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Physical Security in 2021: Post-Pandemic Solutions
Physical Security in 2021: Post-Pandemic Solutions

In a world forever changed by the coronavirus pandemic, companies worldwide are now expanding their concept of physical security to best safeguard their facilities and employees. Few incidents have had as much of an impact on businesses globally as the COVID-19 pandemic; much of the world is still struggling to contain COVID-19, navigating the lasting effects and exploring what the “new normal” looks like. While some organizations are still engaged primarily in “anywhere operations”, i.e. remote work, many organizations are implementing strategic physical security solutions that better protect everyone through the use of video surveillance technology and advanced intelligence capabilities. As this new normal takes hold within the business environment, security strategies will largely be centered around several key initiatives like access control, people counting, occupancy controls, temperature screening, contact tracing, and reducing office touch points. With the use of a video management system (VMS) in the shadow of COVID-19, occupancy data from a VMS can trigger a lockdown and not permit new entrants until the occupancy drops below a certain threshold; this is significantly useful for organizations that have returned to in-person work.  But there’s a caveat: though many legacy security systems are being re-evaluated to allow for touchless or frictionless access control — a move designed to eliminate the need for employees and visitors to physically touch a surface when using an access control system — upgrading the outdated technologies can be cumbersome and expensive, especially for organizations that had not planned for an interruption like the pandemic. Security contractors will be vital So, what is the solution? Security contractors will play a vital role in helping end-users across a range of vertical markets — large and small — to achieve their goals in the new paradigm. For some, this may mean leveraging existing access control and video surveillance systems with upgrades where needed. For others, an entire overhaul is made possible with budget friendly solutions for businesses to migrate to integrated access control through end-to-end security solutions that tie into existing infrastructures without major disruptions (meaning the organization will never be left vulnerable). Cybersecurity is becoming even more intertwined with physical security There is massive transformation occurring in the security industry, most notably the movement to digitise physical access and integrate it with video management systems and surveillance. This shift means that cybersecurity is becoming even more intertwined with physical security, allowing organizations the ability to correlate the metadata of people’s behaviors and activities — a plus point for those looking to remain vigilant against future pandemic-esque business interruptions. Access, video, and audio are converging into consolidated platforms. Due to lower costs and pairings with IP-based, wireless infrastructure, there are infinite solution configurations. IT security requirements are beginning to apply to physical security because of this integrated infrastructure. Multi-factor authentication The security industry is also beginning to see a trend of multi-factor authentication, which is going to dominate in the days to come as it makes solutions more reliable. Most people carry smartphones these days, which have green check communication capabilities that allow easy multi-factor authentication. Costs are going down, and algorithms are getting better, making more people willing to try it. Some new solutions have both the fingerprint reader and a camera for facial biometrics Some new solutions have both the fingerprint reader and a camera for facial biometrics. Cameras and CCD modules cost almost nothing, and they do not have to be super high-end anymore, especially if organizations are doing one-to-one verification. It’s not just about security now; it is security, health, and safety. Access control with video, intelligent readers, and credentials is a perfect platform for next generation solutions.

Access Control and Door Entry Management: How Technology is Driving Change
Access Control and Door Entry Management: How Technology is Driving Change

Access control and door entry is a huge responsibility, and challenge, for local authorities and housing associations UK wide. For councils, they’re accountable for the security and safety of many public facilities such as leisure centers, libraries as well as residential housing developments which are often large scale and home to hundreds of people. Housing associations manage affordable rental housing which also means they’re responsible for the appropriate access control management for each individual house or apartment. Technology developments have enabled better entry systems that are far more secure yet also more convenient and easier to manage. For example, with modern intercom and access control systems, remote management and communication is something that offers local authorities and housing associations features that enable them to reduce costs and cut their carbon footprints by managing multiple sites from one place. On the other hand, such technological innovation has meant that local authority and housing association specifiers and consultants now have a wide range of systems and products to choose from which can cause issues in ensuring the right system for a specific building or development is chosen. Choosing an appropritate access control system In choosing an appropriate system, local authorities and housing associations need to opt for a cost effective solution that can be easily maintained with excellent support from the manufacturer and guarantees that the system and system parts will remain supported for the duration of its expected life cycle. It is also important that the chosen system is flexible to cater for the varying needs of the tenants and visitors. Of increasing importance is the reduction of anti-social behavior which new technology can help by providing the use of data loggers which track the use and events of a door entry system, allowing specific evidence to be located by integrating with CCTV. Using technology to our advantage Through advancements in management systems and services, we can gain a much better visual representation of the events and general usage of an intercom entry system and not just its proximity access control. Systems, for example, can now send email alarms or notifications to the administrator or management. We are now able to modify user rights and access levels on the go from a mobile app which enables a much greater control over service and maintenance engineers, such as making sure they have full access when required via an app, rather than arriving to site with the incorrect keys or access fob. Systems, for example, can now send email alarms or notifications to the administrator or management Dealing with tenant’s lost and stolen keys has never been so easy either. The blocking or deletion of lost fobs and adding a new fob can be carried out in minutes while at the same time removing the cost of sending an engineer to the development to program new fobs. This greatly reduces the carbon footprint of the whole task as fobs can now be sent out via mail to a secure location for collection. Technology has also helped local authorities and housing associations to overcome the issue of not being able to have a concierge or building manager available 24/7 at some developments. Now with internet communication, it’s possible for tenants and visitors to get in touch with someone should they need assistance, whether that’s from within the apartment or from an entrance point. For example, lets take the Videx VX2200 with IP concierge integration. This system is exceptionally flexible, enabling calls to be answered on Videx intercoms and also mobile phones if required. With the integration of the IP concierge each block can be either standalone or networked via the internet back to a central control room. Reduced maintenance costs and carbon footprint We work with a wide range of local authorities and housing associations to help them overcome access control and door entry challenges. One organization we have recently partnered with is The Living Group to help them greatly reduce their maintenance costs and carbon footprint by installing the MiAccess offline proximity system on many of their developments across the North East. Technology developments have enabled better entry systems that are far more secure yet also more convenient and easier to manage By installing an appropriate system, The Living Group has managed to overcome issues caused by the existing system’s limitations and also enabled much more flexibility when it comes to effectively managing the access control system of all their included developments. For those responsible for effective and appropriate access control, the management of the systems are easier, quicker and there’s no delay or on-going costs for needing a specialist program to modify fobs and access rights as this can now all carried out in-house. Improved security legislation Further advancements in programmes such as Secured by Design (SBD), a police initiative that improves the security of buildings and their immediate surroundings to provide safe places to live, work and visit, means that there’s more security legislation being implemented that’s making intercoms and access control more secure, without affecting ease and convenience. Videx holds an SBD accreditation and we know, from first-hand experience, how it’s making a difference in keeping tenants safe. When you combine the safety features promoted by an SBD member company like ourselves with the likes of the Videx event logging, image capture and ability to modify access users on the go, for example, we can help to create a very safe and secure environment. Personally, I think there needs to be a greater emphasis on the role of security legislation Technology has completely transformed the way local authorities and housing association are able to choose, install and manage door entry and access control systems for tenants and visitors alike. Personally, I think there needs to be a greater emphasis on the role of security legislation such as Secured by Design to ensure all councils and housing association consultants are up to date with what constitutes a robust and secure system that’s also cost effective too. In my role, I see weaknesses in systems and constant ongoing costs that could easily be avoided. For instance, features such as timed remote entry means local authority and housing association management no longer need to worry about keys being lost, the wrong keys being supplied or locks needing to be changed. With new systems such as the Videx MiAccess and Videx WS4 range, we can help to massively reduce a housing association’s or council’s carbon footprint and engineer costs by allowing them the access to management and control from an offsite location. Crime prevention We can also use live and logged events to help prevent crime in different ways, from antisocial behavior growing around a tenant being called or visited much more regularly than others, to knowing a tenant is currently still living at a property but isn’t paying rent or answering to any correspondence. Technology enables local authorities and housing associations to receive detailed data and therefore behavioral insights on the people under their management and care. If consultants and specifiers are advised on the most appropriate systems that meet their specific entry needs, they can ensure greater, safer and more convenient access control that meets the requirements of both the end user and the those responsible for its effective management.

Automatic Gates: Making The Right Investment For Access Control
Automatic Gates: Making The Right Investment For Access Control

The experience of the COVID-19 pandemic has made us all more conscious of who is coming and going from our property. Whether it is a family home, business premises or public building, property owners want full control over access for protection and peace of mind. As a provider of access control technologies, we are seeing a growing demand for automated gates with a variety of access control systems. There are a number of considerations that buyers need to make when investing. And as an installer, there is advice that you can offer to help your clients make the right choice for their property. Here are some of the key considerations you’ll need to make and discuss with your client. Whomever you buy from, you should be offered more than a simple instruction manual. Electronic locks, magnetic locks and code security In the first instance, you’ll need to advise on the type of lock and access control available. Electronic locks release on the operation of the automation system to allow the gates to open. Locks are required for all non-locking (also known as reversible) operators and are recommended for any gate on a multi-user site or any gate over 2.5m. Apply the same logic to an automated gate as you would to a domestic door – for example, you wouldn’t fit your front door with a lock on the same side as the hinges or a drop bolt at the hinge end of a manual gate so why dispense with this logic when the gate is automated? Electronic locks release on the operation of the automation system to allow the gates to open There are a number of locks on the market including magnetic locks, drop locks that “shoot” a bolt into the ground and side latching locks. These are all designed for external use. While the gate itself will provide physical security, the customer will want to feel in control of who enters their property, when and for what purpose. Consider access for mail and deliveries, waste disposal and visitors arriving on foot etc. There is a range of options available. Intercom systems will allow the user to vet visitors, keypad entry can allow remote access for visitors with a specific code, remote controls allow an oncoming driver to open the gates without getting out of the vehicle, and a timer control can be used to open or close the gates at certain times of the day. Vehicle detection loops can be installed discreetly under the tarmac allowing the presence of vehicles to exit the gates and prevent closing while obstructed. Sliding gates versus swinging gates There are a number of locks on the market including magnetic locks, drop locks that “shoot” a bolt into the ground and side latching locks Gates can be automated to either swing or to slide open and in the case of swinging gates, the opener may be concealed underground or gate mounted. The most suitable opener for your installation will depend on the space available and the type of gate selected. Concealed underground automation is ideal for highly ornate gates. However, where gates are fully infilled (typical of many timber designs), gate mounted openers are concealed from the front of the gate by the gate leaf and present a cost-effective option. The choice between slide and swing is largely down to space - swing gates require a clear space for their opening arc while sliding gates require space to one or both sides of the gate. Sliding gates are perhaps the best choice where the drive slopes or when drive space is limited, as they use the least space when opening. Voltage Most swing gate and sliding systems are available in 24v or 230v. The 24v systems still need 230v mains power – there is a transformer built into the 24v control panels. Deciding which voltage to use can include a combination of factors such as the material of the gates, the location of the system and the safety features you want. Concealed underground automation is ideal for highly ornate gates With wrought iron gates, the wind can pass through them whereas with fully boarded wooden gates (popular because they give full privacy) the wind has nowhere to go, so they act like sails. For commercial or industrial applications with larger entrances and a heavy gate, you may need 3 Phase 400v power (sliding gates only). Installing gate motors in confined spaces The environment in which you are fitting may well influence which gate and motor you recommend. Will it be in an exposed area which is subject to the elements? Will it be positioned on a slope? Sliding gates are perhaps the best choice where the drive slopes or when drive space is limited Installers have always faced the challenge of installing gate motors in confined spaces. When fitting a pedestrian gate, there is often limited space in which to work – potentially making an installation time consuming and technically demanding. If this is the case for you, consider a gate operator which is designed specifically for installations with limited space for maneuver. An example of this is the E5 compact gate operator. The operator is not only small but has an optional slide lever attachment designed for installations where there is extremely limited space, meaning that just 8cm of the pillar is needed for installation. What’s more, improved fixing points and a simple ‘hook and fasten’ process means assembly is safe, quick and straight forward. Ultimately, you’ll be looking for a good quality, reliable product with good service. Work with a supplier that offers more than just a manual. If they are happy to offer training, their time and advice when you buy, the chances are you’ll get their support long term.

Latest Johnson Controls, Inc. news

Which new buzzwords reflect the security industry’s trends?
Which new buzzwords reflect the security industry’s trends?

As an industry, we often speak in buzzwords. In addition to being catchy and easy to remember, these new and trendy industry terms can also reflect the state of the security market’s technology. In short, the latest buzzwords provide a kind of shorthand description of where the industry is - and where it’s going. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What new buzzword(s) rose to prominence in the security industry in 2020? (And how do they reflect industry trends?)

Johnson Controls Announces The Result Of Their Survey To Increase Investment In Healthy Building Trends And Technologies
Johnson Controls Announces The Result Of Their Survey To Increase Investment In Healthy Building Trends And Technologies

Johnson Controls, a provider of smart, healthy and sustainable buildings, announces results of independent surveys of 800+ building decision makers showing a clear shift to increased investment in healthy building trends and technologies. “At the center of a vision for a healthy world must be healthy buildings, and that means delivering on the most critical elements to serve People, Places and Planet,” said George Oliver, CEO of Johnson Controls. Game-Changing solutions “Our OpenBlue technologies reinvent the building landscape, creating dynamic smart facilities that help businesses meet their sustainability commitments, while delivering healthy places, enriched experiences and cost savings. Johnson Controls leads the industry in translating new building technology capabilities into game-changing solutions that deliver on our focus of People, Places and Planet.” As a pioneer in the category with 135 years of experience, Johnson Controls is ideally positioned with technologies and solutions that accelerate the reinvention of healthy buildings. The surveys confirmed the need is greater than ever, with 90 percent of responding firms having dedicated resources to healthy buildings initiatives. Reducing energy use Johnson Controls OpenBlue technologies deliver a unique, game-changing capability to solve for healthy places" “Building owners are struggling to balance urgent and conflicting priorities between employee health and wellness with critically needed cost savings, increased revenue and sustainability targets,” said Michael Ellis, executive vice president and chief customer & digital officer at Johnson Controls. “Johnson Controls is best positioned to help businesses meet those sustainability commitments while delivering on our customers’ return on investment,” Ellis said. The 2020 pandemic showed that few customers were able to reduce building operating costs despite lower occupancy, highlighting the need for technologies to deliver flexibility. “Energy use should be dramatically lower when occupancy is low, but surprisingly less than one in ten building operators were able to reduce energy use more than 20 percent,” Ellis said. “At a time when companies are aggressively pursuing energy and cost savings, customers need and want solutions that help them do better, while increasing the health profile of those buildings. Johnson Controls OpenBlue technologies deliver a unique, game-changing capability to solve for healthy places, while simultaneously serving sustainability goals.” Specific investment priorities The survey of facilities operators showed a range of specific investment priorities to meet goals for Healthy People, Healthy Places and a Healthy Planet: Healthy People - Businesses are increasingly committed to employee health and wellness as a driver of high performing teams. The studies show an increase in investments by organizations toward wellness, clean air and peace of mind. 80 percent of respondents stated that protecting the health and safety of building occupants during the COVID pandemic and afterward is very or extremely important. New factors are being included in this mix such as temperature control, disinfection, ventilation and air filtration which all require well maintained systems and equipment, enhanced through intelligent sensors and control software. The realities of the COVID pandemic have increased the potential benefit of these technologies and for contactless access and contact tracing. These capabilities can help increase overall building security through enhanced tracking of building guest and occupant access, flow and location, while maintaining trust. Johnson Controls delivers solutions for all of these needs and in support of broader wellness for people in shared spaces. Flexible facility monitoring Finding cost savings and making fast and informed decisions is a critical part of facility operations Healthy Places - Finding cost savings and making fast and informed decisions, supported by data, is a critical part of facility operations. In the Johnson Controls independent studies, 80 percent of facility executives stated that increasing flexibility to quickly respond to emergencies is a top driver for investment in technologies such as flexible facility monitoring and healthy air strategies. The spaces in which people work, shop, entertain and live become more inviting, more efficient and less expensive to operate over time. Space optimization, capital planning and increasing the uptime and lifetime of assets all support operational performance and lead to cost savings & increased revenue opportunities for building operators. Johnson Controls OpenBlue, a complete suite of connected solutions and services, leverages digital integration to optimize the performance of buildings and assets. Smart building technology Healthy Planet - Improvements in energy efficiency, renewable energy and smart building technology are becoming more critical each year. In the studies, 76 percent of facility executives stated that energy cost savings are a top driver for investment. These investments also influence corporate sustainability rankings, an important metric for attracting and retaining investors, employees and customers. Buildings are responsible for about 40 percent of the planet’s total energy consumption Buildings are responsible for about 40 percent of the planet’s total energy consumption and 36 percent of greenhouse gas emissions from energy use. But only 1 percent of buildings undergo energy efficient renovation every year. Effective action is crucial in aligning to increased regulation, decreasing energy consumption and increasing sustainability. For the health of the planet, the studies revealed that 57 percent of organizations plan to achieve net zero carbon or positive energy status in at least one facility in the next ten years. Energy-Savings performance Through ongoing efforts to create more healthy buildings, Johnson Controls has implemented more than 3,000 energy-savings performance contracting projects in North America alone. The result has been reductions of more than 29 million metric tons of carbon emissions from customer facilities and savings of $6B in energy and operating costs driven by a comprehensive suite of product and technology solutions. In fiscal year 2019 almost half of Johnson Controls revenue came from products and services that reduce energy use and improve sustainability. Johnson Controls helps building owners and occupants make efficient, productive decisions in support of healthy people, healthy places and a healthy planet.

Johnson Controls And Alcatraz AI Collaborate To Provide AI-Powered Security Solutions And Services
Johnson Controls And Alcatraz AI Collaborate To Provide AI-Powered Security Solutions And Services

Johnson Controls, a provider of smart and sustainable buildings, and the architect of OpenBlue connected solutions, and Alcatraz AI have collaborated to provide a comprehensive suite of AI-powered security solutions and services to meet the growing need for frictionless entry and advanced building security. Leveraging its own data-powered access control technology combined with Alcatraz AI’s advanced facial authentication platform, the Alcatraz Rock, Johnson Controls offers comprehensive solutions to protect occupants and assets from building intruders and enable healthier hands-free entry. This partnership is just one facet of Johnson Controls commitment to bringing buildings to life through intelligent, dynamic, and data-powered solutions. Deep neural networks Alcatraz AI enhances Johnson Controls offerings to customers, creating a richer ecosystem of products and services and a timely response to the COVID-19 pandemic. When integrated with Johnson Controls access control technology, the Alcatraz Rock and its analytics provide building managers with advanced protection for their facilities’ security operations. AI technology instantly identifies and alerts security personnel to entry abnormalities The Alcatraz Rock software employs real-time facial mapping and deep neural networks to automatically enroll an individual based on any current access control methods, allowing for instant one-factor recognition authentication. This integration completely replaces standard badging practices with frictionless, hands-free access, allowing businesses and organizations to safely reopen by minimizing person-to-person contact at major entry points, and can even provide AI-powered mask detection. In addition, AI technology instantly identifies and alerts security personnel to entry abnormalities. Facial authentication technology “The ability to respectfully monitor who is accessing your building is crucial,” said John Hudson, vice president and general manager of security at Johnson Controls. “Facial recognition technology allows us to offer our customers an extra level of protection and provide the peace of mind of knowing exactly who is entering and exiting their facilities. Johnson Controls is more committed than ever to providing our customers with the tools and integrations needed to make buildings smarter, safer, and more connected.” “Frictionless entry is critical to public health right now, and this partnership allows us to take it to the next level by combining our leading facial authentication technology with Johnson Controls security solutions,” said Vince Gaydarzhiev, CEO and founder of Alcatraz AI. “From advanced tailgating detection to automatic employee check-in, the Alcatraz Rock makes hands-free entry possible while simultaneously making your building a safer place to live and work.”

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