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Access control software - Expert commentary

Secure Access Control Is Helping To Shape The Post-Pandemic World
Secure Access Control Is Helping To Shape The Post-Pandemic World

With the continued rolling back of COVID restrictions in the UK, there is a palpable sense of relief. A mixture of mass vaccinations, widespread testing, and track and tracing of the infection is helping to enable a healthy bounce back for businesses – with secure access control taking an important role in facilitating this. However, rather than just being a reaction to the wake of the pandemic, there is every sign that the economy, and consequently the security sector as well, are both rebuilding and reshaping for the long-term new normal. Prioritizing Safety Already deemed an essential service even during the first wave of the pandemic, the security industry has of course taken a vital role in protecting people and property throughout the crisis. Now that venues in the UK are starting to reopen again, our services are key to occupancy management and ensuring that disease transmission is limited as far as possible. Access control is also key in reassuring people that their safety is a priority. Making the upgrade It’s all been about choosing the most suitable components and technology that already existed with a few “tweaks”  Businesses and organizations have a duty of care to their employees and the safety of visitors – so controlling access, employing lateral flow testing, and deploying suitable Track & Trace mechanisms are all key components. I think those outside our industry are surprised to learn that most of the technology being deployed and used hasn’t just magically developed since COVID appeared – it’s all been about choosing the most suitable components and technology that already existed albeit with a few development “tweaks” or adjustments for the situation at hand. This includes using or installing facial recognition readers rather than using fingerprint or contact tokens, it is swapping to automatic request to exit sensors instead of buttons; it is using powered secure doors rather than having people all grab the same handle. Using cellphone credentials is also a key technology choice – why not use the highly secure, easy to manage, cost-effective, and of course contact-free benefits of this approach? Touchless solutions We have seen a clear shift in organizations looking to protect their staff and visitors. For instance, we have a big utility customer in Southeast Asia that has just replaced close to 200 sites using fingerprint readers with an additional facial recognition capability. We have also seen a big rise in demand for touchless request to exit sensors and Bluetooth Low Energy Readers for use with smartphone authentication. Working together Integration of security systems is of course nothing new, but in the post-pandemic or endemic age, it has perhaps never been more important. Installations need to be simple, straightforward, and rapid to help maintain safe distancing but also to ensure systems can be deployed as soon as they are needed. The world is changing and developing rapidly and there is simply no place for systems that don’t work with others or cause the end-user considerable cost and inconvenience to upgrade. This flexible delivery of security solutions perfectly matches the evolving and increasing demands of the market. It’s clear that end-users want systems that work well and can easily integrate with their existing systems – not only security but all the other business components which work in unison with each other over a shared network. Great opportunities ahead The recent work-from-home trend is also clearly changing the way organizations and businesses interact with the built environment. Lots of companies are downsizing, offices are being split up, there is lots of revitalization and reuse of existing office space – all of which creates considerable opportunities for security providers. UK inflation more than doubled in April 2021 with unemployment figures dropping and the Pound rising in value There are also, in the UK at least, clear signs that the construction industry is rapidly growing again -with a forecast of 8% rebound and growth this year. UK inflation more than doubled in April 2021 with unemployment figures dropping and the Pound rising in value – all positive signs for UK-based security providers. Undoubtedly the highly successful UK vaccination rollout has helped considerably, but there are signs that the Eurozone looks set to improve considerably over the next few months as well. Using integrated access control Undoubtedly the pandemic has made security markets around the world more aware of the benefits of integrated access control in managing the needs of the new normal COVID endemic environment. For example, as a business, we have always had keen interest from the UK healthcare sector, but over the last 12 months, we have seen a big growth in previously modest international markets including Morocco, Kuwait, Bahrain, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Thailand – all of which are very keen to adopt improved access control solutions. Learning the lessons Nobody would deny the last year or so has been unprecedentedly tough on everyone, as a society we have had to make huge changes and sacrifices. Governments, organizations, and businesses all need to be better prepared in the future, to understand the things that went wrong and those that were successful. However, there is a world beyond the immediate pandemic and its effects. Flexible working practices and the changes these will have to the way we live and work will undoubtedly present great opportunities for the security sector in helping the world evolve. The pandemic has been a wake-up call for many organizations with regards to their duty of care to employees – particularly when it comes to mental health and providing a sensible work/life balance. Where we work and the safety of these facilities has received far more scrutiny than before. Flexible security systems Integrated security solutions have a vital role to play in not only protecting the safety of people during the post-lockdown return to work but also in the evolution of the built environment and move towards smart cities - which inevitably will now need to consider greater flexibility in securing home working spaces rather than just traditional places of work. Importantly, powerful access control and integrated security systems need to be flexible to the uncertainties ahead. The COVID pandemic has shown that nothing can be considered certain, except the need for greater flexibility and resilience in the way we operate our professional and personal interactions.

Government Steps In To Promote The Protection Of Public Venues
Government Steps In To Promote The Protection Of Public Venues

COVID restrictions across the UK are slowly easing and many public venues, including stadiums, are beginning to reopen following a year of closures and uncertainty. According to recent ONS figures, criminal offenses – excluding fraud and computer misuse – dropped significantly during the lockdown periods of 2020. In fact, 25% less crime was reported in April 2020 compared to the same month in 2019. However, as lockdown measures eased each time, crime levels quickly crept up, sadly emphasizing the remaining very real threat of theft, terrorism, and random acts of violence. Considering protective measures These stats reiterate just how crucial it is for venue owners to consider protective measures to ensure the public can enjoy the site, or space, safely. To support this, the government launched a consultation in February, on newly proposed anti-terrorism legislation to help better protect the general public when they visit public venues. The Protect Duty Bill builds on ‘Martyn’s Law’, legislation campaigned for by the mother of one of the victims of the 2017 Manchester Arena attack. The consultation will consider ways of developing robust security measures in public areas The consultation will consider ways of developing robust security measures in public areas. Currently, there is no legal obligation for venue operators and owners of public locations to take the responsibility of protecting the public. This Bill will ensure they are liable and certify they take steps to assess and mitigate the security risks. Achieving improved security Publicly accessible locations are any spaces the general public have permission to enter. This comprises of three main categories: public venues with a capacity of over 100 people, e.g., entertainment venues, tourist attractions, and shopping centers; large organizations like retail or entertainment chains with a minimum of 250 staff; and public spaces such as parks, beaches, and thoroughfares. Public spaces are significantly tougher to protect, and the government is intent on exploring the most effective way to achieve improved security, alongside the parties responsible for these locations. This means establishing responsibility for safety in these spaces, considering what the reasonable expectations are, and the potential role played by legislation in mitigating the issues. Providing security framework Measures must be put in place to ensure they’re ready to take appropriate action at any time It’s impossible to predict or prevent all terrorist attacks, so any publicly accessible location has the potential to be a target. Measures must be put in place to ensure they’re ready to take appropriate action at any time, should an incident take place. The consultation aims to provide a security framework to help venues be prepared, by considering the adequacy of adopted security measures, systems, and processes. The consultation document includes a list of recommendations for venues: Be alert to suspicious behaviors, engage the person in a welcoming and helpful manner, or report them to the police. Be alert to abandoned bags. Be security-minded, especially online. Avoid providing specific information that could aid a terrorist, for example, floor plans with security details. Encourage and enable a security culture. Complete and provide ACT (Action Counters Terrorism) Awareness e-learning. Have a clear action plan. How would you respond to an incident inside or outside your site? Periodically review and refresh the risk assessment. Security-Minded culture The framework comprises of three key points that should be strongly considered for all spaces and organizations: Completing a risk assessment – This involves understanding potential terrorist motivations, targets, type of attack, and how those motivations and methodologies might change or evolve. A systemic approach to security – It’s vital to think of security as a combination of physical and behavioral interventions to ensure a far more secure area or venue. Physical measures such as fences, bollards, CCTV, and blast-resistant glazing should be installed alongside a security-minded culture. Vigilance should be encouraged and the appropriate training offered to staff involved in the day-to-day running of the establishment. Investigate the ins and outs – while it may be tempting to choose a product and hope for the best, it’s crucial to investigate further to ensure your system doesn’t conflict with other safety measures, including health, safety, and fire regulations. Practical preparedness measures Venues should also consider a ‘reasonably practicable’ organizational preparedness system To meet the terms, be sure to use all the information and guidance provided by the government, and police services. The guidance is designed to help realize the risks, and the potential impact they could have on people and property. These will vary per site as each venue is unique and will have a specific purpose which will influence the security measures required. Venues should also consider a ‘reasonably practicable’ organizational preparedness system. This doesn’t mean that all employees have to become security staff, but rather providing training and planning so that everyone knows how to react quickly in case of an emergency. First and foremost, the government is offering advice on understanding threats and attack methods, practical preparedness measures, and how to stay vigilant and plan for incidents. There are also plans for a new digital platform to be launched later this year for advice and training purposes. High-Quality products In addition to this, sectoral and regional engagement days have been outlined in the proposal, with updates and revisions to training and e-learning programs. An app devoted to ACT was launched in March 2020, and the government authorities Career Transition Partnership (CTP) and Center for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) are also providing advice. Organizations that specialize in delivering and supporting security solutions can help owners There are plans for the government and businesses to have increased engagement with the security industry. Organizations that specialize in delivering and supporting security solutions can help owners and operators of publicly accessible locations comply with the Protect Duty. It’s becoming more important than ever before to ensure the market can provide sufficient high-quality products, services, and expert information to those who require it. Maintaining appropriate standards The government may consider introducing new schemes to promote and maintain appropriate standards such as accredited training and approved contractor schemes or regulation, in addition to existing initiatives. A renewed focus on integrated security in public venues is hugely encouraging. We have demonstrated for years that it is very possible to make a site both secure and aesthetically pleasing, in keeping with its existing surroundings. Furthermore, in many cases security can positively enhance user experience. Many visitors feel reassured by carefully integrated physical security when they attend large scale events, meaning they’ll visit again. Do this in a hostile way and people will be put off. Robust protection in these venues and spaces is all about achieving a careful balance, and with the right guidance and fit-for-purpose solutions, we can help to create a safer spaces for everyone.

The Global Biometrics Trends Review
The Global Biometrics Trends Review

The global biometrics market has been recently developing rapidly, and this trend will continue shortly. If in 2018 its volume was estimated at $23.4 billion, according to the forecast of the analytical company BCC Research, the market size may increase to $71.6 billion with an average annual growth rate of 23.2 % by 2024. Fingerprint scanning, facial recognition, iris, vein, and voice technologies are expected to be implemented at the fastest pace. The analysis is based on the revenue indicators of key players depending on segments, including hardware, software, and integration. Biometric electronic documents Another analytical Agency, Acuity Research, estimates that the number of biometric electronic IDs will increase by about 3.5 billion electronic documents in the world. Moreover, more than half of the UN member States issue biometric passports. Government and private contracts of Canada, the United States, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Lithuania, Hungary, Bangladesh, Senegal, and other countries are examples of implementation of programs for the transition to biometric electronic documents. Government organizations in various countries believe that biometrics is one of the most effective ways to identify refugees and those who cross the border. Now there are a lot of projects which are based on biometric technology. Biometric identification system Perhaps one of the most ambitious is the Aadhaar project being implemented in India Perhaps one of the most ambitious is the Aadhaar project being implemented in India. It is a biometric identification system that contains the data of more than a billion people. The database contains about 10 billion fingerprint templates, two billion iris templates, and a billion photos. There is another ambitious project at the Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, where RecFaces company has implemented a passenger facial identification ready-made solution, that helps the security guards to receive notifications about airport visitors in just a few seconds and increase the efficiency of security services at least by 30%. The introduction of biometric identification of passengers aimed at increasing the level of airport security, as well as quickly obtaining information about the detection of wanted persons, stored in the long-term archive. Automated control gates As another example, face match is used at border checks to compare the portrait on a digitized biometric passport with the holder's face. In 2017, Thales company was responsible for supplying the new automated control gates for the system of Automated Fast Track Crossing at External Borders at Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris. This solution has been devised to facilitate evolution from fingerprint recognition to facial recognition This solution has been devised to facilitate evolution from fingerprint recognition to facial recognition during. Governmental systems, SmartCity, airports projects using identification technologies day by day become our reality and influence the growth of the biometrics market globally. Countries are studying the experience of each other and adopting it. Paperless payment technologies The global market of biometrics will shift all industries, starting from the transportation facilities especially airports, where a transition from traditional VMS and ACS to paperless biometric self-Boarding systems will be carried out. Sports facilities will see the development of paperless payment technologies at cash desks, and the banking sector — the payment systems with remote customer identification. HoReCa will transfer from staff time tracking systems to biometric payment systems, biometric check—in systems and the use of biometric identifiers. To sum up there are two most significant drivers of this growth are surveillance in the public sector and numerous other applications in diverse market segments.

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