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 Hirsch / IDENTIVE news

Identiv’s COVID-19 Response Solutions Support Enterprises And Government Customers In Reopening Of Global Offices
Identiv’s COVID-19 Response Solutions Support Enterprises And Government Customers In Reopening Of Global Offices

Identiv, Inc. has announced its cohesive collection of COVID-19 response solutions in order to support enterprises and government customers in worldwide offices that are now reopening. Identiv’s frictionless, touchless solutions create healthier and more hygienic offices. The hands-free technology also streamlines transactions and access, temperature tracking, and contact tracing to help employees and visitors feel safe and secure. Frictionless, hands-free technology “With the threat of COVID-19 still around us, frictionless, hands-free solutions are a key part of any organization’s efforts to make a healthier, safer environment,” said Steven Humphreys, Identiv Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Identiv’s highly secure access and identity solutions address multiple business needs to re-open and grow" Steven adds, “Identiv’s highly secure access and identity solutions address multiple needs for businesses to re-open and grow again in the new pandemic-era normal.” Quick, affordable temperature tracking “As large public venues begin to reopen, quick, affordable temperature tracking will be the first line of defense to assure visitors and employees that operators have their safety at top of mind,” added Dr. Manfred Mueller, Identiv Chief Operations Officer (COO) and General Manager, Identity. Dr. Mueller adds, “For those not yet comfortable returning to work, secure network log-in options facilitate a bridge between on-site and telecommuting teams.” Identiv’s complete portfolio of COVID-19 response solutions include: Smart, frictionless access control MobilisID uses the latest in Bluetooth and capacitive technologies to allow complete frictionless access, no touching required. The MobilisID App (available via Apple iOS and Android) acts as a physical credential — the user can keep their mobile device in their pocket, wave their hand near the MobilisID Reader and the door automatically unlocks. MobilisID can also integrate with ADA-compliant automatic door hardware to form a complete touchless solution. With the Freedom access control system, no reader is even required at the door. Freedom’s software-defined architecture uses the location of a user’s mobile device to determine their proximity to a door for hands-free ingress and egress. The system can also be used in parallel with conventional reader doors. Frictionless, battery-less uTrust UHF Credentials work with identification applications that require long-distance reading (i.e., more than 18 - 21 feet). Ultra high-frequency (UHF) technology is ideal for parking lot access and gate control, door entry in hospitals or gated communities, logistics, object and people tracking in emergency situations, real-time locationing, cafeteria access, and any hands-free environment, including medical or care facilities, club and resort membership, sport facilities, and universities. The credentials can be read through badge holders, handbags, pockets, and  No-touch time and attendance uTrust 3721 F multi-technology smart card reader features multiple frequency options and a keyboard emulation. Perfect for employers who use a mixture of technologies for logical access, uTrust 3721 F leverages existing 125 kHz low-frequency (LF) or 13.56 MHz high-frequency (HF) cards. Out-of-the-box, uTrust 3721 F can work with most time and attendance systems, letting employees simply tap a card to the reader to clock in.  Nearly hands-free transactions and access With Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, it’s easy to get near an access point without ever actually touching it. Identiv’s NFC-enabled solutions feature a catalog of transponders compatible with NFC Forum created for secure contactless transactions and connecting electronic devices with a simple tap-and-go model. Designed for comfort and wearability, the uTrust Proximity Wristband keeps wearers from reaching for their phone or card every time they need to gain access to a parking garage, building, room, or elevator. A passive radio frequency identification (RFID) device, the no-battery credential is robust, resistant to cracking, and impervious to moisture.  Temperature tracking and contact tracing Identiv’s Body Temperature Measurement Patch is a wearable NFC-enabled transponder that supports the reopening of public spaces worldwide, including theme parks and stadiums, and helps operators keep attendees and employees comfortable, confident, and safe. The patch also supports global governments and healthcare workers that need to periodically monitor quarantined patients diagnosed with COVID-19. The new solution combines the simplicity of using NFC and the smart technology potential of the Internet of Things (IoT), making body temperature monitoring easier than ever. Identiv has partnered with Telaeris to deliver a rapidly deployable, industry-renowned, mobile access control hardware and software solution that provides security in a variety of mission-critical situations where traditional systems cannot be supported. By leveraging Telaeris’ mobile credential verification hardware, Hirsch Velocity Software-based access control systems can go beyond protecting the perimeter and empower security staff to authenticate and authorize users with photos from anywhere, at any time, with real-time server synchronization. Telaeris handheld units with HealthCheck functionality can prompt staff to ask a series of health questions and input the taken temperature of a validated user to create a ‘health/access check’ profile upon entering which can then be repeated upon exiting. If a person enters a building and is later found to be symptomatic, Hirsch Velocity Software with Contact Tracing can pull a report of everyone who entered the same door who can then be notified to either get tested or self-quarantine. While this is useful during the days of COVID-19, it can also be used for other applications, such as the seasonal influenza. This means every office can be proactive in responding to potential outbreaks, while simultaneously providing employees with the peace of mind that there are measures in place to keep them safe.  Working from Home For some organizations, even as worldwide economies are restarting, employees continue to or are more comfortable working from home. Identiv’s smart card reader portfolio keeps work flowing while ensuring everyone’s data and health stays safe and secure. Top selections for secure network log-in while telecommuting include, uTrust Token Pro Mini Type A (smallest form factor, strong PKI, and Java Card technology, uTrust Token Pro Mini Type C (USB C and can feature user branding and applets), uTrust 2700R Contact (supports all PC operating systems and cards ICs), 0 USB (ultra-compact, CAC and PIV-approved, and available in USB C, uTrust 4701 F Dual Interface (combines contact, contactless, and NFC tech), and uTrust SmartFold SCR3500 A (USB A, ultra-compact, and CAC and PIV-approved). As the economy begins to open up and people around the world return to work, it’s critical to have solutions in place that keep employees and visitors feeling safe, comfortable, and confident.

Identiv’s Hirsch Velocity Access Control Platform Now Enables Contact Tracing For Hirsch Customers
Identiv’s Hirsch Velocity Access Control Platform Now Enables Contact Tracing For Hirsch Customers

Identiv, Inc. announced the availability of Hirsch Velocity Software with Contact Tracing. Available via download for Hirsch customers, the free feature has been launched to support worldwide office re-openings with improved health and safety management tools. Based on the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions’ (CDC) recommendations, contract tracing is a key strategy for preventing further spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).  Hirsch Velocity Software with Contact Tracing is a means of proactively and reactively protecting visitors. If a person enters a building and is later found to be symptomatic of an illness, Velocity can pull a report of everyone who entered the same door who can then be notified to either get tested or self-quarantine. The feature is free, easy to download, and simple to implement into existing Velocity physical access control system (PACS) platforms.  Manage access control While this is useful during the days of COVID-19, it can also be used for other applications, such as seasonal influenza" “While this is useful during the days of COVID-19, it can also be used for other applications, such as seasonal influenza,” said Mark Allen, Identiv GM, Premises. “This means your office can be proactive in responding to potential outbreaks, while simultaneously providing your employees with the peace of mind that there are measures in place to keep them safe.” Hirsch Velocity Software provides the security and functionality expected from high-end systems with the ease-of-use found in entry-level packages. Velocity is an integrated platform that manages access control and security operations in thousands of different facilities, from single high secure rooms to multi-building, multi-location campuses with the most stringent security compliance. Prevent unwanted access With Velocity, users can control doors, gates, turnstiles, elevators, and other equipment, monitor employees and visitor behavior, prevent unwanted access, maintain compliance, and provide a robust audit trail. The latest version of the software platform is designed to deliver the highest level of security, interoperability, and backwards compatibility, and it accommodates the evolution of security technology.

Identiv's Hirsch Velocity Physical Access Control Solution Approved By The UK Center For The Protection Of National Infrastructure
Identiv's Hirsch Velocity Physical Access Control Solution Approved By The UK Center For The Protection Of National Infrastructure

Identiv, Inc. has announced that after extensive testing of its Hirsch Physical Access Control System (PACS) CPNI solution, the platform is now approved by the Center for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI), the UK government authority for protective security advice to the country’s national infrastructure. CPNI-approved physical access control platform The CPNI works with partners in government, police, industry, and academia to protect the nation from threats and terrorism, only recommending physical security equipment that meets its stringent certification requirements.  “UK sites classified as critical infrastructure, where deep encryption standards are paramount, can confidently deploy the Hirsch CPNI-approved physical access control platform,” said Mark Allen, Identiv General Manager, Premises Security Solutions. Hirsch products, like our innovative Scramblepad readers, protect critical government and infrastructure facilities" Hirsch Velocity Software Mark adds, “Hirsch products, like our innovative Scramblepad readers, protect critical government and infrastructure facilities across the UK, the U.S., and other governments around the world. Our CPNI-approved Hirsch Velocity Software security management system provides a highly scalable, end-to-end physical access control solution from the door to the server cluster, ideal for mission-critical environments. He further stated, “We are proud to continue to work with the UK government’s risk-critical sites to provide the most robust, reliable, highly secure yet cost-effective access control solution.” Hirsch PACS CPNI solution The Hirsch PACS CPNI solution encompasses Identiv’s highly secure product portfolio, including Hirsch Velocity Software, Hirsch Mx-8 Controllers, and Secure Network Interface Board 3 (SNIB3). Identiv’s suite of advanced access control solutions is approved for use in some of the world’s most security-sensitive organizations, including many UK government agencies. Hirsch Velocity Software’s security management system is an integrated platform that manages access control and security operations across thousands of disparate facilities, from single highly secure rooms to multi-building, multi-location campuses, with the most stringent security compliance. Hirsch Mx-8 Controllers Users can control doors, gates, turnstiles, elevators, and other equipment, monitor employees and visitors as they move around a facility, prevent unwanted access, maintain compliance, and provide a robust audit trail. Hirsch Mx-8 Controllers provide scalable, networked communication and are also available in two or four supervised door models. The modular design and scalable architecture enable an installation to start small and grow large, from a single controller system to a larger, multi-site enterprise. The Mx Controller is fully firmware, function, and communication protocol compatible with Hirsch systems so that existing credentials, readers, and databases can be retained. SNIB3 communication device SNIB3 is a renowned communication device that provides IPv6, Gigabit Ethernet, and AES 256 bit encryption SNIB3 is a renowned communication device that provides IPv6, Gigabit Ethernet, and AES 256 bit encryption. These features are already foundational for the critical U.S. FICAM security standard. For deployments already equipped with a Hirsch solution, SNIB3 is a drop-in replacement for Identiv’s SNIB2 and SNIB communications boards. Identiv Global Services Identiv Global Services (IGS) provides a comprehensive cybersecurity-hardening service to ensure the solution is deployed to the rigorous CPNI standard. This covers securing the operating system, database, and services, including all Identiv-supplied server components and networking equipment, as well as the Velocity client workstation. To protect against the rapidly evolving threat landscape, IGS through service-level agreement (SLA) supports the customer and the solution, updating security patches and applying the latest information assurance guidelines following UK standards and best practices.

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