Access control controllers - Expert commentary

Video Intercoms For A Smarter, Safer Workspace
Video Intercoms For A Smarter, Safer Workspace

Though many office workers across the globe have found themselves working remotely for the past year, we are seeing a bit of a silver lining, as vaccine rollouts hint at a return to some pre-pandemic sense of normalcy. However, while some of us might opt for a fully-remote work life, others are anticipating a hybrid solution. Even before the pandemic, offices were taking a new, more open layout approach—moving past the days of cubicles and small office configurations. Going forward, offices and other workspaces will be tasked with supporting a hybrid work solution, as well as increasing hygiene measures. Video intercom solution This is where an IP video intercom solution can assist. Below are four ways they can help usher in a smarter, safer work environment: Video intercoms assist in creating a more hygienic work environment - The outbreak of COVID-19 has raised awareness of germs and just how easily a virus can be transmitted by face-to-face contact. Germ barriers are popping up in many aspects of our daily lives, where we were not likely to see them before Unfortunately, the door is also the easiest of these germ barriers to breach As such, we’re becoming accustomed to seeing plexiglass barriers at restaurants, grocery stores, and even coffee shops. However, many don’t realize that one of the best germ barriers is a simple door. Unfortunately, the door is also the easiest of these germ barriers to breach. All it takes is a knock or a doorbell ring to make us open our germ barrier and be face-to-face with whomever is on the other side. Increasing hygiene safety A simple step to increase hygiene safety and visitor security in commercial buildings and workspaces is an IP video intercom. Installing a video intercom will allow staff to see and speak with visitors without breaching that all-important germ barrier. A video intercom system provides a first line of defense, enabling the user to visually confirm the identity of the person on the other side of the door first before granting access. It can also be used to make sure proper procedures are being followed before a person is allowed to enter, such as using hand sanitizer, wearing a mask, and following social distancing guidelines. Basic security needs A major topic of conversation the past year has been how to manage occupancy in all facilities Video intercoms for occupancy management and basic security - A major topic of conversation the past year has been how to manage occupancy in all facilities—ranging from grocery stores and retail shops to restaurants and commercial buildings. Workspaces and offices are no exception. A video intercom provides a quick and convenient method of seeing who, or what, is on the unsecure side of the door before opening. For basic security needs, if a business has a door opening into an alley, a video intercom would be used to ensure no one is waiting outside to force their way in when the door is opened. Personal protection equipment Such solutions can also be used to ensure a person is carrying proper credentials, or wearing proper personal protection equipment (PPE), before entering a sensitive area. For example, if a lab has a room which can only be accessed by two persons at a time wearing specific protective gear, a video intercom could ensure each person is properly equipped, before allowing access that particular room. Additionally, for office or workspaces that have shared common areas, such as a cafeteria, gym or even conference rooms, managing access to these spaces will remain a priority, especially with post-pandemic restrictions in place. Video intercoms are a comprehensive safety and security tool for any workspace Deliveries of packages, work-related materials, or even food are common in any office or workspace. Video intercoms can assist in facilitating safe deliveries by visually and audibly confirming the identity of the individual. The visitor could be your next big client, your lunch delivery, a fellow employee with a faulty access card, or your mail. Video intercoms are a comprehensive safety and security tool for any workspace. Visitor management systems Video intercoms provide a cost-effective solution in small to mid-sized office facilities - One significant advantage of video intercom systems is the variety of applications available. Systems range from simple one-to-one video intercoms, to buzz-in systems, to full-fledged visitor management systems in mixed-use buildings. While they might lack the resources and manpower many enterprises have, small-to medium-sized offices can also take steps to ensure the safety of their staff and customers. Like any business, controlling who comes into the building is a primary way of maintaining safety. Video intercoms work in conjunction with access control systems to provide an identifying view of visitors or employees with lost or missing credentials. They allow staff to both see and hear those on the unsecured side of the door to determine intent before granting access. Most quality video intercoms will provide a clear enough image to allow an identification card to be read by holding it close to the lens, adding another opportunity to verify identity. Touchless intercom activation One major trend is the option of providing a touchless door activation Video intercoms provide a touchless option - Even prior to COVID-19, one major trend is the option of providing a touchless door activation or touchless intercom activation of a video intercom for those without proper credentials. Though touchless isn’t a new solution to the access control market, the pandemic introduced a renewed focus on these types of solutions to provide hygienic access to visitors. For offices and other workspaces looking to make investments into post-pandemic solutions to assist in reopening, touchless can support these efforts. When it comes to smart, secure workspaces, many people think instantly of cameras or monitors, access control, and alarm systems. Proper access credentials However, video intercoms are often the missing piece of a building’s security puzzle. A video intercom provides an identifying view that is not always available from a camera covering a large area. They allow those without proper access credentials a method of requesting entry, and just like cameras, they can be activated by alarms to allow staff to clearly see and communicate. If a workspace or office is important enough to be secure, it’s important enough to be sure of who is there before the door is opened. In 2021, it’s not enough to ensure the physical security of your staff and visitors, but also to ensure they are accessing a hygienic environment. Video intercoms provide that security and peace of mind.

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.

Latest Hikvision USA Inc. news

Hikvision Announces Special Promotion On Next Generation AcuSense Cameras
Hikvision Announces Special Promotion On Next Generation AcuSense Cameras

Hikvision, a manufacturer and supplier of security products and solutions is launching a special, limited-time promotion on the company’s next generation of intelligent AcuSense PCI series cameras. Employing advanced deep learning algorithms, AcuSense cameras can accurately distinguish people and vehicles from other moving targets such as animals and shadows in real-time, vastly improving detection accuracy while reducing costly false alarms. Improve safety and security “Our next generation of AcuSense cameras delivers intelligent features and capabilities that improve safety and security and help eliminate costly false alarms in virtually any environment. AcuSense PCI models use audio and visual alarm messages to actively reduce the risk of intrusion, providing real-time proactive deterrence from crime, intruders, and unwanted behavior,” said Michael Hendrix, director of sales engineering, Hikvision. “These new AcuSense cameras deliver the perfect combination of intelligent performance and cost-efficiency for a wide range of users and applications.” Limited time price reduction For a limited time during the month of May, Hikvision is offering select second-generation AcuSense PCI cameras at a significant price reduction. Those seeking details about the promotion can request additional information online. To learn more about Hikvision’s next generation of AcuSense cameras, join a special open webinar on May 7, 2021. Registration for the webinar is free but space is limited. AcuSense camera features AcuSense cameras precisely sense human and vehicle movement versus non-human objects, reducing false alarms up to 90 percent and improving alarm handling efficiency. New strobe light and audio features on SL models vastly improve on-site response and real-time, proactive crime deterrence. The new generation of AcuSense cameras includes a host of advanced features, including customizable two-way audio warnings, ultra-low light color performance, and camera-accessible cloud video storage.  

Hikvision Shares Awareness Of Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities With IoT Devices
Hikvision Shares Awareness Of Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities With IoT Devices

As the media often reports, the world of cybersecurity can be seen like the ‘Wild West’. There’s now a wide range of Internet of Things (IoT) devices connected to the web, making this a hot topic. Among these devices are security cameras. IoT devices are computers that use software that makes them vulnerable. As the famous cybersecurity evangelist Mikko Hypponen says, "If a device is smart, it's vulnerable!" Hypponen is right. On a daily basis, new vulnerabilities are found in software, regardless of the manufacturer. In 2019, more than 12,000 vulnerabilities worldwide were made public and reported as a CVE (Common Vulnerability and Exposure) in the National Vulnerability Database (NVD). Unfortunately, vulnerabilities are a given. What really matters is how a company deals with and resolves vulnerabilities. Cybersecurity vulnerabilities Awareness of cybersecurity vulnerabilities is vitally important to protect one, one’s business and the Internet Awareness of cybersecurity vulnerabilities is vitally important to protect one, one’s business and the Internet, but it’s also important to understand that a vulnerability is not synonymous with “backdoor”, and is not necessarily indicative of “cheap quality.” But there are companies out there that are embedding safeguards into their development processes to reduce the risks. One could see them as ‘Sheriffs’, taking steps to make this Wild West a little safer.  Hikvision ‘Secure-by-Design’ Manufacturers of IoT devices can significantly reduce these vulnerabilities during the production of devices Security cameras, like all other IoT devices, are vulnerable to cyberattacks. Fortunately, manufacturers of IoT devices can significantly reduce these vulnerabilities during the production of devices, using a process called ‘Secure-by-Design’. Implementation of Secure-by-Design requires a commitment on the part of the manufacturer’s management team and a serious investment in resources and technology, which can result in a longer production process and a higher cost of the IoT device. Cost is often the reason why some IoT device manufacturers do not use Secure-by-Design (and are indeed cheaper). Hikvision is a producer of IoT devices that takes security and privacy very seriously and has implemented Secure-by-Design in its production process. Management supports this process and has even set up a dedicated internal cybersecurity structure charged with product cybersecurity. This group is also the central point of contact for all other cybersecurity matters. Product testing Hikvision Security Development Life Cycle (HSDLC) is an essential part of Hikvision's cybersecurity program The Hikvision Security Development Life Cycle (HSDLC) is an essential part of Hikvision's cybersecurity program. Cybersecurity checks take place at every stage of product development — from concept to delivery. For example, product testing takes place during the verification phase, the company also regularly invites well-known security companies and public testing platforms to conduct penetrating testing. There is no guarantee if Hikvision products are immune to hacking, but the HSDLC is a testament to a manufacturer that makes every effort to produce products that are as cyber secure as possible. In addition to the Secure-by-Design process, Hikvision opened a Source Code Transparency Center (SCTC) lab in California in 2018, being a lab to open such a center. At this center, U.S., the Canadian government and law enforcement agencies can view and evaluate the source code of Hikvision IoT devices (IP cameras and network video recorders). Hikvision firmware Hikvision has a Vulnerability Management Program in place when a vulnerability is discovered It’s important to emphasize that no product is 100 percent secure. Hikvision has a Vulnerability Management Program in place when a vulnerability is discovered in a product. To date, vulnerabilities that have been reported to Hikvision and/or made publicly known, have been patched in the latest Hikvision firmware, and are readily available on the Hikvision website. In addition, Hikvision is a CVE CNA, and has committed to continuing to work with third-party white-hat hackers and security researchers, to find, patch and publicly release updates to products in a timely manner. These vulnerabilities are collected in the National Vulnerability Database (NVD) and are public. Hikvision recommends that customers who are interested in purchasing security cameras inquire about a manufacturer’s cybersecurity practices and if they have an established Vulnerability Management Program.  Cybersecurity questions to consider The cybersecurity of IoT devices is a topic that needs to be addressed in a serious way and it should play an essential role in the product development process, beginning at the concept phase of an IoT product. This requires time, investment and knowledge. Consider the following questions: Trust on the manufacturer of a low-cost security camera Manufacturer with a dedicated cybersecurity organization Manufacturer on handling the vulnerabilities These are the questions that everyone should ask themselves when making a purchase, be it a camera or any other IoT product. Cybersecurity practices There is no absolute 100% guarantee of security, but Hikvision has practices to ensure the cybersecurity for its cameras. Cooperation, with its customers, installers, distributors and partners, and full transparency are key elements to successfully secure IoT devices. When one reads cybersecurity news, one is invited to look beyond the headlines, and really get to know the companies that produce the IoT devices. Before one buys a security camera or any IoT device, it is advisable to check out the manufacturer’s cybersecurity practices, look for a company with a robust vulnerability management program, a company that aligns itself with Secure-by-Design and Privacy-by-Design and a company that employs cybersecurity professionals who are ready and eager to answer one’s questions. One may remember that there are Sheriffs out there, as well as bandits.

Hikvision Introduces MinMoe And Flow Control Solutions For Density Control, Temperature Screening, Mask Detection And Access Control
Hikvision Introduces MinMoe And Flow Control Solutions For Density Control, Temperature Screening, Mask Detection And Access Control

Businesses are now gradually reopening in many countries, and people can return to restaurants, office buildings, and public spaces. A safe reopening process will rely heavily on effective public health strategies, including increased testing for the virus, social distancing, occupancy restrictions, and cleaning and disinfection activities. In many countries, temperature measurement and the wearing of masks have been commonly made mandatory in both business and public environments. While social distancing and occupancy restrictions are considered necessary in public areas such as shopping malls and transportation hubs, workplaces like office buildings and industrial parks are looking for solutions featuring authorized entries with confidence. In lifting the restrictions for businesses and public areas, innovative video technologies can also help organizations meet and exceed health guidelines for safe and effective reopening. Temperature screening at entry  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States, a very well-known public health organization, have issued new guidelines for reopening offices. The CDC advises daily health checks including temperature screenings before employees enter a workplace. To achieve this, security cameras equipped with thermographic video technology can be an effective tool for rapid and safe initial temperature screening. Applications include, for example, schools, industrial parks, hospitals, office buildings, malls and hotels, etc. Hikvision’s temperature screening solutions offer various product types including installed thermographic cameras, handheld thermographic cameras, metal detector doors, and MinMoe access terminals that can be flexibly deployed for a wide range of applications. Video monitoring for mask compliance Wearing masks is recommended as a measure to contain respiratory droplets and protect the general public. Masks are also commonly included in worldwide health guidelines towards reopening. Store managers also need to identify and mitigate areas where shoppers may congregate Hence, compliance with this guideline has become crucial to many organizations. Video technology can help monitor the use of protective masks in clever and unobtrusive ways. AI algorithms can detect whether a person is wearing a mask. The system then triggers a pre-defined action if no mask is detected, such as, for example, a voice prompt or a link to an access system to deny entry. This provides a simple way to monitor the situation, or even to remind people of the rules. Hikvision’s thermal and AcuSense cameras, as well as MinMoe temperature screening terminals are equipped to detect masks. A specialized interface on Hikvision’s DeepinMind NVRs can also be used to visually display temperature and mask status together, making monitoring much easier. Crowd density control Social distancing plays an important role in “flattening the curve” in the spread of the coronavirus. These technologies use people counting and 3D modeling to measure the distance between people accurately In various countries, the recommended physical distancing might differ slightly, but maintaining a distance of a meter or more (3-6 feet) will remain a key recommendation of health authorities. In addition, store managers also need to identify and mitigate areas where shoppers may congregate, so as to ensure safe shopping spaces. Technologies incorporating social distancing and occupancy detection can be put into places like these to assist the process. Hikvision Flow Control Hikvision’s Flow Control system utilizes highly accurate people counting technology. A clear, dynamic display and real-time alerts ensure pre-defined capacity thresholds are never exceeded, even in locations with multiple entrances and exits, such as, for example, shopping malls and supermarkets. Video solution provides the necessary features and functionalities to assist with the process of social distancing A digital sign can be integrated at entrance areas to display real-time occupancy data, as well as temperature and mask information, letting customers know when it is safe to enter premises. In waiting areas such as cash registers in supermarkets and indoor ATMs in malls, Hikvision’s video solution provides the necessary features and functionalities to assist with the process of social distancing. These technologies use people counting and 3D modeling to measure the distance between people accurately. The exact measurement can be adjusted, well within the social distancing minimum separation guidelines. Touch-free access control  Schools and workplaces have previously made use of traditional access control and time attendance systems such as ID card swiping, PIN codes, or fingerprint scans, which require staff and students to frequently touch shared surfaces. This only increases the risk of spreading infection. With touch-free access control terminals, organizations can not only eliminate the risk, but greatly enhance their daily operational efficiency. Hikvision’s MinMoe temperature screening terminals unify temperature screening, mask detection, and access control & time attendance in one model. The system only grants entries when the guidelines are met, which is particularly useful in highly-populated workplaces like industrial parks and office buildings. 

Related white papers

Four Areas to Consider in Frictionless Access Control

Physical Access Control In Higher Education

'Boosting On-Site Safety And Security