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Due to the success of the first Morse Watcman’s KeyWatcher system, Camden Council have installed the system across 7 sites in various sizes
Morse Watcmans KeyWatcher is a custom-tailored solution designed to record the access history of each key

Company Profile

The London Borough of Camden provides a host of public services to the inhabitants and stakeholders within Camden. The council are actively involved in many areas such as local education, housing, the environment, transport, policing and public safety. The council currently employ over 1,000 members of staff across its different functions. The Security division are tasked with managing the security for the councils’ main administrative building in central Camden.

Technology Objective

The council needed a solution that would provide greater key control and would reduce the need for a manual logging system.

The Challenge

Like many other companies, Camden Council has an array of keys that are used daily by different team members. Within the main administrative building security staff was occasionally forgetting to sign keys in and out. Issues were also becoming apparent with contractors who were failing to return keys at the end of duty. The solution had to be delivered within a defined budget and be fully auditable to give an insight into the whereabouts of any key at any particular time.

Morse Watchmans Solution

In order to address the needs of Camden Council, Morse Watcmans introduced the KeyWatcher Key Control System. The KeyWatcher is a custom-tailored solution designed to record the access history of each key, including user, date and time of checkout and return.

In order to release an assigned key, each user needs an individual authorisation code. By having individual authorisation codes, the risk of a key being misplaced is greatly reduced. The risk of unauthorized people removing keys is completely eradicated.

The KeyWatcher comes with its unique KeyPro Performance Software. This userfriendly PC application delivers real time information concerning the total accountability and history of any key for the KeyWatcher system. Activity reports are easily produced that can trace a keys’ movements by date and time, authorisation code or biometric access data.

Constructed in rugged metal the slimline design eliminates the need for outdated lock boxes, unreliable manual logs and messy key identification tabs and unreliable key recording manuals.

Due to the success of the first KeyWatcher system, Camden Council has installed the system across 7 sites in various sizes.

In Action

By implementing the KeyWatcher Key Control System, the team have been able to work much smarter and faster i.e. if a key is overdue or missing the KeyPro Software will notify the manager immediately

The KeyWatcher Key Control System, complete with fingerprint access control option is now used across the whole of the London borough. The KeyWatcher controls access to the keys which are tracked while in use, including check out times and user names. Staff is assigned various levels of access to the keys which helps to maintain effective key control and guard against carelessness or oversight. Any contractors that need access to keys are logged by date, time and user to ensure that no contractor can forget to return a key. The KeyPro Software is used regularly to produce reports concerning usability and any security alerts.

The Results

By implementing the KeyWatcher Key Control System, the team have been able to work much smarter and faster i.e. if a key is overdue or missing the KeyPro Software will notify the manager immediately. As the system only releases keys to authorized people, the risk of keys being lost or taken by an authorized person is reduced. Finally, as the KeyPro Software produces detailed reports on the KeyWatcher system, a full audit trail is available at the touch of a button saving valuable time and resource.

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Strengthening The Physical And Cyber Barriers Around Critical Infrastructure
Strengthening The Physical And Cyber Barriers Around Critical Infrastructure

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But even those attackers, who solely focus on compromising IT environments, are still able to trigger major disruption, by disabling day-to-day processes that are involved in the production and roll-out of solutions and services. Rise in cyber-attacks on utility and energy sector Recent events have shown that attacks on the utility and energy sector are ramping up Recent events have shown that attacks on the utility and energy sector are ramping up. The attack on the US Colonial Pipeline, for example, was one of the most high-profile breaches in the industry’s history, particularly when considering the secondary, physical consequences. The decision to shut down the Colonial Pipeline, while considered necessary, triggered a wave of disruption, leading to gasoline shortages and inflated costs. This is just one example of the serious effects that a successful cyber breach can have on an organization. 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What You Need To Know About Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) For Emergency Preparedness?
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Baltimore Is The Latest U.S. City To Target Facial Recognition Technology
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The city of Baltimore has banned the use of facial recognition systems by residents, businesses and the city government (except for police). The criminalization in a major U.S. city of an important emerging technology in the physical security industry is an extreme example of the continuing backlash against facial recognition throughout the United States. Facial recognition technology ban Several localities – from Portland, Oregon, to San Francisco, from Oakland, California, to Boston – have moved to limit use of the technology, and privacy groups have even proposed a national moratorium on use of facial recognition. The physical security industry, led by the Security Industry Association (SIA), vigorously opposed the ban in Baltimore, urging a measured approach and ‘more rational policymaking’ that preserve the technology’s value while managing any privacy or other concerns. Physical security industry opposes ban In such cases, it is local businesses and residents who stand to lose the most" “Unfortunately, an outright ban on facial recognition continues a distressing pattern in which the clear value of this technology is ignored,” said SIA’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Don Erickson, adding “In such cases, it is local businesses and residents who stand to lose the most.” At the national level, a letter to US President Biden from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Coalition asserts the need for a national dialog over the appropriate use of facial recognition technology and expresses concern about ‘a blanket moratorium on federal government use and procurement of the technology’. (The coalition includes Security Industry Association (SIA) and other industry groups.) The negativity comes at a peak moment for facial recognition and other biometric technologies, which saw an increase of interest for a variety of public and business applications, during the COVID-19 pandemic’s prioritization to improve public health hygiene and to promote ‘contactless’ technologies. Prohibition on banks, retailers and online sellers The ordinance in Baltimore prohibits banks from using facial recognition to enhance consumer security in financial transactions. It prevents retailers from accelerating checkout lines with contactless payment and prohibits remote online identity document verification, which is needed by online sellers or gig economy workers, according to the Security Industry Association (SIA). At a human level, SIA points out that the prohibition of facial recognition undermines the use of customized accessibility tools for disabled persons, including those suffering with blindness, memory loss or prosopagnosia (face blindness). Ban out of line with current state of facial recognition Addressing the Baltimore prohibition, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation reacted to the measure as ‘shockingly out of line with the current state of facial recognition technology and its growing adoption in many sectors of the economy’. Before Baltimore’s decision to target facial recognition, Portland, Oregon, had perhaps the strictest ban, prohibiting city government agencies and private businesses from using the technology on the city’s grounds. San Francisco was the first U.S. city to ban the technology, with Boston, Oakland; Cambridge, Massachusetts; and Berkeley, California, among others, following suit. Police and federal units can use biometrics Unlike other bans, the Baltimore moratorium does not apply to police uses Unlike other bans, the Baltimore moratorium does not apply to police uses, but targets private uses of the technology. It also includes a one-year ‘sunset’ clause that requires city council approval for an extension. The measure carves out an exemption for use of biometrics in access control systems. However, violations of the measure are punishable by 12 months in jail. The law also establishes a task force to evaluate the cost and effectiveness of surveillance tools. Transparency in public sector use of facial recognition Currently, the state of Maryland controls the Baltimore Police Department, so the city council does not have authority to ban police use of facial recognition, which has been a human rights concern driving the bans in other jurisdictions. A measure to return local control of police to the city could pass before the year lapses. SIA advocates transparency in public-sector applications of facial recognition in identity verification, security and law enforcement investigative applications. SIA’s CEO, Don Erickson stated, “As public sector uses are more likely to be part of processes with consequential outcomes, it is especially important for transparency and sound policies to accompany government applications.”