Access control software - Expert commentary

How Body Worn Cameras And AI Can Curb The Issue Of Abusive Behavior
How Body Worn Cameras And AI Can Curb The Issue Of Abusive Behavior

Amongst the many negative consequences of the pandemic is a rise in violent and abusive behavior across society. Health workers have experienced it on a regular basis. So too have police officers and public transport workers. Unfortunately, violence and abuse towards shop workers is also endemic in British society. To address this problem which, in truth, has been on the rise since long before the emergence of COVID-19, we need better deterrents. The ability to prosecute these offenses is one such deterrent, but just as important is the ability to deescalate situations before they spill over into unacceptable or unlawful behavior. Major retail customers In both instances, organizations of all sizes are now recognizing that the answer could involve greater use of rapidly advancing body worn camera technology. Andy Marsh, the Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset Police, is one of the police officers responsible for introducing body worn cameras to the UK police force, where they are now in widespread use. Andy Marsh is one of the police officers responsible for introducing body worn cameras to the UK police force He explains that “The reason the majority of people don’t speed or drink-drive is that rational human beings weigh up the risk and consequences of breaking the law and getting caught. Body worn cameras help provide appropriate ‘desistance’, especially where there are forward-facing screens so the person interacting with the wearer can see themselves and their behavior.” Evidence shows that if a forward-facing camera is switched on before the intervention becomes hostile, it will generally lead to a de-escalation – as often as 90% of the time, according to one of our major retail customers. Digital evidence investigations Only a tiny handful of abusive incidents ever translate into arrests and prosecutions. A key issue is a lack of clear evidence – how to get past the usual impasse of one person’s word against the other. Body worn cameras break the deadlock and allow organizations to report incidents to the police with confidence, knowing that they will lead to action. Marsh suggests that “We usually see an earlier admission, an earlier guilty plea and a more appropriate sentence, where body worn camera footage is in play.” The technology has come on in leaps and bounds in recent years. For example, it’s now possible to record high-definition footage on a lightweight device that’s barely the size of a palm. And it’s not just about the evidence organizations gather themselves. Many police forces are looking at ways to make it easier for businesses and the public to collaborate on digital evidence investigations. Body worn cameras This is good for the victims of crime because it means we get the evidence more quickly" “We’ve created an online crime portal in Avon and Somerset which people can use to pass digital evidence and material to us without an officer having to attend their premises. This is good for the victims of crime because it means we get the evidence more quickly and can take action more swiftly to resolve that issue,” adds Marsh. Our body worn cameras can now even support facial recognition thanks to new, smart AI on the devices themselves, which can scan and process faces within a three-meter distance against a pre-defined database of people (which we call a watchlist). Any matches trigger alerts or additional camera activity such as recording and streaming, while the facial recognition data of people not on the watchlist itself is not recorded or saved to assuage privacy concerns. Similar criminal behavior Where could this technology come in handy? Well, staff at gambling venues or in-store retail workers could undoubtedly benefit from the ability to quickly spot known fraudsters or addicts who have requested that venues refuse their custom. Stewards at mass sporting events could play a key role in helping to identify people who have been banned from attending. The primary reason for using body worn cameras is to increase the safety of frontline workers The primary reason for using body worn cameras is to increase the safety of frontline workers, deescalating confrontations and limiting the use of force. AI-powered facial recognition can also serve this purpose by helping them make better-informed choices about how to handle specific situations. For example, it is a massive advantage to police officers on the beat to understand that the person they are dealing with may have a history of similar criminal behavior. Facial recognition technology But it’s also an advantage within retail, where aggressive incidents are on the rise and staff need all the help they can get to determine what an appropriate response should be to a particular customer incident. In fact, extensive consultation with our retail, police, transport and gambling customers indicates that introducing facial recognition technology to body worn cameras could be instrumental, not just in helping to prevent crime, but in tracking down vulnerable and missing people too. Of course, facial recognition technology has to be balanced against the need to protect the privacy of ordinary citizens. Video recording using body worn cameras has to be done proportionately – the same is true for the use of facial recognition technology. The technology also has to be compliant with GDPR, Data Protection, the Information Commissioners recommendations and so on. Positive working environment Violent and abusive incidents affect everyone in the immediate vicinity and create a culture of fear Importantly, it should be for a specific, proportionate and justifiable reason which, of course, means it should never be used for indiscriminate mass surveillance. Every organization using this technology must remember that a facial recognition system match is not proof of someone’s identity, but rather, an indication of likelihood to help inform the user rather than dictate the course of action. Violent and abusive incidents affect everyone in the immediate vicinity and create a culture of fear and apprehension. This is why it’s so important to get on top of the problem – both on a societal and at an organizational level. Body worn cameras have a vital role to play, as an evidence-gathering tool and as a deterrent that empowers the wearer and creates a more positive working environment. Deterring unlawful behavior One of the critical roles these cameras play is in staff training, providing real-world video evidence that can be used to educate and upskill workers across a variety of industries. Society’s problem with abusive and violent behavior cannot be solved by technology alone. But with exceptional quality camera footage now a reality, and the possibility of AI technology at the device level in real-time, body worn cameras will only get better at deterring unlawful behavior and helping to protect hardworking frontline staff. Alasdair Field is CEO of video technology provider Reveal, which works with UK police forces and major brands such as Matalan, JD Sports and Boots to help them improve staff safety, deescalate confrontations and reduce violent and abusive incidents.

What You Need To Know About Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) For Emergency Preparedness?
What You Need To Know About Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) For Emergency Preparedness?

Have you ever stopped to consider the volume of new data created daily on social media? It’s staggering. Take Twitter, for instance. Approximately 500 million tweets are published every day, adding up to more than 200 billion posts per year. On Facebook, users upload an additional 350 million photos per day, and on YouTube, nearly 720,000 hours of new video content is added every 24 hours. While this overwhelming volume of information may be of no concern to your average social media user posting updates to keep up with family and friends, it’s of particular interest to corporate security and safety professionals who are increasingly using it to monitor current events and detect potential risks around their people and locations—all in real-time. Meet the fast-paced and oft-confusing world of open-source intelligence (OSINT). What is Open Source Intelligence (OSINT)? The U.S. Department of State defines OSINT as, “intelligence that is produced from publicly available information and is collected, exploited, and disseminated promptly to an appropriate audience to address a specific intelligence requirement.” The concept of monitoring and leveraging publicly available information sources for intelligence purposes dates back to the 1930s. The British Broadcast Corporation (BBC) was approached by the British government and asked to develop a new service that would capture and analyze print journalism from around the world. Monitoring and identifying potential threats Originally named the “Digest of Foreign Broadcast, the service (later renamed BBC Monitoring which still exists today) captured and analyzed nearly 1.25 million broadcast words every day to help British intelligence officials keep tabs on conversations taking place abroad and what foreign governments were saying to their constituents. OSINT encompasses any publicly accessible information that can be used to monitor and identify potential threats Today, OSINT broadly encompasses any publicly accessible information that can be used to monitor and identify potential threats and/or relevant events with the potential to impact safety or business operations. The potential of OSINT data is extraordinary. Not only can it enable security and safety teams to quickly identify pertinent information that may pose a material risk to their business or people, but it can also be captured by anyone with the right set of tools and training. OSINT for cybersecurity and physical threat detection Whether it be a significant weather event, supply chain disruptions, or a world health crisis few saw coming, the threats facing organizations continue to increase in size and scale. Luckily, OSINT has been able to accelerate how organizations detect, validate, and respond to these threats, and it has proved invaluable in reducing risk and informing decision-making – especially during emergencies. OSINT is typically shared in real-time, so once a situation is reported, security teams can then work on verifying critical details such as the location or time an incident occurred or provide the most up-to-date information about rapidly developing events on the ground. They can then continue to monitor online chatter about the crisis, increasing their situational awareness and speeding up their incident response times. OSINT applications OSINT can help detect when sensitive company information may have been accessed by hackers  Severe weather offers a good example of OSINT in action. Say an organization is located in the Great Plains. They could use OSINT from sources like the National Weather Service or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to initiate emergency communications to employees about tornado warnings, high winds, or other dangerous conditions as they are reported. Another common use case for OSINT involves data breaches and cyber-attacks. OSINT can help detect when sensitive company information may have been accessed by hackers by monitoring dark web messaging boards and forums. In 2019, T-Cellphone suffered a data breach that affected more than a million customers, but it was able to quickly alert affected users after finding their personal data online. OSINT is a well-established field with countless applications. Unfortunately, in an ever-changing digital world, it’s not always enough to help organizations weather a crisis. Why OSINT alone isn’t enough? One of the core challenges with leveraging OSINT data, especially social media intelligence (SOCMINT), is that much of it is unstructured and spread across many disparate sources, making it difficult to sort through, manage, and organize. Consider the social media statistics above. Assuming a business wanted to monitor all conversations on Twitter to ensure all relevant information was captured, it would need to both capture and analyze 500 million individual posts every day. Assuming a trained analyst spent just three seconds analyzing each post, that would amount to 1.5 billion seconds of labor—equivalent to 416,666 hours—just to keep pace. While technology and filters can greatly reduce the burden and help organizations narrow the scope of their analysis, it’s easy to see how quickly human capital constraints can limit the utility of OSINT data—even for the largest companies. Challenges with OSINT OSINT data collection includes both passive and active techniques, each requiring a different level of effort and skill Additionally, collecting OSINT data is time-consuming and resource-intensive. Making sense of it remains a highly specialized skill set requiring years of training. In an emergency where every second count, the time required to sift through copious amounts of information takes far longer than the time in which an organization must take meaningful action to alter the outcome. Compounding the issue, OSINT data is noisy and difficult to filter. Even trained analysts find the need to constantly monitor, search, and filter voluminous troves of unstructured data tedious. Artificial intelligence and machine learning have helped weed through some of this data faster, but for organizations with multiple locations tasked with monitoring hundreds or thousands of employees, it’s still a challenging task. Adding to the complexity, collecting OSINT data isn’t easy. OSINT data collection includes both passive and active techniques, each requiring a different level of effort and skill. Passive vs Active OSINT Passive OSINT is typically anonymous and meant to avoid drawing attention to the person requesting the information. Scrolling user posts on public social media profiles is a good example of passive OSINT. Active OSINT refers to information proactively sought out, but it often requires a more purposeful effort to retrieve it. That may mean specific login details are needed to access a website where information is stored. Lastly, unverified OSINT data can’t always be trusted. Analysts often encounter false positives or fake reports, which not only take time to confirm accuracy, but if they act on misinformation, the result could be damage to their organization’s reputation or worse. So, how can companies take advantage of it without staffing an army of analysts or creating operational headaches? A new path for OSINT Organisations can leverage the benefits of OSINT to improve situational awareness and aid decision-making Fortunately, organizations can leverage the benefits of OSINT to improve situational awareness and aid decision-making without hiring a dedicated team of analysts to comb through the data. By combining OSINT data with third-party threat intelligence solutions, organizations can get a cleaner, more actionable view of what’s happening in the world. Threat intelligence solutions not only offer speed by monitoring for only the most relevant events 24/7/365, but they also offer more comprehensive coverage of a wide range of threat types. What’s more, the data is often verified and married with location intelligence to help organizations better understand if, how, and to what extent each threat poses a risk to their people, facilities, and assets. In a world with a never-ending stream of information available, learning how to parse and interpret it becomes all the more important. OSINT is a necessary piece to any organization’s threat intelligence and monitoring system, but it can’t be the only solution. Paired with external threat intelligence tools, OSINT can help reduce risk and keep employees safe during emergencies and critical events.

Key-Centric Access Management System: Providing The Highest Possible Levels Of Security
Key-Centric Access Management System: Providing The Highest Possible Levels Of Security

In daily work and life, various locks have always played the role of protecting asset safety. In different usage scenarios, the most appropriate lock must be selected to maximize benefits. In the past applications, the difficulties encountered by managers are as follows. Unlocking authority is difficult to control, unclear access records, emergency unlocking, and troublesome upgrade and installation. Through the following points, how the key-centric access management system solves such problems. Access management system The key-centric access management system, also known as intelligent passive electronic lock system, which is based on three elements: electronic keys, electronic cylinders and management software, can provide powerful and traceable access control. Each smart key is unique and cannot be copied, and in the event of loss or theft, these keys can be quickly disabled. Each smart key is unique and cannot be copied, and in the event of loss or theft, these keys can be disabledIn the process of using traditional mechanical locks, it is not difficult to find that it is quite complex to realize the access control of unlocking. The difficulty is that the keys can be copied at will, the use records are not clear, and the credibility of employees cannot be guaranteed... etc. For managers, this is a safety issue that cannot be ignored. Mechanical lock system And through the key-centric access management system, we can accurately assign access authority for each user, and set different access authority for locks in different areas. For example, we can set the XX user to have access to the archive room (A) from 10:00 on May 1, 2021 to 17:00 on June 1, 2021, within this time range. Outside this time range, there will be no unlock authority. The flexibility of the traditional mechanical lock system is insufficient. There is no clear record to determine who entered the area. It is usually a simple paper record that records the unlocking records of the employees. The authenticity and validity of the system need to be examined. In the key-centric access management system, when an employee unlocks the lock, the unlock record will be synchronized to the management terminal. Remote authorized unlocking With the key-centric access management system, remote authorized unlocking can be realized Through secondary records, managers can easily track employees and supervise employees' visits to each area. In daily work, there are often emergencies that require temporary visits to certain specific areas. If you encounter a situation where the distance is extremely long, and you don’t have the key to that area, you can imagine how bad this is. The process of fetching the keys back and forth is time-consuming and laborious. With the key-centric access management system, remote authorized unlocking can be realized. You can apply for the unlocking authority through the mobile APP, or you can temporarily issue the unlocking authority for the area on the management terminal, which saves time and effort. When faced with the failure of ordinary mechanical locks to meet management needs, some managers can already think of upgrading their management system, that is, the intelligent access control system. Passive electronic locks But before making this decision, the manager will inevitably consider the various costs brought about by the upgrade, including installation costs (cable cost), learning costs, and maintenance costs. Since most of the universal intelligent access control systems on the market require wiring and power supply, the cost of transformation and upgrading is quite high for managers who have such a huge amount of engineering. The key-centric access management system is the ‘gospel’ for managers. Since passive electronic locks and ordinary mechanical locks have the same size, they can be directly retrofitted to existing hardware, and they can be replaced step by step simply and easily. At present, the key-centric access management system is being known and applied by more and more managers and enterprises. Application industries include, such as power utilities, water utilities, public security, telecommunication industry, transportation, etc.

Latest ASSA ABLOY news

ASSA ABLOY Installs ECLIQ Electronic Access Control To Enhance Security For Hydreaulys
ASSA ABLOY Installs ECLIQ Electronic Access Control To Enhance Security For Hydreaulys

The responsibilities of the modern facilities manager combine site security with employee health and safety. At Hydreaulys, a French water and waste management utility, a simple switch to programmable key-based access control helped them make improvements on both counts. Complex security and workflow challenges throughout the utilities sector can push static, mechanical master-key systems beyond their limit. To upgrade their mechanical locking system, the Hydreaulys facilities team prioritized access control technology which was already trusted in the sector — and supplied by a manufacturer with deep industry expertise. Electronic access control Quality guidelines laid down by the utility’s Group Risk Manager were stringent: Alongside filtering access, the locking system should ensure only those with clearance can access potentially hazardous materials stored. Safety and security at their sites must go hand in hand. The solution was eCLIQ. Its programmable cylinders and padlocks are wire-free, so swapping existing mechanical locking for eCLIQ electronic access control was quick and easy. The installation did not require any cabling: Power is provided by the battery inside each user key. As a result, security and site safety is improved, because unauthorized staff is kept away from potentially dangerous materials. Secure system management Access control needs flexibility as our organization and management of the site is evolving" Now, no one can handle risky products without access authorization, which is programmed on their personal eCLIQ key and changed whenever needed. Secure system management via the web-based CLIQ Web Manager software puts Hydreaulys’ security managers in total control of access rights: They can filter by building, zone, function or time period. “Access control needs flexibility as our organization and management of the site is evolving, and the reliable eCLIQ system is evolving with us,” says Jean-Pascal Chuzel, Deputy Agency Director at Water France – Paris Seine Ouest. Devices in the eCLIQ range are robust enough for the demanding environment of a wastewater treatment site: Alongside weather and extreme climate, eCLIQ devices are also resistant to chemicals, humidity, and reagents. Facilities management team Their durability saves Hydreaulys both the time and cost of replacing locks regularly. With their new eCLIQ electronic access control system, Hydreaulys has total flexibility in issuing access rights. Fine-grained access permissions ensure only accredited staff and visitors enter designated areas of their premises — enhancing safety. And because every interaction between key and lock is recorded and can be checked, thefts have been reduced. When a key does go missing, it is easily blocked by the facilities management team, maintaining the security, health, and safety of everyone who works at or visits Hydreaulys.

ASSA ABLOY Signs An Agreement To Sell Their Locksmith Business CERTEGO To Nalka Invest
ASSA ABLOY Signs An Agreement To Sell Their Locksmith Business CERTEGO To Nalka Invest

ASSA ABLOY has signed an agreement to sell its Nordic locksmith business CERTEGO to Nalka Invest, which invests in small- and medium-sized businesses primarily in the Nordic region. This transaction reinforces the strategic focus on the core security solutions business of the ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions EMEIA Division. CERTEGO is a pioneer locksmith and security solutions installation business in the Nordic region. It provides planning, installation, and managing of mechanical, electro-mechanical, and electronic security solutions for customers across multiple verticals. Security solutions installation market CERTEGO has a network of around 70 locations with some 1,200 employees in Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Denmark. The impact from the divestment on ASSA ABLOY external sales is around SEK 1.5 bn. "I find it satisfying that with Nalka Invest we were able to find a committed, experienced owner that gives the business a new home and creates new opportunities for the future,” says Nico Delvaux, President and CEO of ASSA ABLOY. The impact from the divestment on ASSA ABLOY external sales is around SEK 1.5 bn “Recent trends in the security solutions installation market, including the growing need to offer a comprehensive range of different solutions, has led us to reconsider the merits of continued ownership of CERTEGO. We have concluded that a divestment would allow EMEIA to focus resources in its core business.” Customary closing conditions “I am confident that Nalka Invest will take CERTEGO to the next level as part of their business transformation and wish them and the CERTEGO team every success in their future endeavors,” says Neil Vann, Executive Vice President of ASSA ABLOY and Head of EMEIA Division. The transaction will have a positive effect on ASSA ABLOY´s operating margin going forward. The divestment will result in a capital loss and exit costs amounting to approximately MSEK 200. The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions and is expected to close during the third quarter of 2021.

ASSA ABLOY SARGENT EcoFlex® Technology Electrified Mortise Lock Achieves Living Product Challenge Certification
ASSA ABLOY SARGENT EcoFlex® Technology Electrified Mortise Lock Achieves Living Product Challenge Certification

ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions announces that the SARGENT 8200 Series Electrified Mortise Lock with EcoFlex® Technology has achieved Living Product Challenge certification from the International Living Future Institute. Satisfying stringent compliance criteria to receive the Declare label, architects, designers and specifiers now have an additional electrified locking hardware solution with this higher level of certification, along with other products from ASSA ABLOY, to meet all their green building project specifications. The Living Product Challenge and corresponding Living Building Challenge™ is considered the world’s most advanced and transparent third-party verification program, encouraging manufacturers to create products that are healthy, inspirational and give back to the environment across their lifecycles. EcoFlex was selected for its superlative energy-saving attributes: EcoFlex is 96% more energy efficient than standard electrified mortise locks and electrified exit trim up to 95% as certified by GreenCircle. EcoFlex electrified mortise lock “This is an incredible, significant achievement in the building materials industry, reflecting the move to sustainability in commercial and institutional building products,” said Amy Musanti, Director of Sustainability, Door Security Solutions, ASSA ABLOY. “Certification and labeling are becoming more commonplace for the industry overall, even for doors and hardware, which tend to be complex.” The product also completed a Red List Compliant Declare label, for use in projects pursuing Living Building Challenge The EcoFlex electrified mortise lock met all seven core attributes to achieve Imperative certification: responsible place, water footprint, energy footprint, Red List Free, responsible industry, ethical supply chain, inspiration, and education. As part of the certification, the product also completed a Red List Compliant Declare label, for use in projects pursuing Living Building Challenge, LEED, or WELL. A comprehensive Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) was also performed on the product to achieve this status. Sustainability as a key driver “There are currently 24 certified products in the world – and very few of those are as heavily configured as EcoFlex which has over 100 components,” said Musanti, adding that products vary - from skateboards, planters, carpet, office furniture and cabling, to name a few. “This product has the potential to be at the forefront of architectural specifications as project teams work toward a more efficient, healthier and equitable building footprint.” Sustainability is a key driver throughout ASSA ABLOY's value chain and an important element in innovation, sourcing, production, and employee development.

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