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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 Role Of Building Systems To Ensure Safety As Employees Return To Work
The Role Of Building Systems To Ensure Safety As Employees Return To Work

Returning to work after the global pandemic will not be business as usual, and security systems are an important asset when it comes to helping to keep occupants and buildings safe. For example, video analytics can provide insight into how spaces have previously been used and can help to predict where and when occupants encounter each other or congregate. These foot-traffic patterns can inform settings for a variety of devices – like ventilation and temperature controls – and even help owners create social distancing plans and monitor personal protective equipment (PPE) compliance. “While the ‘new normal’ is still being defined, we believe there will be a greater focus on creating healthier environments while also complying with new regulations,” says Marcus Logan, Global Offering Leader, Honeywell Commercial Security. “Temperature, humidity, energy efficiency, security, safety, comfort, productivity, and demonstrating compliance with regulations are all a part of a healthy building.” For example, social distancing is a new concept for the workplace. How do you make that happen in an open work setting, in breakrooms, elevator lobbies and meeting spaces? Optimized systems create healthier environments Anxious employees will need reassurance about returning to the workplace Building owners will need to look at how they can optimize their systems – or deploy new ones – to create a healthier environment. Building technologies, like those provided by Honeywell's Healthy Buildings solutions, provide building owners with more control over critical factors to encourage sustained compliance with changing building standards, safety guidelines, government-issued regulations, and a company's risk management policies. These solutions also provide transparency for occupants into a building's status, says Logan. Hygiene will be a critical issue: People will want to know that the spaces are ready for their return. Increased cleaning procedures and schedules will evolve, and a way will be needed to demonstrate the procedures are effective and that they have been strictly adhered to. Identifying ways to measure effectiveness of sanitisation and track compliance to the procedures will be a key challenge to solve. This is a space that will evolve significantly in the coming months and years, says Logan. Access control and video analytics Contact tracing is a new requirement in some businesses, and security technology – like access control and video analytics with advanced reporting – can help. Access control technology integrated with video analytics can be used to trace occupant movements within a facility. These technologies capture data that can be used with advanced reporting to provide a digital footprint of where a person has been within a facility and if they may have been exposed to someone identified as being infected with a contagious virus. Building owners can then proactively notify exposed individuals evolve to self-quarantine and minimize further spread of an infection. Video analytics can help to predict where and when occupants encounter each other Anxious employees will need reassurance about returning to the workplace. They will not only seek confidence that the building is optimized for a healthier environment but also that processes are in place to quickly identify and respond to potential issues. Transparency and visibility into how the building works and the health of the environment will help to reassure occupants returning to the workplace. “One way to do this is to share building analytics with occupants – to help them understand factors about the indoor air quality or occupancy density,” says Logan. Controlled health, safety and security Honeywell’s solutions provide building owners with more control over critical health, safety and security factors to encourage sustained compliance with changing building standards, safety guidelines, government-issued regulations and a company’s risk management policies, Logan adds. Visibility into how the building works and the health of the environment will help to reassure occupants returning to the workplace Every day there is new information coming from the medical and scientific community about COVID-19, and the building industry is just starting to learn what it all means. Logan warns that there is no single solution that will keep every environment healthy and safe. A good strategy features deploying a combination of solutions, optimising systems and being vigilant to make sure that companies are sustaining compliance to new and changing regulations, says Logan. “Today more than ever we must be mindful of the changing culture of how buildings are managed by making apparent the need to be mindful of health and well-being in all aspects of our lives,” says Logan. Honeywell has developed outcome-based solutions that allow building owners to transparently address building quality factors while supporting their business continuity needs in the uncertain environment. “We’re giving them the data they need to confidently reassure their employees to accelerate their business operations,” he adds.

Managing Security During Unprecedented Times of Home Working
Managing Security During Unprecedented Times of Home Working

Companies are following government guidance and getting as many people as possible working from home. Some companies will have resisted home working in the past, but I’m certain that the sceptics will find that people can be productive with the right tools no matter where they are. A temporary solution will become permanent. But getting it right means managing risk. Access is king In a typical office with an on-premise data center, the IT department has complete control over network access, internal networks, data, and applications. The remote worker, on the other hand, is mobile. He or she can work from anywhere using a VPN. Until just recently this will have been from somewhere like a local coffee shop, possibly using a wireless network to access the company network and essential applications. CV-19 means that huge numbers of people are getting access to the same desktop and files, and collaborative communication toolsBut as we know, CV-19 means that huge numbers of people are getting access to the same desktop and files, applications and collaborative communication tools that they do on a regular basis from the office or on the train. Indeed, the new generation of video conferencing technologies come very close to providing an “almost there” feeling. Hackers lie in wait Hackers are waiting for a wrong move amongst the panic, and they will look for ways to compromise critical servers. Less than a month ago, we emerged from a period of chaos. For months hackers had been exploiting a vulnerability in VPN products from Pulse Secure, Fortinet, Palo Alto Networks, and Citrix. Patches were provided by vendors, and either companies applied the patch or withdrew remote access. As a result, the problem of attacks died back.  But as companies race to get people working from home, they must ensure special care is taken to ensure the patches are done before switching VPNs on. That’s because remote desktop protocol (RDP) has been for the most part of 2019, and continues to be, the most important attack vector for ransomware. Managing a ransomware attack on top of everything else would certainly give you sleepless nights. As companies race to get people working from home, they must ensure special care is taken to ensure the patches are done before switching VPNs on Hackers are waiting for a wrong move amongst the panic, and they will look for ways to compromise critical serversExposing new services makes them also susceptible to denial of service attacks. Such attacks create large volumes of fake traffic to saturate the available capacity of the internet connection. They can also be used to attack the intricacies of the VPN protocol. A flow as little as 1Mbps can perturbate the VPN service and knock it offline. CIOs, therefore, need to acknowledge that introducing or extending home working broadens the attack surface. So now more than ever it’s vital to adapt risk models. You can’t roll out new services with an emphasis on access and usability and not consider security. You simply won’t survive otherwise. Social engineering Aside from securing VPNs, what else should CIO and CTOs be doing to ensure security? The first thing to do is to look at employee behavior, starting with passwords. It’s highly recommended that strong password hygiene or some form of multi-factor authentication (MFA) is imposed. Best practice would be to get all employees to reset their passwords as they connect remotely and force them to choose a new password that complies with strong password complexity guidelines.  As we know, people have a habit of reusing their passwords for one or more online services – services that might have fallen victim to a breach. Hackers will happily It’s highly recommended that strong password hygiene or some form of multi-factor authentication (MFA) is imposedleverage these breaches because it is such easy and rich pickings. Secondly, the inherent fear of the virus makes for perfect conditions for hackers. Sadly, a lot of phishing campaigns are already luring people in with the promise of important or breaking information on COVID-19. In the UK alone, coronavirus scams cost victims over £800,000 in February 2020. A staggering number that can only go up. That’s why CIOs need to remind everyone in the company of the risks of clickbait and comment spamming - the most popular and obvious bot techniques for infiltrating a network. Notorious hacking attempts And as any security specialist will tell you, some people have no ethics and will exploit the horrendous repercussions of CV-19. In January we saw just how unscrupulous hackers are when they started leveraging public fear of the virus to spread the notorious Emotet malware. Emotet, first detected in 2014, is a banking trojan that primarily spreads through ‘malspam’ and attempts to sneak into computers to steal sensitive and private information. In addition, in early February the Maze ransomware crippled more than 230 workstations of the New Jersey Medical Diagnostics Lab and when they refused to pay, the vicious attackers leaked 9.5GB or research data in an attempt to force negotiations. And in March, an elite hacking group tried to breach the World Health Organization (WHO). It was just one of the many attempts on WHO and healthcare organizations in general since the pandemic broke. We’ll see lots more opportunist attacks like this in the coming months.   More speed less haste In March, an elite hacking group tried to breach the World Health Organization (WHO). It was just one of the many attempts on WHOFinally, we also have bots to contend with. We’ve yet to see reports of fake news content generated by machines, but we know there’s a high probability it will happen. Spambots are already creating pharmaceutical spam campaigns thriving on the buying behavior of people in times of fear from infection. Using comment spamming – where comments are tactically placed in the comments following an update or news story - the bots take advantage of the popularity of the Google search term ‘Coronavirus’ to increase the visibility and ranking of sites and products in search results. There is clearly much for CIOs to think about, but it is possible to secure a network by applying some well thought through tactics. I believe it comes down to having a ‘more speed, less haste’ approach to rolling out, scaling up and integrating technologies for home working, but above all, it should be mixed with an employee education program. As in reality, great technology and a coherent security strategy will never work if it is undermined by the poor practices

Latest Traka news

ASSA ABLOY Unveils The Latest In ‘Curb-To-Core’ Solutions At ISC West 2020
ASSA ABLOY Unveils The Latest In ‘Curb-To-Core’ Solutions At ISC West 2020

As SIA’s 2020 Member of the Year, ASSA ABLOY’s presence at ISC West 2020 will include an enhanced booth experience, showcasing a suite of new product innovations that help security professionals create access in smart and efficient ways. “Security professionals are experiencing rapid industry change, which is why ASSA ABLOY is focused on educating customers about the latest curb-to-core solutions,” said Mark Duato, Executive Vice President of Aftermarket Solutions at ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions America. “We intimately understand our customers’ challenges and have built a comprehensive suite of products and services that bring them smarter, simplified and intuitive solutions to help grow their businesses.” Providing Security and Access Control from Curb to Core ASSA ABLOY is a manufacturer that can provide doors, frames, mechanical and electronic access control to secure all of the openings in a myriad of facility types. Attendees will experience this broad range of solutions in a reimagined, user-friendly booth that highlights both individual products and complete, full-size door openings. Some of the latest innovations include: Building Envelope Adams Rite P8800 Pullman Rim Exit Device: This rim exit device is designed for narrow stile aluminum applications that require a life-safety exit device with a Pullman latching solution for use in retail storefronts, multi-use commercial offices, schools, medical centers and financial institutions. Norton 6300 Series Low Energy Operator: With a modular design and simple controls, this operator has a broad set of intelligent functions, such as power close, latch assist and obstruction detection to secure moderate to high traffic openings. Yale nexTouch Keypad Exit Trim: Ideal for commercial and multi-family environments, this exit trim provides the latest in keypad access with key-free convenience as an upgrade or retrofit solution. Interior Solutions Enhanced credential support across the Aperio family of wireless devices: Now offering support for mobile access via BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) or NFC, the Aperio wireless solution provides complete flexibility for your mobile access deployments. Securitron AQL Power Series: This customizable, intelligent power supply system provides improved functionality and efficiency through remote monitoring, with the ability to power a single electrified door opening or hundreds of access points. Status Indicators: The new status indicator option for Corbin Russwin ML2000 Series and SARGENT 8200 Series mortise locks features a 180° window design providing optimized visibility for the locked/unlocked door status, enhancing the privacy and emergency preparedness needs of any facility. RITE Slide: This acoustically-rated, soft close sliding door has a modern aesthetic design, ideal for medical rooms, patient rooms, offices and hospitality. Specialty Solutions Ultra-Light UL8 Bullet Resistant Door: Using an ultra-lightweight patented core, this door is over 50% lighter than conventional bullet-resistant doors. Real-World installation The full-size door display features complete solutions, typical of what you might find in vertical markets like government, education, healthcare, retail, multi-family, deco, glass and more. These doorways offer a unique opportunity to witness a ‘real-world’ installation and understand the complexities of their interactions. ASSA ABLOY is again hosting their annual USO Bag Build. Attendees can stop by the booth on March 19 from 1- 4 p.m. to pack supplies for military personnel leaving for or returning from deployment, awaiting the arrival of their personal luggage. ASSA ABLOY’s sister companies will also be onsite, including HID Global (booth# 11063), Alarm Controls (booth# 9077), Ameristar (booth# 9073), Abloy Security (booth# 7055) Traka (booth# 7041), August Home / Yale (booth# 32081), and LifeSafety Power (booth 14115).

Traka Launches An Electronic High-Capacity (HC) Cabinet Range At UKAA Expo
Traka Launches An Electronic High-Capacity (HC) Cabinet Range At UKAA Expo

Traka is launching an electronic High-Capacity (HC) cabinet range at the UK Apartment Association (UKAA) Expo, designed to offer property management companies better security, management and visibility of critical keys. Visitors to the dedicated residential sector event, taking place on 13 February, will be the first to see live demonstrations of Traka’s powerful HC key management solutions. Presenting capability for control over a high volume of keys in a small footprint, the electronic cabinets present audit trail capability of every user and item transaction. Intuitive touchscreen interface Featuring an intuitive touchscreen interface, integrated into the front door panel for a fast and easy experience, authentication to operate Traka’s HC cabinets can be selected between fingerprint, PIN and access badge technology. An integrated camera can capture check-in and out attempts for additional security and accountability. A single misplaced or stolen key puts property, staff and residents at considerable risk" The cabinets operate with unlabelled SmartFob technology and can be specified to achieve bespoke operational requirements, being paired with a comprehensive suite of administrative tools and detailed reporting via Traka’s specialist browser-based software. Intelligent key management solution Lee Payne, Market Development Manager for Traka, says, “Property managers face unique challenges in managing a high volume of keys for housing units, facilities control and common areas. A single misplaced or stolen key puts property, staff and residents at considerable risk.” “UKAA is a really exciting opportunity for Traka to demonstrate our ability to understand these issues and introduce our intelligent key management solution that can better secure, manage and audit the keys that are critical to everyday operations in residential housing. We’re looking forward to meeting visitors on our stand and discussing requirements for a total solution for the property management industry.” Traka’s HC Cabinets are available in three different sizes, with a capability to manage over 500 keys in a single cabinet.

Intersec Dubai 2020: Traka Integrates With Maxxess eFusion Platform To Create An Enhanced Central Management Solution
Intersec Dubai 2020: Traka Integrates With Maxxess eFusion Platform To Create An Enhanced Central Management Solution

Traka, from ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions, has integrated with Maxxess’ award-winning security management software, eFusion, to present users with a powerful route to achieving operational efficiencies across a wide range of systems and functions. Complete site control Traka, in conjunction with Maxxess Systems, has developed a seamless integration with Maxxess’ eFusion open platform, to allow complete site control, centralize site visibility and present real-time monitoring, ensuring situational awareness for all assets, safely and securely. eFusion with Traka makes it simple for authorized staff to gain access to a wide range of controlled assets, from keys and premises to high value equipment, vehicles and machinery. The new integration enables full traceability and audit reports that can include video and audio recordings, as well as transactional data from systems such as access control, intruder, HR and fire. eFusion system is renowned as presenting a seamless opportunity to integrate to third party systems" Integration with third party systems Martin Woodhouse, Traka Head of Asia Pacific, Middle East, India and Africa (APACMEA), “Maxxess is one of the foremost global innovators within the security industry, its eFusion system is renowned as presenting a seamless opportunity to integrate to third party systems. Now together with Traka, we can deliver a significant futureproof technology that paves the way for users to benefit from one all-encompassing building control system.” “The power of this new integration brings together Traka’s intelligent key and equipment management systems with eFusion’s flexible cloud architecture, developing a solution that will deliver exciting advances in security and operational efficiency.” “It will not only benefit major new build projects, but also open new opportunities for existing users of eFusion and Traka. We look forward to building on this exciting partnership with Maxxess, which we jointly believe continues to deliver real benefits to our valued customers.” Audit capabilities across key cabinets and lockers As with all Traka solutions, the integration with Maxxess’ eFusion presents audit capabilities across its key cabinets and lockers, and enables instant traceability and reporting. Other important features include fault logging, curfews and multiple authorizations, which provide tangible returns on investment by improving operational efficiency, increasing productivity and minimizing costly down time. Integration with eFusion opens the way for more powerful joint opportunities" Lee Copland, Managing Director, Maxxess EMEA adds, “With Traka solutions globally deployed in many market sectors such as critical infrastructure, retail, logistics, hospitality and corporate environments - and increasingly integrated with many third-party systems - this integration with eFusion opens the way for more powerful joint opportunities to be developed.” “There are huge benefits to be gained from integrating Traka’s capability with wider functions and operations, including building management systems, security, fire and the many application-specific systems used by our customers in different sectors.” To see Traka’s integration with Maxxess eFusion in action, one can visit Traka in hall 2, stand G20 at Intersec Dubai, taking place at Dubai’s International Convention and Exhibition Centre from 19 - 21 January 2020.

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