TDSi Access Control Softwares(10)
Specialist Access Control provider TDSi is bringing together the benefits of its entry control products with other perimeter security and building services controls, by offering full interactive systems integration. Earlier in the year TDSi launched a module for true TCP/IP integration from its EXgarde PRO software suite to alarm specialist Texecom’s Premier range of Intruder Alarm panels. The solution allows full integration to other serial based devices such as IP CCTV, TDSi’s VUgarde NVR providing visual verification of Intruder Alarms through TDSi’s EXgarde PRO. John Davies, Managing Director of TDSi, comments “Integration with Texecom has enabled TDSi to augment EXgarde PRO into a more complete and truly integrated surveillance and security system at the TCP/IP level. The user has full control, being able to arm and disarm zones to suit the use of the building, reducing the number of false alarms triggered, and providing visual verification of alarms.” Integration provides enhanced control and offers numerous benefits, such as the ability to activate and deactivate specific panels across multiple sites, as well as individual zones of a building and the ability to monitor all Intruder Alarm events which appear in the EXgarde Pro Alarm Manager Events panel. If an alarm is activated, CCTV can be triggered to deliver both a real time image and a 15 second pre alarm condition recording to the control room. The integration also means users benefit from a single point of administration with the ability to monitor a log of the intruder alarm system and also reduce the numbers of false alarm and the problems associated with this. This add-on to EXgarde continues TDSi’s overall commitment to making systems integration easier. The other key features of the system include the ability to log events in EXgarde, view the alarm zones’ status “armed”/”part-armed”/”disarmed” in EXgarde, remote arm/disarm from access events and part-arm zones from access events. These flexible features allow users to avoid costly false alarms through arming only required zones of a building, also preventing unauthorized people from accessing certain zones. TDSi also recently announced the launch of the new Harmony Security Alliance, with even broader aims to ‘Collaborate, Innovate and Protect’ across the security product offering spectrum. TDSi is partnering with exterior detection equipment specialist GJD Manufacturing and specialist in highly efficient power supplies Elmdene International Ltd - along with Texecom, to offer installers and end users an unrivalled integrated service for all security and access control needs. The Harmony Alliance also means that the partner members will co-operate and develop on-going solutions that are designed to complement each other and work together effectively, whatever the specification of the overall system that is installed. For further details on TDSi and its range of access control solutions, please visit www.tdsi.co.uk or telephone +44 (0)1202 724 999. Installers and end users who would like more information on the Harmony Alliance, and have specific project requirements, can find further details on the new dedicated website: www.harmony-alliance.com.Add to Compare
In the past the Access Control industry was a relatively straightforward one. Vendors supplied access control systems to installers who in turn organized and fitted solutions which were primarily concerned with securing doorways and controlling the flow of people traffic to restricted parts of the premises. But like most parts of the security industry, the Access Control sector has evolved and the industry is looking to expand their offering to add more value for money than ever before. For some this would have been unthinkable even a few years ago, but now successful companies have to think outside the traditional boundaries to meet the constantly evolving expectations of the market. Integration is a word that is mentioned time and time again in relation to Access Control – and with good reason! The IP revolution has become just as central to this sector as the rest of the security and wider technology world and has shaped the expectations of customers. Far from being a novelty, any system that doesn’t integrate with other IP systems at some level is now considered unusual. The move towards integration means that mutually communicative systems are essential, with the likes of Microsoft Active Directory becoming a central hub to all kinds of company systems from security to Human Resources and Facilities Management systems. As an extension to this, there are also demands for solutions that can still incorporate older legacy systems, which in all likelihood would never have been designed with this kind of integration in mind. For example, a company that has a large installation of analog CCTV cameras (which may well still have a high degree of their effective lifecycle remaining) is unlikely to want to tear them all out in favour of more modern IP megapixel cameras, just for the sake of having new ones. Modern integrated systems can deal with these integration issues, but it is something that installers need to be sympathetic to, offering solutions that will save their customers wasting budget and will offer tailor-made, highly relevant solutions. The modern business world is largely responsible for driving the need for integration. Security and the ability to monitor and prove it are high priorities, but so is doing it effectively on tighter budgets. Rather than seeing it as a potential stumbling block, the Access Control industry needs to see the opportunities to offer customers a sizable and crucial part of the wider security offering. Schools are a good example of the need to integrate all the security systems to protect potentially vulnerable users. Modern educational establishments usually use a dedicated Schools Information Management Systems (SIMS) which gives a single point of administration and reference. With this at the heart of the establishment, the opportunities and benefits from creating a two way communication between the SIMS and the access control systems is obvious. For an installer there may be a temptation to sell the school a simple, standalone access system (particularly when budgets are under such close scrutiny), that offers lower upfront costs with a simpler installation process - yet there is a superb opportunity to offer a hard working solution that may cost more up front, but will really make good use of existing systems, offering far bigger rewards and helping to future-proof itself for considerably longer. The concept of thinking outside the box can apply on many levels. Access Control is closely linked to security and yet an integrated system can be as much a part of the management of the wider buildings’ control systems. If a people counter system can be used to ensure perimeter security access isn’t breached, then why not use it to control heating and ventilation? Closely controlling these systems minimizes the waste of resources whilst ensuring users still get the services they need. Another area that is ripe for the help of Access Control as a value-add is Health and Safety. Being able to monitor the number of people who enter a controlled area also means a close eye can be kept on occupancy. Not only can this control the access of unauthorized people, it also monitors if a lone worker is present in a potentially hazardous area for example, alerting other members of the team that there may be a risk to their safety. Linked to this, it can also be an integral part of compliance, logging when staff are present in a hospital or a prison for example, integrating directly with the employment management system to provide highly accurate and secure information. The humble MIFARE card is another industry standard that can actually offer users a great degree of flexibility and empowerment beyond its Access Control role. The secure identity information held on the card can easily be accompanied by additional authentication details which are just as safe. Businesses or organizations that require a number of different secure functions (such as a university campus for example – which may offer library, gym membership and EPOS systems for retail) can use a MIFARE card as a single confirmation token. The appeal for our customers is that it reduces cost by utilising existing system investments to provide new services, whilst being relatively simple to implement. These examples of ‘Thinking outside the box’ could just be the tip of the iceberg as new technologies are waiting to grab the market. Near Field Communications are rapidly coming into focus as a security tool, building upon the popularity of smartphones and mobile devices on which they are deployed. This is an exciting technology as it utilizes a ubiquitous everyday device to offer secure and convenient authentication which as mentioned above, can have a myriad of different uses well beyond the traditional access control arena. Biometric authentication is another area that is coming on in leaps and bounds. Being able to use a fingerprint, retina scan, facial recognition, sub dermal scan or even the analysis of the circulatory system, frees users from having to carry a token and yet offers even tighter levels of security. These levels of security will make it even easier to integrate different systems and the idea of limiting the potential of access control will seem like an anarchistic relic of a bygone age.Add to Compare
Access control specialist TDSi has launched its new MIFARE Programmer, which offers users the ability to specify their own sectors and keys on their MIFARE access cards. Together with the ability to re-configure TDSi's standard sector readers to any desired code (without the need for any other parties to be involved), the MIFARE Programmer ensures confidentiality of security data and access control.To make sure it doesn't inadvertently become a weak point of security itself, TDSi's MIFARE Programmer uses a highly secure user login to protect the ability to programme user cards from unauthorized users. Having control of MIFARE security details also offers a number of other key benefits: Use pre-assigned sequential numbers - The MIFARE Programmer provides an effective method of card programming which eliminates potential duplication problems, Read and identify existing cards - users can identify existing cards and sector usage before migrating existing system cards, Log all cards issued - The MIFARE Programmer provides a history of cards which have been issued (for future reference), Multiple card number options - The user can utilize a unique number, custom number or CSN to program a sector, providing increased flexibility, Dual decode options - The MIFARE Programmer allows users to decode the new 7 byte UID using TDSi's format or NXP's format, for increased flexibility, Check which sectors are used - This built-in function allows users to check which sectors have already been used. This is ideal if you want to migrate existing MIFARE CSN cards that may be utilised for other aspects (such as cashless vending) to a more secure sector operation. TDSi's John Davies comments on the MIFARE Programmer, "For companies that need the highest levels of protection; the ability to protect your security codes across the board is a very attractive proposition. Being able to programme your own MIFARE cards and readers means you can close a potential gap in security that comes from pre-programmed systems. We believe this is a unique solution that offers real peace of mind. It has been developed from feedback we have had from installers and users, who advised that it would be highly desirable choice for both security and convenience."Add to Compare
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The industry faces numerous challenges in the coming year. Physical and cyber security threats continue to become more complex, and organizations are struggling to manage both physical and digital credentials as well as a rapidly growing number of connected endpoints in the Internet of Things (IoT). We are witnessing the collision of the enterprise with the IoT, and organizations now must establish trust and validate the identity of people as well as ‘things’ in an environment of increasingly stringent safety and data privacy regulations. Meanwhile, demand grows for smarter and more data-driven workplaces, a risk-based approach to threat protection, improved productivity and seamless, more convenient access to the enterprise and its physical and digital assets and services. Using Smartphone Apps To Open Doors Cloud technologies give people access through their mobile phones and other devices to many new, high-value experiencesEnterprise customers increasingly want to create trusted environments within which they can deliver valuable new user experiences. A major driver is growing demand for the ‘digital cohesion’ of being able to use smartphone apps to open doors, authenticate to enterprise data resources or access a building’s applications and services. Cloud technologies are a key piece of the solution. They give people access through their mobile phones and other devices to many new, high-value experiences. At the same time, they help fuel smarter, more data-driven workplace environments. With the arrival of today’s identity- and location-aware building systems that recognize people and use deep learning analytics to customize their office environment, the workplace is undergoing dramatic change. Improved Fingerprint Solutions Cloud-based platforms and application programming interfaces (APIs) will help bridge biometrics and access control in the enterprise, overcoming previous integration hurdles while providing a trusted platform that meets the concerns of accessibility and data protection in a connected environment. At the same time, the next generation of fingerprint solutions will deliver higher matching speed, better image capture quality and improved performance. The next generation of fingerprint solutions will deliver higher matching speed, better image capture quality and improved performance Liveness detection will ensure that captured data is from a living person. Biometrics authentication will also gain traction beyond access control in immigration and border control, law enforcement, military, defense and other public section use cases where higher security is needed. Flexible Subscription Models Access control solutions based on cloud platforms will also change how solutions are deployed. Siloed security and workplace optimization solutions will be replaced with mobile apps that can be downloaded anywhere across a global ecosystem of millions of compatible and connected physical access control system endpoints. These connections will also facilitate new, more flexible subscription models for access control services. As an example, users will be able to more easily replenish mobile IDs if their smartphones are lost or must be replaced. Generating Valuable Insights With Machine Learning Machine learning analytics will be used to generate valuable insights from today’s access control solutionsEducation, finance, healthcare, enterprise, and other niche markets such as commercial real-estate and enterprises focused on co-working spaces will benefit from a cloud-connected access control hardware foundation. There will be a faster path from design to deployment since developers will no longer have to create an entire vertically integrated solution. They will simply add an app experience to the existing access control infrastructure. New players will be drawn to the market resulting in a richer, more vibrant development community and accelerated innovation. Data analytics will be a rapidly growing area of interest. Machine learning analytics will be used to generate valuable insights from today’s access control solutions. Devices, access control systems, IoT applications, digital certificates and location services solutions, which are all connected to the cloud, will collectively deliver robust data with which to apply advanced analytics and risk-based intelligence. As organizations incorporate this type of analytics engine into their access control systems, they will improve security and personalize the user experience while driving better business decisions.
It’s not surprising that people are nervous about the security of newer technologies, many of which are part of the Internet of Things (IoT). While they offer greater efficiency and connectivity, some people still hesitate. After all, there seems to be a constant stream of news stories about multinational corporations being breached or hackers taking control of smart home devices. Both of these scenarios can feel personal. No one likes the idea of their data falling into criminal hands. And we especially don’t like the thought that someone can, even virtually, come into our private spaces. The reality, though, is that, when you choose the right technology and undertake the proper procedures, IoT devices are incredibly secure. That said, one of the spaces where we see continued confusion is around access control systems (ACS) that are deployed over networks, particularly in relation to mobile access, smartcards, and electronic locks. These technologies are often perceived as being less secure and therefore more vulnerable to attacks than older ACS systems or devices. In the interest of clearing up any confusion, it is important to provide good, reliable information. With this in mind, there are some myths out there about the security of ACS that need to be debunked. The fact that these devices communicate with an ACS via Bluetooth or Near Field Communication (NFC) leads to one of the main myths we encounter Myth #1: Mobile Credentials Are Not Secure The first myth we have to look at exists around mobile credentials. Mobile credentials allow cardholders to access secured doors and areas with their mobile devices. The fact that these devices communicate with an ACS via Bluetooth or Near Field Communication (NFC) leads to one of the main myths we encounter about the security of credentialed information. There is a persistent belief that Bluetooth is not secure. In particular, people seem to be concerned that using mobile credentials makes your organization more vulnerable to skimming attacks. While focusing on the medium of communication is an important consideration when an organization deploys a mobile credentialing system, the concerns about Bluetooth miss the mark. Bluetooth and NFC are simply channels over which information is transmitted. Believing that Bluetooth is not secure would be the same as suggesting that the internet is not secure. In both cases, the security of your communication depends on the technology, protocols, and safeguards we all have in place. So, instead of wondering about Bluetooth or NFC, users should be focused on the security of the devices themselves. Before deploying mobile credentials, ask your vendor (1) how the credential is generated, stored, and secured on the device, (2) how the device communicates with the reader, and (3) how the reader securely accesses the credential information. When you deploy smartcard technology as part of your ACS, you should choose the latest generation, such as MiFARE DesFIRE EV1 or EV2 and HID iCLASS SEOS Myth #2: All Smartcards Are Equally Secure The question “how secure are my smartcards?” is a serious one. And the answer can depend on the generation of the cards themselves. For example, while older smartcards like MiFARE CLASSIC and HID iCLASS Classic offer better encryption than proxy cards and magstripe credentials, they have been compromised. Using these older technologies can make your organization vulnerable. As a result, when you deploy smartcard technology as part of your ACS, you should choose the latest generation, such as MiFARE DesFIRE EV1 or EV2 and HID iCLASS SEOS. In this way, you will be protecting your system as well as your buildings or facilities. Some traditional readers and controllers can also pose a serious risk to your organization if they use the Wiegand protocol, which offers no security. While you can upgrade to a more secure protocol like OSDP version 2, electronic locks are a very secure alternative worth considering. It is also important to understand that not all smartcard readers are compatible with all smartcard types. When they are not compatible, the built-in security designed to keep your system safe will not match up and you will essentially forego security as your smartcard-reader will not read the credentials at all. Instead, it will simply read the non-secure portion—the Card Serial Number (CSN) —of the smartcard that is accessible to everyone. While some manufacturers suggest that this is an advantage because their readers can work with any smartcard, the truth is that they are not reading from the secure part of the card, which can put your system and premises at risk. Using electronic locks can help protect facilities and networks through various security protocols, including encryption and authentication Myth #3: Electronic Locks Are More Vulnerable These days, there are still many who believe that electronic locks, especially wireless locks, are more vulnerable to cybercriminal activity as compared to traditional readers and controllers. The concern here is that electronic locks can allow cybercriminals to both access your network to get data and intercept commands from the gateway or nodes over the air that would allow them access to your buildings or facilities. The reality is that using electronic locks can help protect facilities and networks through various security protocols, including encryption and authentication. Additionally, because many of these locks remain operational regardless of network status, they provide real-time door monitoring. This means that many electronic locks not only prevent unauthorized access but also keep operators informed about their status at all times, even if a network goes down. Outdated technology and old analogue systems are more vulnerable to attacks When it comes to deploying electronic locks, it is important to remember that, like any device on your network, they must have built-in security features that will allow you to keep your information, people, and facilities safe. Be Prepared To Unlock Future Benefits Ultimately, the information in your IP-based ACS is at no greater risk than any other information being transmitted over the network. We just have to be smart about how we connect, transmit, and store our data. In the end, maintaining the status quo and refusing to move away from old technology is not a viable option. Outdated technology and old analogue systems are more vulnerable to attacks. The reason it is so important to debunk myths around ACS and, at the same time, get people thinking about network security in the right way is that network-based systems can offer an ever-increasing number of benefits. When we deploy new technology using industry best practices and purchase devices from trusted vendors, we put ourselves and our networks in the best possible position to take full advantage of all that our increasingly connected world has to offer.
The oil and gas market is driven by a number of technology trends, political issues, waves of supply and demand, and regulations. At times, it seems like the market is in a constant state of ebb and flow, with business affected by traditional drivers, such as government mandates and operational efficiencies, and other non-traditional markers, like challenging weather conditions (consider the 2017 hurricane season as an example). Additionally, the global economy continues to grow, propelling increased energy demand. But like nearly every other market today, the oil and gas market is on the brink of a sea change. According to Deloitte’s 2018 outlook on oil and gas, “the digital revolution is here.” The sheer volume of information and data generated by digital devices, such as those associated with the Internet of Things, will allow producers to leverage rich data and combine it to deliver smart, efficient solutions. The rise of digital technologies is unleashing new ideas across the oil and gas industry and even though we are in the beginning stage of being able to harness the power of these types of technologies, innovative ideas are emerging — all designed to support the core business, reduce internal investments, deliver products faster, boost efficiencies, and enhance safety. Maximized Operations And Increased ROI This ongoing growth propels energy producers to embark on extensive exploration and production activities to meet increased demand This is welcome news because there are a number of challenges facing the oil and gas industry, from improving reserve replacement and ensuring workplace safety to reducing operating costs and limiting downtime. All of these objectives must be achieved while maximizing operations and increasing overall return on investment. Never has it been more crucial for critical infrastructure organizations to demonstrate a focus on safety, security, and collaboration. Here's why: Growth and demand According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, world energy consumption will grow by 56 percent between 2010 and 2040. This ongoing growth propels energy producers to embark on extensive exploration and production activities to meet increased demand. As energy-centric organizations look to emerging markets or remote regions to source production, safety becomes even more mission-critical to their success. Compliance Continuous demand is only one challenge; compliance with industry and government regulations is another significant hurdle that must be maintained or there is risk of production shutdowns. For example, the Department of Homeland Security’s Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) impose comprehensive federal regulations for high-risk chemical facilities, requiring organizations to conduct vulnerability assessments. This is just one of many regulatory procedures sites must follow to conform to environmental protections, safety precautions, and safe handling of hazardous materials. As energy-centric organizations look to emerging markets or remote regions to source production, safety becomes even more mission-critical to their success Threat Protection, Mitigation, And Collaboration In addition to meeting the requirements of regulatory procedures, mitigating risk in this industry propels leaders to develop stringent strategies to ensure robust protection of people, property, and assets, effective and efficient response to incidents when they occur, and procedures and protocols to ensure business continuity in emergency situations. Energy providers require comprehensive safety planning and technology systems that can augment the capabilities of on-site and remote personnel. In recent years, video solutions have become the standard for monitoring facilities, assets, and employees, and now these organizations require enterprise-class solutions that can help gather intelligent data that allows for enhanced security and safety efforts but also focus on processes that enhance operational efficiencies. Cyber-attacks are becoming increasingly more complex and sophisticated in the oil and gas market IT security is also a concern. Cyber-attacks are becoming increasingly more complex and sophisticated in the oil and gas market. An IT breach can cause operational havoc, risk to the public, and damage to an organization’s brand. Adopting a continuous improvement approach to a security strategy safeguards and helps protect valuable company information and reduces the likelihood of an incident. Also, collaboration between IT and physical security leaders and the correlation of both departments' data makes it much easier to identify a potential breach before havoc ensues. The Digital Age With the rise of the digital revolution and the demand for data to improve insight, oil and gas producers and businesses need to find new ways to capture data, correlate it as needed, and then leverage it to make the most informed decisions. Software platforms are being used in a wide variety of applications to provide a single pane-of-glass view that allows operators to gain critical insight into operations. By collecting intelligence from digital sensors, such as video surveillance cameras, open-source Web intelligence, building systems, crowdsourcing, weather sensors, mobile devices, and more, operators can detect potential risks and manage and respond to situations more efficiently. Furthermore, information can be shared easily with multiple agencies, employees, citizens, and first responders — especially valuable in the event of a safety incident where rapid response is paramount. By creating a single enterprise-wide view across disparate systems and technologies, organizations experience improved response times, lowered operational costs, and increased employee safety. Cyber, traditional security, digital devices, and situational awareness technologies combine to deliver an integrated, automated, and adaptive architecture to efficiently mitigate advanced threats in real time or forensically Traditional Command Centers Intelligent solutions, such as those derived from the idea of artificial intelligence, help organizations make sense of vast amounts of data. These integrated applications, such as advanced video analytics and facial recognition, can automatically pinpoint potential breaches and significant events, and send alerts to the appropriate personnel, departments, and agencies. These solutions can be powerful in unifying disparate command center technologies within the oil and gas industry, fusing critical data input from emergency calls and responder activity to enhance situational awareness. With traditional command centers relying mostly on call and radio updates, visibility can be limited, but new digital platforms enable operators to oversee a situation and engage with and direct the response force. Overall, these types of automated functions deliver a simplified and modernized operating environment. The Future Is The Intelligent SOC Oil and gas facilities can implement a proactive approach to safety and better mitigate threats and protect assets All of these digital solutions are designed to take center stage within the Intelligent Security Operations Center (ISOC). To combat advanced, multi-stage threats, oil and gas facilities are transforming the traditional SOC into the next-generation unified ISOC with an integrated platform for detection, investigation, communication, and response. Cyber, traditional security, digital devices, and situational awareness technologies combine to deliver an integrated, automated, and adaptive architecture to efficiently mitigate advanced threats in real time or forensically. Energy providers operate in challenging, fast-moving environments in which opportunities, requirements, and regulations can vary widely, change quickly, and evolve significantly over time. As the idea of the digital age continues to transform this market, new technologies will be more widely used to improve business operations from exploration and extraction to transportation and distribution. With the right technology, strategic partnerships, and enhanced situational awareness, oil and gas facilities can implement a proactive approach to safety and better mitigate threats and protect assets, while continuing to focus on achieving business goals that will sustain supply and demand for years to come.
Statistically speaking, incidents of terrorism are unlikely to impact most businesses and institutions. However, the mere possibility of worst-case-scenario attacks is enough to keep security professionals awake at night. Compounding the collective anxiety is the minute-by-minute media coverage when an attack does occur. The immediacy of the shared experience of global tragedy impacts us all – including security system decision-makers. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How is the rise in terrorism impacting the physical security market?
Our Expert Panel is an opinionated group on a wide variety of topics, and we are dedicated to providing a useful and flexible forum to share those opinions. This week, our panelists address a range of opinions about several self-selected topics, culled from the large number of Expert Panelist responses we have collected in the last year. In this Expert Panel Roundtable article, we will share these varied and insightful responses to ensure they are not lost to posterity!
When security topics become a part of current events, it is usually in a negative light. Security generally only becomes news when it fails, sometimes in a dramatic, high profile and tragic way. However, security failures can also shed light on lessons learned and opportunities to improve. Working toward better security can translate into the purchase of more goods and equipment supplied by our market. For additional insights into the intersection of security and current events, we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Good news or bad news? How do news reports and/or current events influence the general public’s opinion of physical security?
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