Electronic keypads - Expert commentary

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.

The Digital Transformation Of Modern Access Control Solutions
The Digital Transformation Of Modern Access Control Solutions

The safeguarding of premises through the monitoring of entrance and exit points has traditionally been a very manual aspect of security. Human operators have been relied on to make decisions about who to admit and deny based on levels of authorization and the appropriate credentials. The access control business, like many industries before it, is undergoing its own digital transformation But the access control business, like many industries before it, is undergoing its own digital transformation; one where the protection of premises, assets and people is increasingly delivered by interconnected systems utilising IoT devices and cloud infrastructure to offer greater levels of security and protection. Modern access control solutions range from simple card readers to two factor authentication systems using video surveillance as a secondary means of identification, right through to complex networks of thermal cameras, audio speakers and sensors. These systems, connected through the cloud, can be customized and scaled to meet the precise requirements of today’s customer. And it’s the ease of cloud integration, combined with open technologies and platforms that is encouraging increasing collaboration and exciting developments while rendering legacy systems largely unfit for purpose. Remote management and advanced diagnostics Cloud technology and IoT connectivity means remote management and advanced diagnostics form an integral part of every security solution.Cloud technology and IoT connectivity means remote management and advanced diagnostics form an integral part of every security solution. For example, as the world faces an unprecedented challenge and the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause disruption, the ability to monitor and manage access to sites remotely is a welcome advantage for security teams who might otherwise have to check premises in person and risk breaking social distancing regulations. The benefits of not physically having to be on site extend to the locations within which these technologies can be utilised. As an example, within a critical infrastructure energy project, access can be granted remotely for maintenance on hard to reach locations. Advanced diagnostics can also play a part in such a scenario. When access control is integrated with video surveillance and IP audio, real-time monitoring of access points can identify possible trespassers with automated audio messages used to deter illegal access and making any dangers clear. And with video surveillance in the mix, high quality footage can be provided to authorities with real-time evidence of a crime in progress. Comprehensive protection in retail The use of connected technologies for advanced protection extends to many forward-looking applications. Within the retail industry, autonomous, cashier-less stores are already growing in popularity. Customers are able to use mobile technology to self-scan their chosen products and make payments, all from using a dedicated app. From an access control and security perspective, connected doors can be controlled to protect staff and monitor shopper movement. Remote management includes tasks such as rolling out firmware updates or restarting door controllers, with push notifications sent immediately to security personnel in the event of a breach or a door left open. Remote monitoring access control in storage In the storage facility space, this too can now be entirely run through the cloud with remote monitoring of access control and surveillance providing a secure and streamlined service. There is much to gain from automating the customer journey, where storage lockers are selected online and, following payment, customers are granted access. Through an app the customer can share their access with others, check event logs, and activate notifications. With traditional padlocks the sharing of access is not as practical, and it’s not easy for managers to keep a record of storage locker access. Online doors and locks enable monitoring capabilities and heightened security for both operators and customers. The elimination of manual tasks, in both scenarios, represents cost savings. When doors are connected to the cloud, their geographical location is rendered largely irrelevant. Online doors and locks enable monitoring capabilities and heightened security for both operators and customers They become IoT devices which are fully integrated and remotely programmable from anywhere, at any time. This creates a powerful advantage for the managers of these environments, making it possible to report on the status of a whole chain of stores, or to monitor access to numerous storage facilities, using the intelligence that the technology provides from the data it collects. Open platforms powers continuous innovation All of these examples rely on open technology to make it possible, allowing developers and technology providers to avoid the pitfalls that come with the use of proprietary systems. The limitations of such systems have meant that the ideas, designs and concepts of the few have stifled the creativity and potential of the many, holding back innovation and letting the solutions become tired and their application predictable. Proprietary systems have meant that solution providers have been unable to meet their customers’ requirements until the latest upgrade becomes available or a new solution is rolled out. This use of open technology enables a system that allows for collaboration, the sharing of ideas and for the creation of partnerships to produce ground-breaking new applications of technology. Open systems demonstrate a confidence in a vendor’s own solutions and a willingness to share and encourage others to innovate and to facilitate joint learning. An example of the dynamic use of open technology is Axis’ physical access control hardware, which enables partners to develop their own cloud-based software for control and analysis of access points, all the while building and expanding on Axis’ technology platform. Modern access control solutions range from simple card readers to two factor authentication systems using video surveillance as a secondary means of identification Opportunities for growth Open hardware, systems and platforms create opportunities for smaller and younger companies to participate and compete, giving them a good starting point, and some leverage within the industry when building and improving upon existing, proven technologies. This is important for the evolution and continual relevance of the physical security industry in a digitally enabled world. Through increased collaboration across technology platforms, and utilising the full range of possibilities afforded by the cloud environment, the manufacturers, vendors and installers of today’s IP enabled access control systems can continue to create smart solutions to meet the ever-changing demands and requirements of their customers across industry.

Smart Home Access Control Growth And The Future Of Door Security
Smart Home Access Control Growth And The Future Of Door Security

There’s growing noise around smart homes and smarter security. You’ve probably heard it. But there is a place where access control and more have been smart for decades: the workplace. Home automation and IoT are still playing catch-up with the commercial sector. A new insights report from ASSA ABLOY and IFSEC Global — “The Smart Door Locks Report 2018” — measures just how fast consumer smart technology is running. According to a survey conducted for the report, 61% of households now claim to own at least one smart home device or system. Energy monitors, home CCTV cameras, intruder alarms and smart door locks are the most popular, according to the report. All these functions, of course, have been available to businesses for years.61% of households now claim to own at least one smart home device or system Educating The Smart Home Consumer Paradoxically, report data also questions how much consumers really know about their smarter home. A surprising 42% of those surveyed, for example, were unaware they could control a smart door lock from their phone. In fact, many leading smart door lock models offer this feature, delivered by Wi-Fi or Bluetooth and an app. Despite a wealth of features offered by the latest smart door locks — remote and location-based locking/unlocking; voice activation; timed access; emailed entry alerts; and integration with smart camera and lighting systems — most people still have limited knowledge of their capabilities.  Smart technology is increasingly becoming the new norm in terms of home security  Only 14% of survey respondents described themselves as “very familiar” with what a smart lock can do. Even though most of them probably use smart access control solutions at their workplace. Secure Homes Through Smart Technology Monitoring and security are not the only drivers for smart home adoption. We humans also love convenience, and modern living presents us with problems that smart home technology can solve. Ironically, given the report’s findings, it takes a smartphone to really unlock the convenient possibilities of smarter living. The device that’s “always to hand” is central to the newest generation of smart door locks.A smart door lock is a convenient way for a landlord or agency to offer round-the-clock check-in and check-out If homeowners wish to remotely manage property access for friends and family, many smart door locks oblige. You let in guests remotely, send them a virtual digital key, or provide a temporary or single-use PIN to unlock the door. It is just as easy to revoke a digital key, if you don’t want its owner to come around anymore. This is a significant improvement over sharing physical keys — or hiding one under the doormat. We cannot be totally sure where a metal key ends up and have no way to track or cancel it once it’s “out in the wild”. Commercial access control offers such functionality as standard, of course.  In addition, smart door locks offer more than just stand-alone operation and clever functions. In a domestic setting, magic happens when locks work in harmony with a home automation system, connected by protocols like Z-Wave, ZigBee or Wi-Fi. "Smart" Security On The Move  The smartphone is becoming a remote control for managing a connected life beyond just home (and even workplace) security. According to Accenture, the parcel delivery services market will grow by $343 billion by 2020. Just like home security, convenience is a major driver of change. Homeowners can send guests a virtual digital key to their phones, or provide a temporary or single-use PIN to unlock the door A recent PostNord pilot in Sweden aimed to remove the inconvenience of waiting home for a postal delivery. Selected customers of some major Scandinavian e-retailers could choose to have parcels delivered inside their front door, if it was equipped with a Yale smart door lock.  Home delivery is among potential smart services covered in “The Smart Door Locks Report 2018 ”. When asked whether the ability to receive parcels securely in a porch or lobby would make them more likely to invest in a smart door lock, 79% said it would.It is easy to revoke a digital key, if you don’t want its owner to come around anymore Vacation Rentals And Smart Home Tech ASSA ABLOY research published in 2017 forecasts continued growth in the European vacation rentals sector (at 5.8% CAGR). Smart door locks are also making an impact here, at both ends of the market: for service providers — agents and homeowners — and for travelers. A smart door lock is a convenient way for a landlord or agency to offer round-the-clock check-in and check-out, without creating extra work or staff costs. Both Intersoft, in Croatia, and Hoomvip in Spain have built vacation rentals management systems around an app and the ENTR® smart door lock. Agents issue, revoke, track and manage virtual keys for all their guests, saving everyone time and hassle. travelers use their phones and an app to unlock their apartment. For these visitors the smartphone is already an essential travel accessory. It is a boarding pass, a credit card, a travel guide, and a postcard home... why not a door key, too? And if this key is backed by a trusted home security brand — and a company with vast experience in the mature market for commercial “smart” security — better still.

Latest LenelS2 news

STOPware Attains LenelS2 Factory Certification And Joins Its OpenAccess Alliance Program (OAAP)
STOPware Attains LenelS2 Factory Certification And Joins Its OpenAccess Alliance Program (OAAP)

STOPware, Inc. has announced that it has received LenelS2 factory certification and joined the LenelS2 OpenAccess Alliance Program (OAAP). STOPware’s Visitor Management System interfaces with the OnGuard access control system, thereby allowing STOPware features to be leveraged by OnGuard system users.   Seamless access control “STOPware has completed required factory testing at LenelS2 to validate the functionality of its interface to the OnGuard system. The integration of PassagePoint with the OnGuard system versions 7.6 & 8.0 allows customers to seamlessly provide access credentials to their visitor population via the OnGuard access control system, throughout their facility,” said John Marchioli, OAAP Product Management, LenelS2. John adds, “We look forward to their continued involvement in the LenelS2 OpenAccess Alliance Program.” Certification via LenelS2 OpenAccess Alliance Program “With the continued emphasis on safety and security in the workplace, it is more important than ever to limit facility access for visitors. This interface allows companies to determine the access level for different types of visitors and automatically activate, and deactivate the temporary access credential,” said Debbie Pendleton, the Chief Operations Officer (COO) at STOPware, Inc. Debbie adds, “Certification through the LenelS2 OpenAccess Alliance Program provides PassagePoint and OnGuard customers with the confidence they deserve when selecting products to meet their security requirements.”

PSIA Announces Secure Credential Interoperability Initiative And SCI Work Group For Its Development
PSIA Announces Secure Credential Interoperability Initiative And SCI Work Group For Its Development

The Physical Security Interoperability Alliance (PSIA) has announced its Secure Credential Interoperability (SCI) initiative and a working group to advance its development.  “The physical access control industry has demonstrated a need for a universally compatible secure credential and we believe that we have found a simple, yet elegant solution to address this with SCI,” said Mohammad Soleimani, CTO of Kastle Systems and Chairman of the SCI Work Group.  SCI Work Group Mohammad Soleimani adds, “The specification will leverage the security, flexibility, and convenience of Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) and negate the need for investment in the infrastructure.” PSIA member companies involved in the SCI work group include, Allegion, ASSA ABLOY, dormakaba, Farpointe Data, IDEMIA, Kastle Systems, LenelS2, Tyco and WaveLynx Technologies.  “We are fortunate to already have a strong group of leaders in the access control and building management systems industries involved in the SCI Work Group,” said David Bunzel, Executive Director of the PSIA, adding  “They have been able to come up with an effective solution to an issue which will have broad application in the market.”  SCI specification with NFC and Bluetooth support The group has already prepared a draft specification for apps, readers, and locks featuring BLE compatibility The SCI specification supports NFC, ISO14443, and Bluetooth (BLE), and therefore, can accommodate all device types including cards, mobile devices, and wearables. The group has already prepared a draft specification for apps, readers, and locks featuring BLE compatibility.  “Mobile credentials are rapidly gaining in popularity with many commercial and institutional customers, but the diversity of offerings can often present interoperability and management issues,” noted Peter Boriskin, Chief Technology Officer for ASSA ABLOY Americas.  Enterprise credential management Peter Boriskin adds, “The SCI proposal aims to increase interoperability and reduce the barriers to portability, supporting enterprise credential management across multiple device manufacturers.” The SCI Work Group recognized that the proximity credentials, currently in widespread use, are not secure and organizations are actively migrating to secure credentials.  Solving interoperability issues of smart cards “Smart cards, one of the most commonly used access control mediums, are secure, but pose extremely challenging interoperability issues,” noted Hugo Wendling, the CEO of WaveLynx Technologies, adding “The PSIA’s SCI Initiative is a perfect complement to address this need.” The SCI leverages off existing standards and commercially available technology. For example, most smartphones enable the public/private key to be created by the device. This is compatible with nearly all smartphones, which have been produced over the last five years, including Android and iOS devices, which represent a significant installed base. The SCI Work Group is finalizing its technical draft of the specification and any companies interested in being part of this process are invited to join the PSIA.  

LenelS2 Delivers Contact Notification Service To Support Healthy Buildings
LenelS2 Delivers Contact Notification Service To Support Healthy Buildings

In support of Carrier’s Healthy Buildings program and the safe return to work, LenelS2 introduced a COVID-19 Contact Notification subscription-based service for businesses and other organizations using LenelS2’s OnGuard® or NetBox™ access control security systems along with LenelS2’s BlueDiamond™ mobile credential app. LenelS2, a front-runner in advanced security systems and services, is a part of Carrier Global Corporation, the foremost global provider of healthy, safe and sustainable building, and cold chain solutions. This new service complements LenelS2’s touchless building access solutions by providing BlueDiamond-credentialed users with the ability to assess their health symptoms, receive real-time social distancing reminders and anonymized notifications if they have recently come into contact with a user that self-assessed as being positive for COVID-19. The combination of BlueDiamond mobile-enabled readers with the BlueDiamond mobile app credentials and the new Contact Notification service, forms an advanced solution being offered through Carrier's Healthy Buildings Program. Safe return to work “The global pandemic has changed expectations for health and safety in the workplace,” said Jeff Stanek, President, LenelS2. “The BlueDiamond Contact Notification service empowers our customers with the tools they need to help address today’s challenges and provide greater confidence in a safe return to work.” Contact Notification service Includes daily self-assessments for employees to report any symptoms or self-report their positive COVID-19 status The Contact Notification service in the BlueDiamond mobile app identifies and communicates anonymized real-time COVID-19 risks and provides employees with a safer building experience while empowering building administrators with the data they need to monitor and manage potential exposure risks in the workplace. Contact Notification includes daily self-assessments for employees to report any symptoms or self-report their positive COVID-19 status. Based on the results from the daily assessment, employee mobile credentials can be automatically restricted for a configurable quarantine period from within the app as pre-defined by the administrator or company policy. Features The BlueDiamond Contact Notification service utilizes mobile-to-mobile Bluetooth® technology to help enforce social distancing in the workplace and provides real-time app notifications to employees who violate distancing guidelines. Leveraging an administration console, building administrators can configure Contact Notification parameters and proactively monitor trends in the workplace. Beyond initial provisioning requirements, Contact Notification is hardware independent and can be quickly implemented by LenelS2 customers. Additional benefits The latest BlueDiamond app version also includes a variety of non-subscription-based updates to improve access control and user experience. Two-factor authentication leveraging Touch ID, Face ID, or a smartphone passcode can now be used as a method for validating a BlueDiamond mobile credential user. In-app tutorials provide users with an easy way to use other currently available app features.

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