Electronic lock systems - Expert commentary

Why Is Key Management So Important?
Why Is Key Management So Important?

More and more business security practices are going digital. Mechanical keys are still the backbone of most corporate security plans, and it can be very expensive for companies to switch to electronic access control on a large scale. Therefore, enterprises need to choose the most suitable access control system. What is key management? Key management is the process of protecting, tracking, and scheduling mechanical keys. Why is this important? Because the key carries access to sensitive locations and assets within the organization, when you increase the security of the key, you can enhance the security of these valuable resources. The key management system also controls the cost of using physical keys. The system reduces the overhead caused by key loss or security breaches. Some smaller companies may be able to adopt a paper-and-pencil key management protocol. Larger companies, or those who want to better understand and control keys, usually choose to use an electronic key management system. Key management systems can store and assign keys securely and increase the efficiency of organization Why use a key management system? The key management system can become the cornerstone of your key control process. At the most basic level, key management systems can accomplish two things that paper and pen systems cannot: they store and assign keys securely, and they increase the efficiency of your organization's use of keys through automation and analysis. What can key management systems do? 1) Improve access control By better protecting the keys, you can improve the access control to the spaces and devices unlocked by these keys. You can use your key management to simplify the process of providing temporary employees with one-time-key access. In addition, the system can record all their key access records, so that everyone's behavior can be traced. 2) Enhanced accountability traceability The software is a good key management system that can generate reports on key usage, user access requests, access exceptions, and loss. In addition, you can track and audit key usage in real-time. Combined with a comprehensive key control strategy, you will implement better accountability for key use to meet any industry or risk management compliance standards. 3) Reduce costs and prevent losses When an employee loses a key, you will incur direct costs for a replacement key or relocking it when it is lost When an employee loses a key, you will incur direct costs, including purchasing a replacement key or relocking it when it is lost. However, the indirect cost of key loss is usually more significant. This is because employees first spend time looking for the lost key and then process the replacement request, all of which time is not spent on production work. 4) Improve workflow As we discussed, keys are often used in important workflows. The key management system allows you to better control these workflows. A passive electronic lock system, also known as a key-centric access control system, has outstanding advantages in key management. Compared with the electronic access control system, the passive electronic lock system's "passive" characteristics have reduced the update cost for many enterprises.

Why Face Recognition As A Credential Is The Ideal Choice For Access Control?
Why Face Recognition As A Credential Is The Ideal Choice For Access Control?

In the field of access control, face recognition has come a long way. Once considered too slow to authenticate people's identities and credentials in high traffic conditions, face recognition technology has evolved to become one of the quickest, most effective access control identity authentication solutions across all industries. Advancements in artificial intelligence and advanced neural network (ANN) technology from industry leaders like Intel have improved the accuracy and efficiency of face recognition. However, another reason the technology is gaining traction is due to the swiftly rising demand for touchless access control solutions that can help mitigate the spread of disease in public spaces. Effective for high volumes Face recognition eliminates security risks and is also virtually impossible to counterfeit Modern face recognition technology meets all the criteria for becoming the go-to solution for frictionless access control. It provides an accurate, non-invasive means of authenticating people's identities in high-traffic areas, including multi-tenant office buildings, industrial sites, and factories where multiple shifts per day are common. Typical electronic access control systems rely on people providing physical credentials, such as proximity cards, key fobs, or Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones, all of which can be misplaced, lost, or stolen. Face recognition eliminates these security risks and is also virtually impossible to counterfeit. Affordable biometric option Although there are other biometric tools available, face recognition offers significant advantages. Some technologies use hand geometry or iris scans, for example, but these options are generally slower and more expensive. This makes face recognition a natural application for day-to-day access control activities, including chronicling time and attendance for large workforces at construction sites, warehouses, and agricultural and mining operations. In addition to verifying personal credentials, face recognition can also identify whether an individual is wearing a facial covering in compliance with government or corporate mandates regarding health safety protocols. Beyond securing physical locations, face recognition can also be used to manage access to computers, as well as specialized equipment and devices. Overcoming challenges with AI So how did face recognition become so reliable when the technology was once dogged by many challenges, including difficulties with camera angles, certain types of facial expressions, and diverse lighting conditions? Thanks to the emergence of so-called "convolutional" neural network-based algorithms, engineers have been able to overcome these roadblocks. SecurOS FaceX face recognition solution FaceX is powered by neural networks and machine learning which makes it capable of authenticating a wide range of faces One joint effort between New Jersey-based Intelligent Security Systems (ISS) and tech giant Intel has created the SecurOS FaceX face recognition solution. FaceX is powered by neural networks and machine learning which makes it capable of authenticating a wide range of faces and facial expressions, including those captured under changing light, at different resolution levels, and varying distances from the video camera. Secure video management system A common face recognition system deployment begins with IP video cameras that feed footage into a secure video management system connected to a video archive. When the software initially enrolls a person’s face, it creates a "digital descriptor" that is stored as a numeric code that will forever be associated with one identity. The system encrypts and stores these numeric codes in a SQL database. For the sake of convenience and cost savings, the video server CPU performs all neural network processes without requiring any special GPU cards. Unique digital identifiers The next step involves correlating faces captured in a video recording with their unique digital descriptors on file. The system can compare newly captured images against large databases of known individuals or faces captured from video streams. Face recognition technology can provide multi-factor authentication, searching watchlists for specific types of features, such as age, hair color, gender, ethnicity, facial hair, glasses, headwear, and other identifying characteristics including bald spots. Robust encryption SED-compatible drives rely on dedicated chips that encrypt data with AES-128 or AES-256 To support privacy concerns, the entire system features an encrypted and secure login process that prevents unauthorized access to both the database and the archive. An additional layer of encryption is available through the use of Self-Encrypting Drives (SEDs) that hold video recordings and metadata. SED-compatible drives rely on dedicated chips that encrypt data with AES-128 or AES-256 (short for Advanced Encryption Standard). Anti-spoofing safeguards How do face recognition systems handle people who try to trick the system by wearing a costume mask or holding up a picture to hide their faces? FaceX from ISS, for example, includes anti-spoofing capabilities that essentially check for the "liveliness" of a given face. The algorithm can easily flag the flat, two-dimensional nature of a face mask, printed photo, or image on a mobile phone and issue a "spoof" alarm. Increased speed of entry Incorporating facial recognition into existing access control systems is straightforward and cost-effective Incorporating facial recognition into existing access control systems is straightforward and cost-effective. Systems can operate with off-the-shelf security cameras and computers. Users can also leverage existing infrastructure to maintain building aesthetics. A face recognition system can complete the process of detection and recognition in an instant, opening a door or turnstile in less than 500ms. Such efficiency can eliminate hours associated with security personnel checking and managing credentials manually. A vital tool Modern face recognition solutions are infinitely scalable to accommodate global enterprises. As a result, face recognition as a credential is increasingly being implemented for a wide range of applications that transcend traditional access control and physical security to include health safety and workforce management. All these capabilities make face recognition a natural, frictionless solution for managing access control, both in terms of performance and cost.

How Schools Can Make Outdoor Learning Safe And Secure
How Schools Can Make Outdoor Learning Safe And Secure

Schools were never designed and built with social distancing in mind. So it’s perhaps not surprising that as children returned to schools for the autumn term this year, the prospect of outdoor classes and assemblies was mooted in the media and by the Government. Many in the education sector are making the case that, should there be further COVID-19 outbreaks, in the coming months, it would be better to utilize outside space, rather than resort to closing schools. In the COVID-19 era, head teachers are considering taking learning and large gatherings, such as assemblies outdoors, when possible. Managing ‘class bubbles’, hygiene and ventilation While Dr. Yvonne Doyle, the Medical Director of Public Health England (PHE) has publicly reassured parents that schools are not the ‘drivers’ or ‘hubs’ of COVID-19-19 infection in communities, there is a lot of pressure on school leaders to manage ‘class bubbles’, extra cleaning and hygiene, ventilation, and COVID-19 testing, to protect families and staff. It’s a logical step to switch, in certain circumstances, to outdoor activities where fresh air is on tap, and social distancing is far easier to manage. Specially built outdoor classrooms Across the school and nursery sector, there’s ongoing investment in specially built outdoor classrooms Across the school and nursery sector, there’s ongoing investment in specially built outdoor classrooms, which had been growing in popularity, even before the pandemic. These facilities offer numerous benefits as an extension of existing learning spaces and provide children the opportunity for hands-on learning, beyond a stuffy classroom. However, if outdoor spaces are routinely called upon as part of COVID-19 contingency planning, how can schools ensure that their outdoor classrooms and wider areas are secure, robust, and fit for purpose? When specifying outdoor classrooms and learning spaces, it’s essential to take into account the well-being of the students and staff, who will use them, noise pollution and acoustics. Most importantly, education managers need to ensure the surrounding area is secured and adequately protected from threats, including terrorism. Perimeter security measures for schools How can schools and nurseries secure their perimeters, so that outdoor learning is totally safe for all? A starting point is to seek out architects and suppliers, who have a good understanding of security standards. Worryingly, Jacksons Fencing’s research recently found that only one-third of architects are seeing both LPS 1175 and the UK police initiative, Secured by Design (SBD) physical security standards, specified for schools. This highlights a lost opportunity for architects to propose solutions that are appropriate to the level of risk and needs of the school, without turning the site into an unwelcoming fortress. Helping schools identify specific security needs Head teachers would be wise to work with architects, who not only know the latest security standards inside and out, but are also are willing to play a more advisory role, helping the school identify exactly what is needed. Head teachers should prioritize solutions appropriate to their site’s specific risks It’s also vital that architects don’t simply replace existing fencing and gates, with the same security systems that have been in place for years. Instead, they will need to meet changing needs and risks. Our research finds that teachers often report issues, with the school perimeter and gates, from being climbed over (28%) and causing injury, to gates not locking properly (10%). Head teachers should prioritize solutions appropriate to their site’s specific risks, which sometimes require altering of existing measures. School fencing is an important aspect of any education site. As well as defining its boundary and making a visual distinction between public and private property, the fencing and gates that surround and secure a school, will typically meet a wide variety of other important criteria, including preventing unauthorized entry to the grounds, protecting pupils, staff, and visitors from accidents and injury, deterring theft and anti-social behavior, and reducing the risk of malicious damage, and acts of terrorism. Welded mesh panels for perimeter fencing Popular options for schools include welded mesh panels for perimeter fencing or sports areas, and railing systems to act as demarcation, in order to control foot and car traffic. Within the outlying boundary, barriers, bollards and parking posts will keep pedestrians, and vehicles safe from each other, while timber fencing and gates can be designed to control the flow of people, around the grounds and reduce the areas, where students can be hidden from view. Automated gates and access control Perimeter fencing must be complemented with safe entrances and exits for vehicles and pedestrians. Every school has unique entry-control requirements, determined by factors, such as size, location and the local environment. These needs influence the decisions you make, when preparing technical specifications for school security gates. Do you require gates to be steel or timber, manual or automated, single or double leaf? Specialist suppliers will be in the best position to offer inputs on school gates, which typically need to offer solid security and durability, with a welcoming aesthetic. Specifying access control system When specifying a school access system, it’s important to consider the areas of the school When specifying a school access system, it’s important to consider the areas of the school, such as sports fields, car parks, and children’s play and learning areas, and whether it requires playground segregation. Selected gates should meet the design of the fencing, to create a secure perimeter with no weak points, with automated gates conforming to all current safety regulations. . Noise pollution can be a problem as well, including noise coming in or leaving the school in residential areas. If more teaching is to be carried out outside, it’s worth considering acoustic barriers to reduce noise in and around the school. Timber acoustic barriers for security and privacy Timber acoustic barriers offer security and privacy, and can reduce noise levels, by as much as 32 decibels (in laboratory conditions), so are ideal for city center schools or those located close to busy highways. There are many ways to build an outdoor classroom. Timber products can help to create a welcoming environment, such as wooden shelters, pergolas, fencing, and decking. Always check that high quality timber, ideally guaranteed for 25 years against rot and insect attack, is being used to provide an attractive, cost-effective, safe and sustainable solution, for all weather conditions. DBS approved installers And of course, installers must be DBS approved, so that they can install outdoor classrooms, during school holidays, or within term time, with minimal disruption. The COVID-19 pandemic had a huge impact on schools and learning. While nobody wants to think of fresh outbreaks of the infection, or any other virus, installing an outdoor classroom made from high-quality, long-lasting materials is a great way to future-proof school learning and ensure safety, and preparedness. Putting extra thought and care into the security angle will provide schools with decades of protection against a host of unforeseen events.

Latest ASSA ABLOY news

Connect ONE® Cloud-Hosted Management Interface Releases Major Upgrades
Connect ONE® Cloud-Hosted Management Interface Releases Major Upgrades

Connected Technologies LLC, the maker of the award-winning Connect ONE® cloud management platform that controls intrusion, access control, video surveillance, critical environmental monitoring, and energy management systems, recently completed a comprehensive update to its application. Starting with a fresh new look that offers an improved sense of intuitiveness and ease of use, especially in mobile applications, users will find more detailed information in an easier-to-locate interface screen. Dealers can still rely on the same functionality and general layout of actionable buttons for a consistent experience without re-training necessary. Connect ONE® platform updates  Other features of the newly improved platform include: 1) A new card layout style that shows all relevant record information at a glance. 2) If the original list style is preferred it can be toggled at the bottom of the page, choosing either the new or former list layout view. 3) Users can retain their viewing preference across sessions and save that choice as default. Dealers can set a default for all customers and/or individually per customer. 4) Improved dark mode support, which reduces the amount of blue light for an upgraded experience. 5) Expansion of automated reports via scheduled task rules – now many more reports can be delivered on a schedule: Event Activity Report (List all selected activities in chronological order) Site Occupancy Report (List users who accessed each site and calculate total occupancy) In/Out by User (List user in and out times for each area and calculate total time in an area) Exit Exception (List users who have logged in but not logged out) Asset Status List (List assets with the selected status such as return overdue) User Status List (List users and their last activity such as all users not active in the last 90 days) User Safe Passage Status List (List users and their Safe Passage status, such as all users with unapproved status) System Code Expiration List (List all system codes and authority levels, including expiration status) Environmental Zone Historical Data Report (List and graph environmental zones with associated alarm status for regulatory compliance) Thermostat Historical Data Report (List and graph HVAC status recorded from the thermostats) 6) In addition, since incoming events can trigger task rules to activate, the report can also be delivered in response to certain critical events occurring.  For example, a fire alarm event can trigger an Exit Exception report to be delivered. The report will show who has accessed the building but not exited (exit readers required to detect if the person left, otherwise the report will include all entries for the reporting period). Frictionless entrance control Along with the award-winning Safe Passage module for access control user authorization and ScanPass® mobile credential for frictionless entrance control, dealers and their customers have the latest services to manage multiple locations through a single Connect ONE user interface. Connect ONE works with Bosch B and G, DMP XR/XT, ELK M1, and Honeywell Vista Turbo security and access control panels. It also integrates with ASSA ABLOY Aperio® wireless locks as well as Digital Watchdog, OpenEye, ExacqVision, and Eagle Eye Networks video technologies.

ASSA ABLOY Acquires Małkowski-Martech In Poland
ASSA ABLOY Acquires Małkowski-Martech In Poland

ASSA ABLOY has acquired approximately 85.7% of the shares in Małkowski-Martech S.A. from the Małkowski family, through an off-market transaction. The purchase price for the 85.7% of the shares in the Company amounts to approximately MPLN 33. Małkowski-Martech is a Polish producer of fire-rated curtains and gates, listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange, NewConnect market. "I am very pleased to welcome Małkowski-Martech into the ASSA ABLOY Group. I welcome this complementary business, specializing in fire-rated curtains and gates,” says Nico Delvaux, President, and CEO of ASSA ABLOY. Strengthening fire door portfolio "The addition of market-leading fire-rated curtains and gates from Małkowski-Martech strengthens our commercial fire-rated door product portfolio. The combined offering allows us to even better address the customer needs for flexibility in building design and ease of installation,” says Neil Vann, Executive Vice President of ASSA ABLOY and Head of EMEIA Division. Małkowski-Martech was established in 2000 and has some 150 employees. The main office is located in Czołowo, Poland. Sales for 2020 amounted to about MPLN 50 (approx. MSEK 110) with a good EBIT margin. The acquisition will be accretive to EPS from the start.

Abloy Provides Their Access Management And Control Systems To Enhance Security At The Nokia Arena
Abloy Provides Their Access Management And Control Systems To Enhance Security At The Nokia Arena

A new era began in the heart of Tampere, Finland, when Nokia Arena opened its doors in December. The arena, designed by the internationally renowned architect Daniel Libeskind – and built above the main line railway – will host large events, including the 2022 Men’s Ice Hockey World Championships. The central location of the venue in the city center and its opening hours around the clock highlight the importance of access management. For example, it must be possible to separate semi-public, open areas from premises accessible only to employees or hotel guests. Security solutions as well as access management and control systems for the arena have been implemented by Abloy. Access management systems "Nokia Arena is a striking example of security trends, where access rights are becoming digital and door environments are touchless. In this development, various human resource, space and access management systems, for example, are integrated. They share information to improve operational efficiency and security. There has been a lot of discussion about the API economy, i.e., utilizing data shared through application programming interfaces, in recent years," says Jari Perälä, Vice President, Domestic Sales and Marketing, Abloy Oy. In the arena, the doors are opened with access rights on mobile devices and wristbands In the arena, the doors are opened with access rights on mobile devices and wristbands. Electromechanical keys are also used. "We have introduced a wide range of keys. Access permits can be sent to smart devices, in which case the door opens with the help of a mobile phone or smartwatch in the blink of an eye.” Enjoying many moments “This way, for example, an ice hockey team training in the rink does not have to worry about losing the keys or returning them to the right place when the access rights expire at the end of the game shift. When granting access, it is also possible to determine which premises can and cannot be accessed," says Jani Helenius, Property and Security Manager at Nokia Arena. "The doors of the arena open with a smartphone or smartwatch, which is really clever. I am convinced that the hockey people will enjoy many moments in the new arena," says Jukka Peltola, Assistant Captain of the Finnish ice hockey league team Tappara. The team is one of the arena's regular users. Fire safety system The locks are also integrated into the work shift system of the arena's restaurants""The locks are also integrated into the work shift system of the arena's restaurants. For example, when a waiter arrives at the beginning of his or her shift, the access rights granted to the person immediately take effect in the necessary premises," Abloy's Key Account Manager Mikael Ermala adds. Directing an audience of 15,000 to safety in case of emergencies is essential for an event center like Nokia Arena. That's why the locks on the arena doors are integrated with the fire safety system. Smooth evacuation is also ensured by ABLOY push bars. All doors and exit routes in the customer premises are equipped with push bars, also called panic bars or crash bars, so that the doors open quickly and easily when needed. Effective opening mechanisms "Simulations during the construction phase have shown that 4,500 people can be guided away from the main floor of the arena in less than eight minutes. The entire arena can be emptied in about 15 to 20 minutes, in an optimal situation. This would not be possible without effective opening mechanisms on the exit routes," says Jani Helenius. "Nokia Arena is an important project for us, where together we have been able to develop completely new, technology-enabled ways of using locking solutions. We have good experiences securing similar large arenas, such as the Helsinki Olympic Stadium in Finland and the Warsaw National Stadium in Poland," says Jari Perälä from Abloy.

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