Access control cards/ tags/ fobs - Expert commentary

Smart Offices: How Is Mobile ID Changing The Way We Access The Office?
Smart Offices: How Is Mobile ID Changing The Way We Access The Office?

If you’re a security or facilities manager, you may already be aware of the quiet revolution that’s taking place across businesses and organizations up and down the country. By the end of 2020, 20% of all ID and access control systems featured mobile capability, and this is set to increase by a further 34% over the next three years. There’s no doubt that using a smartphone or mobile device in place of traditional credential and access control is a growing trend that’s only been sped up by the pandemic. It’s true that many businesses are still very much focused on remote working, although many are now starting to implement new-and-improved strategies that are better suited to protect the workforce moving forward. Mobile ID systems As the next normal becomes clearer, businesses will be reviewing procedures such as access control, occupancy monitoring, reducing touch points, and tracking visitors. Mobile ID systems are ideally suited to this task. But what are the key reasons for considering such a setup in 2021? But why is this new technology so well-suited to future-proof your physical access system, and why is it becoming so popular? Eradicating outdated legacy credentials Have you seen just how vulnerable outdated Proximity card technology can be? Low-frequency 125kHz cards can be cloned in a matter of seconds with the use of cheap, readily available tools. Despite their weaknesses, they are still used by a huge majority of businesses – big and small. All smartphones include two industry-standard features that make them perfect for operating a secure, contactless credential Replacing such a system with a mobile-enabled system is one of the best ways to increase security ten-fold. Thanks to a cloud-based infrastructure, mobile ID offers best-in-class security and cryptography. All smartphones include two industry-standard features that make them perfect for operating a secure, contactless credential. Bluetooth Smart and NFC (Near Field Communication) make them the best product to operate such a credential via a secure app. If you’re looking for best-in-class security in 2021, mobile access is most definitely the way forward. Removing touch points across the business Reducing touch points and the adoption of touchless facilities has become a key priority for businesses in the wake of COVID-19. Even as businesses start to return to the office and operate a home/office split, it will be imperative that unnecessary contact is kept to an absolute minimum between staff. The traditional issuance of identification and access control credentials can pose problems in this regard. Facility and security managers who are responsible for onboarding and processing ID have done the process face to face. Mobile access makes it possible to carry this process out without people coming into direct content. First, the security manager has access to a secure portal, allowing them to create, manage and edit credentials anywhere. They can upload and remotely transfer mobile ID and access control credentials directly to users’ smartphones over the air. Via the secure app, users can view and see their credentials and immediately begin using it for ID and access control by simply placing their smartphone over card readers. Enabling a more flexible way of working The way in which we work has changed for good. Even as people more people return to the office in 2021, a majority of businesses will be operating a home/office split indefinitely. This once again reinforces the need for a smarter, more adaptable onboarding system. Implementing mobile ID is the perfect way of doing this: over-the-air delivery of credentials and security data is now a given, helping businesses create the perfect balance between the home and the office. No longer do people have to come into the office for the onboarding process. Increasing convenience and user experience More often businesses are realising the value mobile ID can have for enhancing the work experience as well as security Ok, so mobile ID is the perfect way of increasing security and adapting workplaces to a post-COVID way of working. And we’ve not even touched on the most obvious advantage yet: Convenience. How many times have you forgotten your ID card? We’re sure it’s more times than you forget your smartphone. These powerful processors have become intertwined with the way we carry out tasks on a daily basis. They’re so vital that people will soon notice if they’ve forgotten it. From an employee’s perspective, mobile ID and access control is simple, convenient, and extremely user-friendly. More and more businesses are realizing the value mobile ID can have for enhancing the work experience as well as security. From the employer’s perspective, mobile ID means it’s easier for administrators to manage access and credentials. Future-proofing access control now will ensure that in the longer term, mobile ID is well worth the investment. The annual expenditure of printing ID cards and purchasing credentials can be vast, while reissuance costs can also quickly add up for larger organizations. These issues are a thing of the past for businesses using mobile ID. Mobile ID perfect tool for 2021 and beyond Until mobile ID, new and improved credentials’ main focus was on increasing security. Mobile ID not only delivers that, but it also provides a more convenient way of accessing the office in a way that’s perfectly suited to returning to the office in 2021. If there was ever a time to upgrade, now is the time. Summing up, mobile access is changing the way we access the office by: Eliminating weak links in security systems such as outdated legacy card technologies Eradicating the need for touch points across multiple areas of the workplace Enabling a smarter, more flexible approach to onboarding Increasing convenience – for both employers and employees.

Access Control and Door Entry Management: How Technology is Driving Change
Access Control and Door Entry Management: How Technology is Driving Change

Access control and door entry is a huge responsibility, and challenge, for local authorities and housing associations UK wide. For councils, they’re accountable for the security and safety of many public facilities such as leisure centers, libraries as well as residential housing developments which are often large scale and home to hundreds of people. Housing associations manage affordable rental housing which also means they’re responsible for the appropriate access control management for each individual house or apartment. Technology developments have enabled better entry systems that are far more secure yet also more convenient and easier to manage. For example, with modern intercom and access control systems, remote management and communication is something that offers local authorities and housing associations features that enable them to reduce costs and cut their carbon footprints by managing multiple sites from one place. On the other hand, such technological innovation has meant that local authority and housing association specifiers and consultants now have a wide range of systems and products to choose from which can cause issues in ensuring the right system for a specific building or development is chosen. Choosing an appropritate access control system In choosing an appropriate system, local authorities and housing associations need to opt for a cost effective solution that can be easily maintained with excellent support from the manufacturer and guarantees that the system and system parts will remain supported for the duration of its expected life cycle. It is also important that the chosen system is flexible to cater for the varying needs of the tenants and visitors. Of increasing importance is the reduction of anti-social behavior which new technology can help by providing the use of data loggers which track the use and events of a door entry system, allowing specific evidence to be located by integrating with CCTV. Using technology to our advantage Through advancements in management systems and services, we can gain a much better visual representation of the events and general usage of an intercom entry system and not just its proximity access control. Systems, for example, can now send email alarms or notifications to the administrator or management. We are now able to modify user rights and access levels on the go from a mobile app which enables a much greater control over service and maintenance engineers, such as making sure they have full access when required via an app, rather than arriving to site with the incorrect keys or access fob. Systems, for example, can now send email alarms or notifications to the administrator or management Dealing with tenant’s lost and stolen keys has never been so easy either. The blocking or deletion of lost fobs and adding a new fob can be carried out in minutes while at the same time removing the cost of sending an engineer to the development to program new fobs. This greatly reduces the carbon footprint of the whole task as fobs can now be sent out via mail to a secure location for collection. Technology has also helped local authorities and housing associations to overcome the issue of not being able to have a concierge or building manager available 24/7 at some developments. Now with internet communication, it’s possible for tenants and visitors to get in touch with someone should they need assistance, whether that’s from within the apartment or from an entrance point. For example, lets take the Videx VX2200 with IP concierge integration. This system is exceptionally flexible, enabling calls to be answered on Videx intercoms and also mobile phones if required. With the integration of the IP concierge each block can be either standalone or networked via the internet back to a central control room. Reduced maintenance costs and carbon footprint We work with a wide range of local authorities and housing associations to help them overcome access control and door entry challenges. One organization we have recently partnered with is The Living Group to help them greatly reduce their maintenance costs and carbon footprint by installing the MiAccess offline proximity system on many of their developments across the North East. Technology developments have enabled better entry systems that are far more secure yet also more convenient and easier to manage By installing an appropriate system, The Living Group has managed to overcome issues caused by the existing system’s limitations and also enabled much more flexibility when it comes to effectively managing the access control system of all their included developments. For those responsible for effective and appropriate access control, the management of the systems are easier, quicker and there’s no delay or on-going costs for needing a specialist program to modify fobs and access rights as this can now all carried out in-house. Improved security legislation Further advancements in programmes such as Secured by Design (SBD), a police initiative that improves the security of buildings and their immediate surroundings to provide safe places to live, work and visit, means that there’s more security legislation being implemented that’s making intercoms and access control more secure, without affecting ease and convenience. Videx holds an SBD accreditation and we know, from first-hand experience, how it’s making a difference in keeping tenants safe. When you combine the safety features promoted by an SBD member company like ourselves with the likes of the Videx event logging, image capture and ability to modify access users on the go, for example, we can help to create a very safe and secure environment. Personally, I think there needs to be a greater emphasis on the role of security legislation Technology has completely transformed the way local authorities and housing association are able to choose, install and manage door entry and access control systems for tenants and visitors alike. Personally, I think there needs to be a greater emphasis on the role of security legislation such as Secured by Design to ensure all councils and housing association consultants are up to date with what constitutes a robust and secure system that’s also cost effective too. In my role, I see weaknesses in systems and constant ongoing costs that could easily be avoided. For instance, features such as timed remote entry means local authority and housing association management no longer need to worry about keys being lost, the wrong keys being supplied or locks needing to be changed. With new systems such as the Videx MiAccess and Videx WS4 range, we can help to massively reduce a housing association’s or council’s carbon footprint and engineer costs by allowing them the access to management and control from an offsite location. Crime prevention We can also use live and logged events to help prevent crime in different ways, from antisocial behavior growing around a tenant being called or visited much more regularly than others, to knowing a tenant is currently still living at a property but isn’t paying rent or answering to any correspondence. Technology enables local authorities and housing associations to receive detailed data and therefore behavioral insights on the people under their management and care. If consultants and specifiers are advised on the most appropriate systems that meet their specific entry needs, they can ensure greater, safer and more convenient access control that meets the requirements of both the end user and the those responsible for its effective management.

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.

Latest RISCO Group news

RISCO’s SmartHome Video-enabled Security Solution At IFSEC 2015
RISCO’s SmartHome Video-enabled Security Solution At IFSEC 2015

RISCO will also present its new ProSYS Plus grade 3 hybrid security system for commercial sector at the event RISCO Group, the global integrated security solutions provider, will be presenting a host of exciting new products at IFSEC 2015, stand G1100. SmartHome An extension of RISCO Group’s award-winning Agility 3 and LightSYS 2 intruder alarms, using the advanced iRISCO smartphone app, new ‘SmartHome’ offers homeowners total control of their security, safety and home appliances. RISCO’s powerful video-enabled security solutions combined with their new connected home devices now enables householders to increase their energy efficiency, save money and enjoy control of their home devices and security - using just a single interface. ProSYS Plus - NEW G3 Panel With 512 Zones With the new ProSYS™ Plus grade 3 hybrid security system designed for the commercial sector, RISCO is setting the bar in the security industry. The powerful state-of-the-art solution offers a unique array of benefits, featuring a revolutionary single hardware platform with a unique licensing mechanism - allowing virtually unlimited scalability for any size of installation up to 512 zones. Encompassing the complete spectrum of advanced RISCO technology, the ProSYS™ Plus professional security solution provides: Advanced scalable control panel suitable for any commercial installation, up to 512 zones ‘Super Hybrid’ architecture offering wired, 2-way wireless and RISCO Bus for optimized installation Revolutionary cost-effective licensing model reducing project TCO Cloud-based smartphone app and web interface, enabling remote monitoring anytime, anywhere Full range of professional commercial and industrial detectors, utilizing RISCO’s advanced detection technologies Integrated IP cameras for live HD video verification and remote ‘look in’ via the cloud Fully supported by RISCO’s open architecture command & control PSIM software Beyond™ - NEW Wired And Wireless External Detector A winning combination of dual technology and integrated camera, Beyond™ provides crystal clear visual verification via the monitoring station, iRISCO smartphone app, or web interface A winning combination of dual technology and integrated camera, Beyond™ provides crystal clear visual verification via the monitoring station, iRISCO smartphone app, or web interface. Offering both flexibility and ease of installation, the IP65 rated wireless device features a chargeable auxiliary solar battery for extended battery life. Enhancing Beyond’s performance, false alarms in outdoor environments are drastically reduced via RISCOs’ unique Sway Recognition™ and Digital Correlation™ detection technologies. With Beyond™ you get: Cutting edge wireless DT outdoor detector with an integral high-resolution color camera Crystal clear images for visual alarm verification, day and night Unique solar powered solution enabling close to unlimited battery life Visual Alarm verification via the iRISCO mobile app Minimal false alarm rate due to high detection performance technologies and visual verification capability BWare™ – NEW Wireless Model Added To The State-Of-The-Art Commercial Detector Range In addition to its advanced technology and reliability, BWare™, RISCO Group’s state-of-the-art wired and wireless detector series for professional installations, scores high points for its smart and modern design. Utilizing RISCO’s industry-leading detection technologies, such as Anti-Cloak™ and K-band microwave for improved catch performance, and a unique wireless DT detector with active IR anti mask, the BWare™ series offers a comprehensive array of wired, wireless and Bus detectors. Saving installation time and cost, the BWare™ BUS models can be remotely diagnosed and serviced using the RISCO Bus. The BWare™ series is ideal for a wide range of commercial and high security applications; with Grade 2 and Grade 3 versions. The BWare™ smart detector family provides the flexibility to utilize professional detectors within any installation - wired, wireless or hybrid, while maintaining a uniform look across the site. Now supplied with the CSL DualCom WorldSIM® as standard, visitors to the RISCO stand can view the full range of award-winning panels, and HandyApp, on the ‘Innovation Trail’. In addition, visitors to the show can see Steve Riley presenting VUpoint, as part of the Benchmark Innovation Awards, at 11:30am on Tuesday 16th June in the Benchmark arena.

IFSEC International 2015 - Highlights of Innovation Trail
IFSEC International 2015 - Highlights of Innovation Trail

The Innovation Trail will allow visitors to navigate all the newest products and services from across the security industry Innovation is the key theme at this year’s IFSEC International, taking place from 16-18 June at ExCeL London. The annual security gathering will host the Benchmark Innovation Awards along with the launch of the new Innovation Arena. In addition to this, the Innovation Trail returns for its second year. Innovation Trail - Latest Products and Services Organizers of IFSEC International have polled their exhibitors to discover all the latest trends and innovations that will be on display, the Innovation Trail will allow visitors to navigate all the newest products and services from across the security industry that have launched this year. Highlights of the IFSEC International Innovation Trail include the NICE Suspect Search, a patent-pending video analytics tool that quickly locates and retraces the movements of a suspect, lost child, or other person of interest within a video surveillance network. Video footage from different cameras and time frames can be reviewed in just minutes, as the system automatically filters out 95 percent of irrelevant images. In addition to achieving faster response times, organizations are able to restore normal operations quicker following a security breach. RISCO To Exhibit Its HandyApp The RISCO HandyApp is the first smartphone application dedicated to supporting the sales and installation activities of professional security installers. The app allows installers working with RISCO products to increase their efficiency and sales potential by providing access to everything they need for a smooth installation. Through the app, installers can gain access to manuals, use power consumption calculators and even share user guides or sales materials with customers or colleagues. Installers can also extend product warranties and seamlessly open a service request by phone or email through the dedicated support area. Arecont Vision At The Event "We are delighted to incorporate the Innovation Trail once again and we have some really exciting products and technology to showcase this year" IFSEC International will also be displaying the latest in camera systems including Arecont Vision next generation panoramic cameras, the 5MP SurroundVideo® with Arecont Vision®’s proprietary STELLAR™ Low Light Technology, and the 12MP SurroundVideo® with Wide Dynamic Range (WDR). Both panoramic cameras also feature motorized lenses for easy set-up, and over a 50% increase in frame rate versus current SurroundVideo® cameras. Engtex AB will showcase its highly advanced textile Avertic Armour, developed from the No. 1 chainsaw protective textile, Avertic Pro+. This warp-knitted textile uses the world´s strongest fiber designed to withstand break-in attempts when heavy duty tools are used. Smanos To Launch K1 Finally, Smanos launch K1, the ultimate home automation and security center combining butler and guard functions into a stack of aesthetically pleasing round discs. The discs come with aluminum frames and texturized plastic surfaces, suitable for everyday use. This smart home technology uses intuitive operation, gesture-based password protection and self-learning capability to ensure the connected home is both affordable and easy to use. IFSEC, Event Director Comments Gerry Dunphy, event director- IFSEC International states: “Following our move in 2014 to London’s ExCeL we conducted a significant amount of research and one of the key themes that kept coming up is everyone wanted to see genuine innovation on the show floor. We are delighted to incorporate the Innovation Trail once again and we have some really exciting products and technology to showcase this year. With so many new products within the Innovation Trail, IFSEC International really will provide a one-stop shop for our installer community to get their hands on the latest technology.” All these new products, plus many more, will make up this year’s Innovation Trail at IFSEC International 2015, helping visitors to easily access the new technologies that have come to market. Visitors will also be able to speak to leading suppliers that are shaking up the industry with new services, experts will be on hand to answer any questions and demo all the latest products on their stands. 

RISCO Groups’s Integrated Security Systems Control And Monitor Comverse’s Branches Worldwide
RISCO Groups’s Integrated Security Systems Control And Monitor Comverse’s Branches Worldwide

RISCO Group’s SynopSYS platform provides real time pictures of all branches from one interface Comverse is a leading multinational provider of telecommunications software and systems, with numerous branches worldwide. Comverse required an integrated management platform to control and monitor all of their branches from the company headquarters. The Challenge Comverse’s many branches around the world vary in size and operating hours. Many contain sensitive areas such as labs, warehouses, and IT rooms. Comverse’s largest site is the company headquarters, spanning 55,000 square meters. The headquarters houses two data centers, which are considered to be the most sensitive areas in all of Comverse worldwide. Comverse required a solution that would enable them to secure and monitor all of the branches from the global security control center located in their headquarters. The solution would have to support the simple integration of a variety of security systems. Another requirement was that the solution be based on TCP/IP communication. The most important consideration for Comverse was the reliability of the solution. The Solution Comverse chose RISCO Group’s ProSYS Integrated Security System as the solution that met all requirements. In 2006, ProSYS was initially installed in seven branches, each panel communicating via IP. ProSYS’ IP module enables simultaneous multiple channel TCP/IP communication, and works via secure communication with a full SSL stack using AES256 bit encryption. Following the successful installation of ProSYS in the first seven branches, Comverse’s Director for Corporate Security & EHS, Guy Dafna, called ProSYS a ‘global standard,’ and has since extended the system to all branches worldwide. In 2009, Comverse chose RISCO Group’s SynopSYS Integrated Security & Building Management platform with Integrated Video to control and monitor Comverse’s scattered branches. The installation is led by Comverse Corporate Security, who are gradually rolling out the platform to all branches. The Platform provides an overall picture of all the branches in real time, from one intuitive user interface located in the company headquarters and displays all building and rooms. SynopSYS Integrated Security & Building Management displays all buildings and rooms in the sites on synoptic maps. Highlights ProSYS Integrated Security System is installed in Comverse’s branches worldwide, communicating via IP. ProSYS was selected for its simplicity and flexibility. SynopSYS Integrated Security & Building Management Platform enables control and management of all the company’s branches from the headquarters via a single and intuitive user interface. SynopSYS Integrated Security & Building Management Platform is extremely flexible, its open platform allowing for easy integration not only with ProSYS, but also with video monitoring, intrusion, and fire systems, as well as HVAC, lighting, and elevator control. The Customer’s Point of View Comverse was pleased with the open platform that makes it easy to build unique projects, and is scalable according to the company’s future needs. They particularly valued the system’s flexibility, ease of use, and wide range of features. Comverse’s Corporate Security Director Guy Dafna noted, “Based on my experience working with many security systems, I can surely say that it looks like we’re on the good and safe track with RISCO’s solutions.”

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