. With OS Malevich 2.9 release, SpaceControl (firmware 5.54.1.0 or higher) gets additional protection from accidental pressing, which has already proved its efficiency in button. Now, double-click and long-press activation options are available in the device settings in the Ajax app. They recommend turning on this feature to avoid situations when premises are accidentally armed, or the panic button is unintentionally pressed. Other features added include: The option to configure Socket LED brightness - Now, it can be turned off or dimmed. Users can check for the new features in the device settings in the Ajax app or check the Socket manual if in need of help. Notifications about hubs being switched off/on or factory reset - Now, alarm monitoring companies and users will be informed of why a hub went offline. The option to switch off the visual indication of a detector triggering - The LED indicator of a detector can now be deactivated in the device settings. The feature is available for DoorProtect, DoorProtect Plus, MotionProtect, MotionProtect Plus, CombiProtect, MotionProtect Outdoor, MotionCam, and GlassProtect with firmware update 5.55.0.0 and higher, as well as MotionProtect Curtain with firmware update 6.53.1.1 or higher. New devices support - Hub 2 Plus, StreetSiren DoubleDeck, MultiTransmitter.

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