: An Seos-based technology solution has provided the university with more choice and the ability to add more applications
George Mason's magnetic ID card system needed to be replaced with a more efficient smart card solution

As the commonwealth of Virginia’s largest public university, George Mason University has a population of more than 30,000 students with nearly 5,000 facility members and 2,000 contractors on campus. Showing no signs of slowing its student enrollment, George Mason is a rapidly expanding campus with new facilities and residential halls under construction, and new services being deployed each year.

However, an outdated and vulnerable Mason ID card system needed to be replaced with a more secure and comprehensive “one card” solution that could provide better security, efficient end-to-end issuance capabilities and connect card holders to new services and departments on campus.  Most importantly, the university needed a cost-effective migration plan if it were to completely replace its legacy student ID card system.  

 Vulnerabilities Of Magnetic Swipe Technology

For over a decade, George Mason has been issuing Mason ID cards with magnetic swipe technology to its students, faculty and contractors. These legacy cards not only wore out quickly but they relied on a security technology that lacked the cryptographic capabilities of smart cards, and were thus susceptible to cloning and counterfeiting. It was also difficult to update and manage old campus door locks and cards.

Needing to address today’s increasing security challenges, George Mason also recognized that with any new technology deployment on campus, they had an opportunity to lay a foundation that would help the university meet the needs and the expectations of a very technology-savvy generation of students.

Greater campus security could be achieved by moving to a new contactless smart card technology, but the greatest efficiency and convenience would come from leveraging the power of a flexible, “one card” solution that enabled the Mason ID to be used with not only access control systems, but other value-added applications and services on and off campus.

The greatest efficiency and
convenience would come
from leveraging the power of
a flexible, “one card” solution
to be used with other
value-added  applications

Determined to move to a new and comprehensive ID solution, George Mason was conscious of its limited budget and the time and cost associated with replacing existing card infrastructure and ultimately, rebadging its more than 30,000 card holders on campus.

Migrating To A Smart ID Solution

By working with HID Global and its parent ASSA ABLOY, George Mason was able to design a cost-effective and comprehensive, end-to-end ID solution that would enable university administrators to migrate their existing card system over an expected five years. Simultaneously compatible with the legacy student ID cards and the existing hardware on campus, this new solution would be deployed slowly and consist of the following:

  • HID Global multiCLASS SE® readers, as well as PERSONA® Campus Software and SARGENT Passport® locks from HID Global’s parent company, ASSA ABLOY. Chosen for their built-in encryption and enhanced security, the multi-technology readers and locks also support the legacy magnetic stripe (magstripe) cards used on campus as well as newer, contactless card technology.
  • Seos® smart cards from HID Global were chosen for their advanced security, interoperability between the new locks and readers, and the multiple card applications enabled by its breakthrough technology. For instance, the university leveraged HID Global OMNIKEY® desktop readers to extend the Seos card’s use to check out library books and to pay for meals in the cafeteria.
  • HID Global FARGO® DTC4500e ID card printers and encoders along with its Asure ID® card personalization software were installed at the campus card office. Cards are personalized by printing student information to the card at the same time encoding and programming of both magstripe and Seos technologies are completed for each multi-tech card in a single, inline issuance process. Total issuance time is drastically reduced, data entry mistakes are eliminated and the new ID cards are printed at higher quality with more durable lamination.

"With the new printers and
Asure ID software, we were
able to really streamline
the entire card process and
set up a true one-stop shop
on campus
"

One of our goals is to get the students out of the card office as quickly as possible.  We wanted something that was seamless, so staff could search for the person, verify the identity, print the card and hand it to the person, knowing that it would work right away,” said Jerry Baugh, Director of the Mason Card Office with George Mason University. “With the new printers and Asure ID software, we were able to really streamline the entire card process and set up a true one-stop shop on campus that not only reduced the waiting time for the student, but produced a more durable and better looking card that eliminated the hassle and costs of replacing cards that used to wear out too quickly.

George Mason worked closely with HID Global and ASSA ABLOY to chart a three-year migration path for its new solution.  To date, George Mason has installed about 3,500 new HID Global readers and ASSA ABLOY locks, and has issued more than 12,000 new Mason ID cards to incoming freshmen to start. The university expects to complete its card migration by 2017 with more readers and locks to follow.

Powered by Seos smart card technology, the new Mason ID cards are initially being used for accessing facilities, residence halls, library and cafeteria services. The multi-technology readers and locks ensure the total system also works with the older magstripe ID cards still in use. Potential applications for the new Mason ID include cashless payment for the Washington D.C. transit system, time and attendance when at the gym, and even generating one-time password (OTP) soft tokens to allow students and faculty to access cloud applications, data and other services in the future. 

State-of-the-art University Access Control

The university now has state-of-the-art facility security as well as real-time control when a lock-down or other changes are needed.  They also can quickly and easily modify their access control system, including updating card privileges, revoking and replacing lost or stolen cards, and adding or removing applications, while the new ID card also frees the students to easily access so many aspects of campus life.  

The move to a Seos-based
technology solution has
provided the university with
more freedom of choice and
the ability to add more
applications

The move to a Seos-based technology solution has provided the university with more freedom of choice and the ability to add more applications as it scales in the future, while providing the confidence that the university is receiving the best-in-class security and privacy protection for its students and staff. In the coming years, George Mason has positioned itself to take full advantage of its ID system to extend not only the many uses for the Mason ID, but the form factor of the student ID itself.

For us, Seos is a short step; we want bigger, better, newer, faster. We know mobile credentials are coming, and we want to be positioned. We know our readers are already there, so the ability for us to leverage mobile credentials and send those to the phone will be our next step,” stated Danny Anthes, Senior Manager of Information Technology with George Mason University. “I think Seos goes beyond just door access, it speaks better to the credential and pieces we have in that. It allows us to put the destiny of the department back into their own hands.

Download HID White Paper: Best practices for integrating mobile into the access control architecture now!

Save

Share with LinkedIn Share with Twitter Share with Facebook Share with Facebook
Download PDF version Download PDF version

In case you missed it

Disruptive Innovation Providing New Opportunities In Smart Cities
Disruptive Innovation Providing New Opportunities In Smart Cities

Growth is accelerating in the smart cities market, which will quadruple in the next four years based on 2020 numbers. Top priorities are resilient energy and infrastructure projects, followed by data-driven public safety and intelligent transportation. Innovation in smart cities will come from the continual maturation of relevant technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), fifth-generation telecommunications (5G) and edge-to-cloud networking. AI and computer vision (video analytics) are driving challenges in security and safety, in particular, with video management systems (VMSs) capturing video streams and exposing them to various AI analytics. Adoption of disruptive technologies “Cities are entering the critical part of the adoption curve,” said Kasia Hanson, Global Director, Partner Sales, IOT Video, Safe Cities, Intel Corp. “They are beginning to cross the chasm to realize their smart city vision. Cities are taking notice and have new incentives to push harder than before. They are in a better position to innovate.” “Safety and security were already important market drivers responsible for adoption of AI, computer vision and edge computing scenarios,” commented Hanson, in a presentation at the Milestone Integration Platform Symposium (MIPS) 2021. She added: “2020 was an inflection point when technology and the market were ripe for disruption. COVID has accelerated the adoption of disruptive technologies in ways we could not have predicted last year.” Challenges faced by cities Spending in the European Union on public order and safety alone stood at 1.7% of GDP in 2018 Providing wide-ranging services is an expanding need in cities of all sizes. There are currently 33 megacities globally with populations over 10 million. There are also another 4,000 cities with populations over 100,000 inhabitants. Challenges for all cities include improving public health and safety, addressing environmental pressures, enabling mobility, improving quality of life, promoting economic competitiveness, and reducing costs. Spending in the European Union on public order and safety alone stood at 1.7% of GDP in 2018. Other challenges include air quality – 80% of those living in urban areas are exposed to air quality levels that exceed World Health Organization (WHO) limits. Highlighting mobility concerns is an eye-opening statistic from Los Angeles in 2017: Residents spent an average of 102 hours sitting in traffic. Smart technology “The Smart City of Today can enable rich and diverse use cases,” says Hanson. Examples include AI-enabled traffic signals to help reduce air pollution, and machine learning for public safety such as real-time visualization and emergency response. Public safety use cases include smart and connected outdoor lighting, smart buildings, crime prevention, video wearables for field agents, smart kiosks, and detection of noise level, glass breaks, and gunshots. Smart technology will make indoor spaces safer by controlling access to a building with keyless and touchless entry. In the age of COVID, systems can also detect face mask compliance, screen for fever, and ensure physical distancing. 2020 was an inflection point when technology and the smart cities market were ripe for disruption, Kasia Hanson told the MIPS 2021 audience. Video solutions Video workloads will provide core capabilities as entertainment venues reopen after the pandemic. When audiences attend an event at a city stadium, deep learning and AI capabilities analyze customer behaviors to create new routes, pathways, signage and to optimize cleaning operations. Personalized digital experiences will add to the overall entertainment value. In the public safety arena, video enables core capabilities such as protection of people, assets, and property, emergency response, and real-time visualization, and increased situational awareness. Video also provides intelligent incident management, better operational efficiency, and faster information sharing and collaboration. Smart video strategy Intel and Milestone provide video solutions across many use cases, including safety and security Video at the edge is a key element in end-to-end solutions. Transforming data from various point solutions into insights is complicated, time-consuming, and costly. Cities and public venues are looking for hardware, software, and industry expertise to provide the right mix of performance, capabilities, and cost-effectiveness. Intel’s smart video strategy focuses around its OpenVINO toolkit. OpenVINO, which is short for Open Visual Inference and Neural network Optimization, enables customers to build and deploy high-performing computer vision and deep learning inference applications. Intel and Milestone partnership – Video solutions “Our customers are asking for choice and flexibility at the edge, on-premises and in the cloud,” said Hansen in her presentation at the virtual conference. “They want the choice to integrate with large-scale software packages to speed deployment and ensure consistency over time. They need to be able to scale computer vision. Resolutions are increasing alongside growth in sensor installations themselves. They have to be able to accommodate that volume, no matter what causes it to grow.” As partners, Intel and Milestone provide video solutions across many use cases, including safety and security. In effect, the partnership combines Intel’s portfolio of video, computer vision, inferencing, and AI capabilities with Milestone’s video management software and community of analytics partners. Given its complex needs, the smart cities market is particularly inviting for these technologies.

What Are the Physical Security Challenges of Smart Cities?
What Are the Physical Security Challenges of Smart Cities?

The emergence of smart cities provides real-world evidence of the vast capabilities of the Internet of Things (IoT). Urban areas today can deploy a variety of IoT sensors to collect data that is then analyzed to provide insights to drive better decision-making and ultimately to make modern cities more livable. Safety and security are an important aspect of smart cities, and the capabilities that drive smarter cities also enable technologies that make them safer. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the physical security challenges of smart cities?

New Markets For AI-Powered Smart Cameras In 2021
New Markets For AI-Powered Smart Cameras In 2021

Organizations faced a number of unforeseen challenges in nearly every business sector throughout 2020 – and continuing into 2021. Until now, businesses have been on the defensive, reacting to the shifting workforce and economic conditions, however, COVID-19 proved to be a catalyst for some to accelerate their long-term technology and digitalization plans. This is now giving decision-makers the chance to take a proactive approach to mitigate current and post-pandemic risks. These long-term technology solutions can be used for today’s new world of social distancing and face mask policies and flexibly repurposed for tomorrow’s renewed focus on efficiency and business optimization. For many, this emphasis on optimization will likely be precipitated by not only the resulting economic impacts of the pandemic but also the growing sophistication and maturity of technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), technologies that are coming of age just when they seem to be needed the most.COVID-19 proved to be a catalyst for some to accelerate their long-term technology and digitalization plans Combined with today’s cutting-edge computer vision capabilities, AI and ML have produced smart cameras that have enabled organizations to more easily implement and comply with new health and safety requirements. Smart cameras equipped with AI-enabled intelligent video analytic applications can also be used in a variety of use cases that take into account traditional security applications, as well as business or operational optimization, uses – all on a single camera. As the applications for video analytics become more and more mainstream - providing valuable insights to a variety of industries - 2021 will be a year to explore new areas of use for AI-powered cameras. Optimizing production workflows and product quality in agriculture Surveillance and monitoring technologies are offering value to industries such as agriculture by providing a cost-effective solution for monitoring of crops, business assets and optimizing production processes. As many in the agriculture sector seek to find new technologies to assist in reducing energy usage, as well as reduce the environmental strain of modern farming, they can find an unusual ally in smart surveillance. Some niche farming organizations are already implementing AI solutions to monitor crops for peak production freshness in order to reduce waste and increase product quality.  For users who face environmental threats, such as mold, parasites, or other insects, smart surveillance monitoring can assist in the early identification of these pests and notify proper personnel before damage has occurred. They can also monitor vast amounts of livestock in fields to ensure safety from predators or to identify if an animal is injured. Using video monitoring in the growing environment as well as along the supply chain can also prove valuable to large-scale agriculture production. Applications can track and manage inventory in real-time, improving knowledge of high-demand items and allowing for better supply chain planning, further reducing potential spoilage. Efficient monitoring in manufacturing and logistics New challenges have arisen in the transportation and logistics sector, with the industry experiencing global growth. While security and operational requirements are changing, smart surveillance offers an entirely new way to monitor and control the physical side of logistics, correcting problems that often go undetected by the human eye, but have a significant impact on the overall customer experience. Smart surveillance offers an entirely new way to monitor and control the physical side of logistics, correcting problems that often go undetected by the human eye. Video analytics can assist logistic service providers in successfully delivering the correct product to the right location and customer in its original condition, which normally requires the supply chain to be both secure and ultra-efficient. The latest camera technology and intelligent software algorithms can analyze footage directly on the camera – detecting a damaged package at the loading dock before it is loaded onto a truck for delivery. When shipments come in, smart cameras can also alert drivers of empty loading bays available for offloading or alert facility staff of potential blockages or hazards for incoming and outgoing vehicles that could delay delivery schedules planned down to the minute. For monitoring and detecting specific vehicles, computer vision in combination with video analysis enables security cameras to streamline access control measures with license plate recognition. Smart cameras equipped with this technology can identify incoming and outgoing trucks - ensuring that only authorized vehicles gain access to transfer points or warehouses. Enhance regulatory safety measures in industrial settings  Smart surveillance and AI-enabled applications can be used to ensure compliance with organizational or regulatory safety measures in industrial environments. Object detection apps can identify if employees are wearing proper safety gear, such as facial coverings, hard hats, or lifting belts. Similar to the prevention of break-ins and theft, cameras equipped with behavior detection can help to automatically recognize accidents at an early stage. For example, if a worker falls to the ground or is hit by a falling object, the system recognizes this as unusual behavior and reports it immediately. Going beyond employee safety is the ability to use this technology for vital preventative maintenance on machinery and structures. A camera can identify potential safety hazards, such as a loose cable causing sparks, potential wiring hazards, or even detect defects in raw materials. Other more subtle changes, such as gradual structural shifts/crack or increases in vibrations – ones that would take the human eye months or years to discover – are detectable by smart cameras trained to detect the first signs of mechanical deterioration that could potentially pose a physical safety risk to people or assets. Early recognition of fire and smoke is another use case where industrial decision-makers can find value. Conventional fire alarms are often difficult to properly mount in buildings or outdoor spaces and they require a lot of maintenance. Smart security cameras can be deployed in difficult or hard-to-reach areas. When equipped with fire detection applications, they can trigger notification far earlier than a conventional fire alarm – as well as reduce false alarms by distinguishing between smoke, fog, or other objects that trigger false alarms. By digitizing analog environments, whether a smoke detector or an analog pressure gauge, decision-makers will have access to a wealth of data for analysis that will enable them to optimize highly technical processes along different stages of manufacturing - as well as ensure employee safety and security of industrial assets and resources. Looking forward to the future of smart surveillance With the rise of automation in all three of these markets, from intelligent shelving systems in warehouses to autonomous-driving trucks, object detection for security threats, and the use of AI in monitoring agricultural crops and livestock, the overall demand for computer vision and video analytics will continue to grow. That is why now is the best time for decision-makers across a number of industries to examine their current infrastructure and determine if they are ready to make an investment in a sustainable, multi-use, and long-term security and business optimization solution.