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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the need for employees and visitors to physically touch a surface when using an access control system — upgrading the outdated technologies can be cumbersome and expensive, especially for organizations that had not planned for an interruption like the pandemic.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 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.
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.
Buildings or sites with existing or future Nedap access control systems can now benefit from integration with Forge Bluepoint visitor management to give people visiting their space smart, secure and time-limited access. Integration with Forge Bluepoint The new integration was customer-driven by HB Reavis’s new building in Bratislava, Nivy Tower, which went live in November. Wayne Lee, Director at Forge, said “We’re excited about this partnership and being able to offer our customers with existing or future Nedap access control the benefit of our smart access visitor management solution. Deployment is simple and quick. It takes the worry of security away from the customer - for both planned and unplanned visitors to their building.” High-performance visitor management system Wesley Keegstra, Integration Manager at Nedap, said, “Where Nedap adheres to a first people then technology philosophy, Forge Bluepoint creates an amazing visitor experience. Even though the integration was customer-driven, Forge Bluepoint managed to deliver a flexible, user-friendly, and high-quality integration, which is accessible for all customers looking to bring a whole new visitor experience into their security. I’m looking forward to this partnership and the benefits we can bring to our customers.” How it works This smart access ensures the security of the building is maintained at all times Invites sent by Forge Bluepoint will have a unique QR code generated and matched using credentials from the Nedap access control. This QR code can be used to check-in at reception and scan to pass through turnstiles or speed gates into the building, or the reception team can issue a physical access card or visitor pass, time-limited to the visitor appointment. Smart access solution This smart access ensures the security of the building is maintained at all times and real-time visibility of people within the building is available for the reception teams or building management in Forge Bluepoint. In an emergency, this means an accurate evacuation list can be downloaded or in the case of an illness, the people in the building at the time of possible transmission can be contacted. In the current climate, an additional benefit is that people visiting a building can have an utterly contact-free experience from start to end. Robust customer-centric approach Forge and Nedap both have a robust customer-centric approach to delivering solutions for customers that are not just technology, but people-driven.
Flexibility and a trusted record of reliable security in real-world environments: these are critical features when choosing any new electronic locks. With the Aperio E100 Wireless Escutcheon from ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions, one can get both. A robust device suited to almost any medium- to high-traffic door, the E100 is easy to install wire-free - an ideal choice for both retrofit projects and new buildings. With Aperio’s open platform, it is straightforward to then integrate the escutcheons with almost any new or existing security system. One can integrate Aperio E100 escutcheons online or offline - or combine both online and offline doors within the same access control system. The E100 escutcheon offers a convenient combination of free exit from the inside with automatic locking on closure from outside. One can also lock securely from the inside, if they wish, with the Privacy Function. Door security levels A new InHolland campus in Amsterdam will require access control to integrate with a smart building system It comes in a variety of specifications to fit different door security levels or everyday usage. Supplementing a Standard version, the E100 Premium offers upgraded security that is also certified (DIN/EN) for use at fire and escape doors. “Available for EURO, DIN, Scandinavian and Finnish door profiles, the Aperio escutcheon provides trusted security at a range of sensitive locations, including many universities, offices, stadiums, public buildings and hospitals across Europe,” says Lars Angelin, Aperio Business Development Manager at ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions EMEA. Smart building system At the Centre Hospitalier Métropole Savoie (CHMS) in France, for example, around 1,300 E100 escutcheons integrate natively with a central access system. The hospital’s wired and wireless doors are managed together with real-time logs and remote opening. CHMS door credentials are tailored for compatibility with the government’s electronic Health Professional Card, so staff only carry one, dual-use RFID-enabled badge. At the Netherlands’ InHolland University of Applied Sciences, Aperio escutcheons seamlessly integrate with a Nedap AEOS system. A single credential enables users to unlock all authorized openings managed by AEOS - whether wired or Aperio-secured doors. Looking to the future, a new InHolland campus in Amsterdam will require access control to integrate with a smart building system. Battery-operated wireless locks Because all Aperio locking devices are wireless and battery powered, they are installed quickly Aperio is designed for interoperability, so is a natural fit: “I am very satisfied with the implementation and operation of the Aperio solution,” says Frans Bruggeman, Facility Services Consultant at InHolland. Because all Aperio locking devices are wireless and battery powered, they are installed quickly and with minimal building disruption. A recent ASSA ABLOY benchmarking study measured installer labor costs at over 80% lower for these wireless locks versus standard wired locks. “The same study confirms improved energy efficiency with Aperio, too,” adds Angelin. “The ongoing cost of running these battery-operated wireless locks is much lower than for equivalent wired electronic locks, which require an ‘always on’ mains electricity connection to retain secure status. Potential cost savings are significant over every lock’s life-cycle.” Comprehensive RFID compatibility Alongside comprehensive high and low frequency RFID compatibility, the Aperio escutcheon allows convenient cellphone access powered by Bluetooth Low Energy. The user’s identity is stored and protected using native, on-device security and strong end-to-end encryption. For door entry, a user presents their smartphone or mobile device to the escutcheon’s inbuilt reader, which communicates securely with the access system to generate a fast decision. The Aperio E100 wireless escutcheon completes a comprehensive range of Aperio wireless locking devices which includes electronic handles (H100), cylinders (C100), locks (L100) and a wireless lock for server cabinets (KS100).
The Flemish Government has chosen AEOS access control by Nedap to secure its sites across Belgium and other European countries. It’s awarded a 6-year framework contract, beginning in September 2020, to Nedap channel partner G4S. This will involve G4S replacing the technology for more than 4,000 doors with AEOS. The new AEOS system will accommodate up to 50 software users and will feature various integrations, including visitor management, automatic number plate recognition, mobile readers, and QR code readers. Freedom from lock-ins This agreement with G4S replaces an incumbent supplier that had served consecutive framework contracts and whose technology was installed on more than 2,000 doors. The Flemish Government was looking for an open system that provides the freedom to select which technology it integrates and which installers it works with. Standardization across Europe The Government also wants to streamline its systems and processes. It currently has a wide mix of access control systems at its premises in various locations and wants to introduce more standardization through AEOS. Including the use of standard identifiers that are common across Europe. Service and scalability As a large firm with teams of project managers, technicians, programmers, and more, G4S has the capability to handle such a big, multi-faceted project. And to provide the great-quality, responsive service and scalability the Flemish Government is looking for. Flexibility to manage complexity Tom van de Moerat the Flemish Government says “We’re looking forward to working with G4S and Nedap on this project. The detailed conversations they conducted during the tender process reassured us that we’ll receive a high-quality system and service.” “AEOS has the flexibility to adapt to our needs at each location, however, intricate the demands, while standardizing our processes nationally and internationally.”
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