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Technology has certainly become an intrinsic part of our day-to-day lives, from the retail industry, to food and beverage outlets, and even within the health and fitness industry. It’s all around us, in varying formats, making processes more efficient. It has refined some of our older approaches, and in the hospitality industry, this is certainly true. Technological advances are leading the way forward for the future of hotels, and with the sector now free from COVID-19 restrictions, venues are looking for ways to improve the guest experience with technology. A staggering recent statistic has suggested that 75 percent of activities in hospitality could one day become automated — so where exactly are we heading on this journey into the future of hotels? Join Cairn Collection, owner of The Stirling Highland, and explore a whole host of innovations that are changing the face of hotel management systems. The 21st-century check-in desk The breadth of technology that is slowly becoming more widely available is transforming the hospitality industry The digital age is constantly finding new ways to innovate and prove its value and worth for modern consumers, and the breadth of technology that is slowly becoming more widely available is transforming the hospitality industry. In the past, connotations of a check-in desk were long queues and excessive pieces of paper — from room service menus to a mini-catalog of highlights of the local area. Technological innovations such as face recognition are one of the major ways that this process is changing. Using artificial intelligence A handful of hotels have already trialed or introduced artificial intelligence (AI) into their daily running, and it looks set to become far more mainstream by 2025. From paying the bill by using biometrics to allowing hotel managers to handle data more efficiently, AI looks set to be welcomed with the potential for it to reduce costs by 13 percent. The entire hotel check-in process could become automated, making one of the most established parts of the hotel experience redundant — but staff could be freed up to engage with customers, allowing them to get into their rooms quicker in the meantime. Many venues have even gone fully paperless when it comes to checking in, choosing instead to upload the process to cloud computing systems where information can be stored and viewed by connected devices. Convenience is the key More hotels operate their room unlocking facilities through mobile phone-connected technology, NFC After having checked in to a hotel, guests will want to explore the room that they’ve booked. Doing so has never been easier, and the classic magstripe locks which were once the most commonly used method of accessing hotel rooms are being progressively phased out. More and more hotels now operate their room unlocking facilities through mobile phone-connected technology, near-field communication (NFC). This technology allows for data transfer at up to 424 kb per second, and it is enabled when connected devices come into contact with each other. Mobile key systems Most mobile key systems require guests to download and activate a key through the hotel’s digital app, and upon arrival, they can use the activated key to unlock the door to their hotel room. Combined with online/digital check-in services, guests can use the e-key to check in early or at a time that suits them best, knowing that they don’t have to wait around to pick up a physical key. Small touches like this build a sense of brand familiarity for customers, as well as streamline their hotel experience, and this distinguishes them from competitors. Hotel management systems Hotel management systems need to account for the experience that guests have while staying at the venue Of course, hotel management systems also need to account for the experience that guests have while staying at the venue and technology can do a lot to enhance this. Hotels have to innovate the spaces that they are presenting to their customers and technology has become a valuable asset to help enhance customer satisfaction, as the hotel room is certainly not simply a place for rest anymore. Voice-enabled devices Voice-enabled devices are becoming common features in rooms, with popular models such as Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri, and Amazon Echo providing guests with information on the local area — if you’re looking for the perfect backdrop to the business dinner you’re attending, just ask Alexa! Hotels could even record and distribute their personalized voice messaging to help reinforce the brand presence into the technology. Technology can help you attract and retain customers by offering services above and beyond what they’d usually receive A room and then some As the generational switch to millennials and Gen Z continues, the need for an experience has grown and, through a mixture of technology, hotels can cater to these revised consumer needs. From setting up messaging platforms to providing a remote control that monitors absolutely everything in the room — from atmospheric mood lighting to music streaming services and more, a hotel room can be whatever the user wants, and the experience is therefore generated by the customer. Technology doesn’t stop advancing, and there are constantly new, refined approaches to hotel management systems that have marked a stark departure from ways of the past. With guests returning after over a year of COVID-19 restrictions, competition for their business is even tougher. Technology can help you attract and retain customers by offering services above and beyond what they’d usually receive.
More and more business security practices are going digital. Mechanical keys are still the backbone of most corporate security plans, and it can be very expensive for companies to switch to electronic access control on a large scale. Therefore, enterprises need to choose the most suitable access control system. What is key management? Key management is the process of protecting, tracking, and scheduling mechanical keys. Why is this important? Because the key carries access to sensitive locations and assets within the organization, when you increase the security of the key, you can enhance the security of these valuable resources. The key management system also controls the cost of using physical keys. The system reduces the overhead caused by key loss or security breaches. Some smaller companies may be able to adopt a paper-and-pencil key management protocol. Larger companies, or those who want to better understand and control keys, usually choose to use an electronic key management system. Key management systems can store and assign keys securely and increase the efficiency of organization Why use a key management system? The key management system can become the cornerstone of your key control process. At the most basic level, key management systems can accomplish two things that paper and pen systems cannot: they store and assign keys securely, and they increase the efficiency of your organization's use of keys through automation and analysis. What can key management systems do? 1) Improve access control By better protecting the keys, you can improve the access control to the spaces and devices unlocked by these keys. You can use your key management to simplify the process of providing temporary employees with one-time-key access. In addition, the system can record all their key access records, so that everyone's behavior can be traced. 2) Enhanced accountability traceability The software is a good key management system that can generate reports on key usage, user access requests, access exceptions, and loss. In addition, you can track and audit key usage in real-time. Combined with a comprehensive key control strategy, you will implement better accountability for key use to meet any industry or risk management compliance standards. 3) Reduce costs and prevent losses When an employee loses a key, you will incur direct costs for a replacement key or relocking it when it is lost When an employee loses a key, you will incur direct costs, including purchasing a replacement key or relocking it when it is lost. However, the indirect cost of key loss is usually more significant. This is because employees first spend time looking for the lost key and then process the replacement request, all of which time is not spent on production work. 4) Improve workflow As we discussed, keys are often used in important workflows. The key management system allows you to better control these workflows. A passive electronic lock system, also known as a key-centric access control system, has outstanding advantages in key management. Compared with the electronic access control system, the passive electronic lock system's "passive" characteristics have reduced the update cost for many enterprises.
More than a year and a half after the COVID-19 pandemic began, countless workers are still doing their jobs remotely rather than from their offices. While there are many positives to working from home, there can also be some negatives at play like nefarious actors taking advantage of the tools and connections that employees use in work from home environments. Insider threats, a security risk that comes from within the organization, are posing a major security problem for businesses. This is partially due to the widespread use of social media, encrypted communication platforms, and other tools. Now more than ever insider threats need to be identified, thwarted, and prevented. Social distancing policies When social distancing policies and mandates began keeping people apart, many turned to social media to stay connected. While social networking tools have provided a positive outlet and a way for people to feel more connected, these platforms have also become a hotspot for insider targeting because they provide a way to propagate disinformation and target individuals likely to be receptive to it. The ideal mark for an insider threat is someone who is active on social media Even more so, they have provided a means to develop relationships with organizational insiders and socialize with them. The ideal mark for an insider threat is someone who is active on social media, has sufficient access to sensitive information, lacks supervision in their day-to-day work, and works remotely. As the relationship develops, through the process of grooming, an employee can become more likely to disregard company policies and commitments. Disregarding company policies One reason insiders might act against their own organization involves monetary gain. The pressures of the pandemic have led to record levels of unemployment and financial strain for millions of Americans. Financial issues can include struggling to pay for childcare, supporting family obligations, paying rent and more. Those who find themselves in a financial bind might not just act against their own company but could also more easily fall victim to a threat. Another reason that insiders act is that they may be disgruntled. Insiders may hold a grudge because they were passed over for promotion, were given an unsatisfactory performance rating, or they may be facing termination. While just one of these factors may not be a trigger to involve the company’s security team, any combination of these factors along with a change in the employee’s demeanor or behavior should serve as a red flag to pay closer attention to the situation. Potentially malicious insiders Sending confidential information to an unsecured location in the cloud exposes the organization to risk Another challenge employers face directly relates to the somewhat limited supervision of employees who work remotely. In this situation, identifying potentially malicious insiders is more difficult, largely because face-to-face interactions are limited. When the pandemic began, many companies shifted their primary areas of focus to keeping the business viable, which is understandable. However, with this shift of focus, less attention may have been paid to security issues. The proactive company will have ensured their employees are aware of the following: Steps they should take to ensure their devices -- both company-issued and personal -- are secured at all times. Sending confidential information to an unsecured location in the cloud exposes the organization to risk. Breaking security policies to simplify tasks is prohibited. Ensuring their devices are updated with the latest security patches. A failure in any of these areas can produce an environment ripe for malicious insider activity. Cyber security teams This multidisciplinary group can lead the initiatives that are paramount to keeping the company secure The insider threat is an organizational threat and so it is most effectively addressed from a holistic perspective. Stakeholders from different parts of the organization need to be at the table to understand and address such threats. An effective team includes personnel from the legal, human resources, communications, and physical and cyber security teams. This multidisciplinary group can lead the initiatives that are paramount to keeping the company and its employees secure. Conduct a risk assessment of the company’s security processes or a threat assessment to the company’s people or assets. No organization is without some level of vulnerability, so identify the most critical assets, information, and systems; identify those who have access to these critical assets; and build controls around them to provide extra security. Delivering refresher training Build a training program to help employees and management identify concerning behaviors. Educate staff about insider threat indicators and provide instructions for how to report concerns. Require employees to complete training and deliver refresher training and updates throughout the year. Training on this matter is not a one-and-done situation. Ensure there is an impartial and confidential process in place for employees to report possible insider threats. Employees need to trust that if they report concerns about behaviors or actions on the part of a fellow employee, their information will be handled discreetly and if warranted, acted upon. Write a communications strategy clearly defining the process for relaying insider threat incidents. An effective plan lays out what information and when this information should be shared with specific individuals and to the broader community, who has authority to communicate sensitive information, and how the information should be disseminated. Remote working challenges Establish a check-in process for managers and their direct reports to enable a means for employees to share concerns and for managers to identify challenges or opportunities to assist employees working in the virtual environment. Make an EAP (employee assistance program) readily available to employees. Ensure they understand how to access their EAP and assure them that contacting the EAP will not have a negative impact on their career or growth potential. Providing venues for employees to share their concerns and talk with trained staff can greatly help organizations navigate insider threats and general remote working challenges. Security risk environment The virtual workplace has created a serious security risk environment for companies in which employees who would not normally engage in insider threats become more vulnerable to them. Through new technologies and possibly due to new financial hardships, those looking to harm an organization are out there, searching for opportunities to strike. It is leadership’s responsibility to take proactive action to ensure their employees are aware of the possibility of insider threats, the seriousness with which management views them, and the resources available should someone fall victim. It is everyone’s responsibility to remain vigilant.
On the heels of the release of Ocularis 5.0, OnSSI has now announced the introduction of several new technology integrations for its recently released VMS with C2P’s software solution. Ocularis 5.0, which is based on a new recorder, maximizes HDD storage effectiveness with dynamic data management for automatic storage load balancing, End-to-End 256 bit AES Encryption and edge recording support. The newly certified integrations with Ocularis 5.0, provide security professionals with valuable situational information across a wide range of applications including banking, access control, asset tracking, license plate recognition and point-of-sale. “The correlation of video and data creates an extremely effective and intelligent security solution,” said Ken LaMarca, VP of Sales and Marketing, OnSSI. “Ocularis’ open architecture not only makes this integration possible, it results in a powerful tool that meets a variety of demanding applications and delivers comprehensive intelligence across multiple platforms. Most important, beyond the power of these integrations, the systems provide vital information, better enabling the operators to assess emerging situations and provide them with information to choose an appropriate course of action.” Details On These Integrations Are As Follows: Banking Integrations with Diebold and Fiserv for teller terminals and ATM deployments allow for TCP/IP text and/or events to be streamed live directly to Ocularis in the form of JPEG images. The TCP/IP data is also stored as texts for forensic searches afterwards. All banking transactions are time synchronized with area video surveillance in real-time and includes real-time charting of specific events. Access Control These integrations with Axis, DMP, DSX, FST21, Hirsch, ISONAS, Keri Systems, Keyscan, and RBH provide for real-time access control activity and user defined, real-time on-screen event annotation. The seamless integration with OnSSI provides real-time analytics which enables users to define rules based on the text received from the access control system. These rules are then used to engage the full power of the Ocularis Event Fusion engine to push video of the event to predefined client screens, lock/unlock doors, blow horns, turn PTZs, send email and SMS alerts, etc. The C2P framework also includes a powerful text search tool, linking all texts received from the access control system with stored surveillance video. Reports are available for export as CSV files and also as video evidence. Asset Tracking Traditional asset tracking is enhanced by this integration, allowing users of Visonic RFID or generic bar code readers to see real-time onscreen notifications of asset activity, as well as email and SMS alerts. The information can be exported for video evidence or as a CSV file for reporting purposes. License Plate Recognition This LPR integration with ELSAG, HTS, Inex/Zamir, Mango, PlateSmart and Vigilant Solutions provides users with real-time onscreen confirmation of LPR activities, the ability to graph specific events, and time synchronization of all license plate reads with area surveillance video. Onscreen event connotation, email and SMS alerts, a powerful search tool for all LPR text, and stored video are included. Exports include reports as a CSV file or video evidence. Point-Of-Sale Integrations with IBM RMS, LOC, Micros, NCR Radiant, and POSitouch provide for all POS transactions to be time-synchronized with all Ocularis surveillance video. Real-time features include onscreen POS terminal activity, time graphing of specific events and POS transaction analytics enabling users to quickly find activities of interest. User-defined event annotation via onscreen messaging and push video, email and SMS alerts are also included. Video evidence can easily be exported as CSV files or displayed onscreen as a camera view. “Working with OnSSI to accomplish this integration has been a smooth and positive experience thanks to the open architecture of Ocularis 5.0,” said Paul Eaton, President and CTO, C2P. “The solution efficiently addresses the complexities of bringing together video and data for highly effective use in security applications.”
Integrated Biometrics' TRU650 biometric fingerprint readerDSX and Integrated Biometrics have partnered to seamlessly integrate the TRU650 biometric fingerprint reader with the DSX enterprise access control system. Scott Bennett, DSX National Sales Manager said: "DSX Access Systems has selected Integrated Biometrics' TRU650 as our biometric reader of choice." "The ease of use, easy installation and enrolment, virtually non-existent rejection rate, clean aesthetics and great product support, we believe, will provide our dealers with the biometric device that they have been searching for."DSX dealer Arthur Van Zant said: "This is the only biometric solution we will offer to our customers. It does what it is designed to do, it does it well, and it does it every time. The authentication is fast and accurate, and we are very pleased with the equipment, the software, and the company that stands behind it." These endorsements illustrate the unparalleled usability and security of Integrated Biometrics' Light Emitting Sensor fingerprint imaging technology. LES has enabled the TRU650 to overcome problems common with competing products, satisfy customers and deliver profits for DSX dealers.
Avigilon's surveillance software, Control Center's open architecture enables effective interoperabilityAvigilon, the performance and value leader in high definition (HD) and megapixel video surveillance systems, announced at IFSEC 2010 that its award-winning Avigilon Control Center software has been integrated successfully with the industry's leading access control, critical communication, alarm monitoring, intrusion detection, and visitor management systems. Avigilon Control Center now combines the powerful engine of the leading high definition video platform with third party access control and intrusion detection capabilities for improved security management.Expanded partnerships ensure interoperabilityAvigilon Control Center includes a number of integration options that enable the exchange of high definition, IP-based and analog surveillance video with events between Avigilon Control Center and other physical security systems. Avigilon Control Center integrations associate HD and other video information with relevant security events such as forced doors, ID badge swipes, and intercom activation to deliver immediate verification and improved security management.Avigilon Control Center capabilities have now been expanded to integrate with Cardax FT Command Center security management system; GE Facility Commander security management system; RS2 Technologies access management solution; and DSX WinDSX access control software. With the next release, scheduled to be available in Q2 2010, Avigilon Control Center will also integrate with the Stentofon IP intercom management system. As an existing member of the Lenel OpenAccess Alliance Programme, Avigilon is certified to integrate with the OnGuard solution. Avigilon Control Center combines high definition video platform with third party access control and intrusion detection capabilitiesAvigilon Control Center Alarm MonitoringIntegration with third party access control platforms is enhanced by Avigilon Control Center's alarm monitoring feature, which allows the creation of complete end-to-end workflows for the monitoring, assignment, and acknowledgement of alarms. Alarms can be triggered by any internal system event as well as external triggers from third party access control and building management systems. Alarms can be assigned to specific individuals, ranked by priority, and automatically trigger actions on acknowledgement. The Avigilon Control Center Rules Engine presents an effective alternative to hardware switches passing alarms and event notices to third-party devices."The extended flexibility and openness of Avigilon Control Center will enable security professionals to manage integrated security and facility management systems that leverage existing infrastructure and personnel investments," said Dave Tynan, Vice President of global sales and marketing at Avigilon. "These integrations facilitate the association of HD video for immediate confirmation of indisputable details from video to manage alarms effectively, dramatically improve decision making, and effectively deploy resources."Avigilon Control Center Network Video ManagementThe award-winning, enterprise-class Network Video Management platform, Avigilon Control Center was engineered from the ground up to intelligently manage HD video, delivering both situational awareness and complete image detail. Avigilon Control Center captures, transmits, manages, stores, archives, plays back, and exports HD video while efficiently handling bandwidth and storage. Control Center's modular, open architecture allows system designers to integrate Avigilon solutions with existing assets including analog and IP cameras, access control and other intrusion systems. In 2010, Avigilon Control Center won the Frost & Sullivan Surveillance New Product Innovation of the Year award.
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