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9 Access Control Pitfalls

9 Access Control Pitfalls

Editor / Provider: Submitted by Secura Key | Updated: 8/21/2012 | Article type: Tech Corner

1. Not Installing Surge Protection. We recommend surge protection on all data lines and reader cables, as well as for plug-in power supplies at each panel. Remember that surge protectors need a good path to Earth Ground to work properly. While nothing can prevent damage from a direct lightning hit, surge protectors will prevent damage from nearby lightning strikes, which can disable your system.

2. Powering Door Strikes and Mag Locks from the Same Supply as the Panel (or standalone unit). Strikes and maglocks can send voltage spikes back through the power supply into an access control panel, causing circuit damage or data errors. Purchase separate power supplies for each door locking device.

3. Not Ordering Spares. For every 10 doors in a system, we recommend having one control panel PCBA and two readers on hand, in case of a direct lightning hit or other catastrophic problem. This will get your system back on line, without waiting for equipment to be ordered and shipped. This also reduces trips back to the shop for the installer.

4. Using the Wrong Cable. With Secura Key, you can use twisted pair cable such as CAT5 or CAT6 for RS-485 communications (from panel to panel or back to the PC). Wiegand communications (from reader to panel) requires non-twisted cable, such as 6-cond shielded (the same as for RS-232 connections). System installation manuals will call out the correct cable for every application.

5. No Experience With Door Hardware. If you are experienced with electronics, software, alarm systems, CCTV, and other low voltage equipment, don't assume that you can competently install an electric strike, mag lock or electrified lockset. You can make a mess of an expensive commercial door frame or door, if you have no hardware installation experience. When in doubt, subcontract a locksmith to handle the door hardware.

6. No Experience With Electronics. If you are experienced with door hardware, etc, but not familiar with electronics, software, and low voltage equipment, don't try to fake your way through the installation. When in doubt, subcontract an access control installer to handle the wiring, software installation and any network interfaces. If you can't find an access control installer, home automation or alarm installers are generally familiar with similar types of equipment.

7. Ordering Wrong Readers. If you are adding on to an existing system, you need to be 100% certain of the make, model and part number of the existing readers. Don't send the manufacturer or distributor a picture of the reader, because a lot of different readers use the same plastic housing. Go to the jobsite or get someone at the jobsite to find a screwdriver, remove the reader from the wall or mounting plate and read the ID label on the inside of the reader. Get all of the information, including firmware versions and output formats.

8. Ordering Wrong Cards. If you are adding cards to an existing system, knowing the data format, facility code and card ID Number range of the existing cards is critical. The technology (prox, contactless, Wiegand, mag stripe, etc) and brand of the new cards must be identical or guaranteed compatible with the existing cards. The facility code of the new cards should match the existing ones. While some systems will allow you to mix different facility codes, the ID numbers of the new cards cannot duplicate any of the existing ID numbers, and should not exceed the upper limit of the system (many systems only accept cards up to 65535). If you make a mistake when ordering cards, most companies will not take custom encoded cards back, so you may get stuck with some very expensive cards.

9. Not Pre-staging the System. Experienced installers never go to the jobsite without first trying to hook up and test the equipment at their shop or offices, especially if it is the first time they have installed a particular brand of equipment. Unpack all the equipment, place it on a large table, get out the manual, and connect all the components together using short cables. If you encounter difficulties, or if the products don't work the way you anticipated, this gives you enough time to contact tech support and resolve the issues. This way, when you get to the jobsite, your customer will think you are the best in the business! 

 NFC = Easier, Quicker Multitasking

NFC = Easier, Quicker Multitasking

Editor / Provider: Hayden Hsu | Updated: 8/9/2012 | Article type: Tech Corner

Access Management
NFC is fully compliant with the ISO standards governing contactless smart cards. A mobile phone equipped with NFC technology can be used to carry a portable identity credential and then wirelessly present it to a reader, said Tam Hulusi, Senior VP of Strategic Innovation and Intellectual Property, HID Global (an Assa Abloy company). The phone is simply waved in front of the reader, and the user can open the door. Based on estimates from market research firm iSuppli, manufacturers will ship approximately 550 million NFC-enabled phones in 2015. 

According to SimonsVoss Technologies, two modes of access or identity management with NFC are possible.
1. As a reader (reader/writer mode):
The smartphone acts like a card reader. This allows people to read cards or tags, for example, which are small RFID chips on so-called smart posters. Tags can include web links via which people are then redirected to websites where more information on the topic is available.

2. As a card (card emulation mode):
In this mode, the smartphone is basically an access control card, adopting protocols such as Mifare Classic and DESfire. In other words, smartphones can open doors this way.

Operations and mechanisms for the end user and administrator are exactly the same as before; it is just the handheld device, which used to be a plastic access card or badge, that is different now. (Image courtesy of SimonsVoss Technologies)

Smartphones can thus be furnished with access authorizations via mobile-phone networks and allow users NFC-based access to entry/exit points guarded by readers, locks, locking cylinders, smart handles and relays, SimonsVoss said in a prepared statement. In the past, facility management and maintenance personnel had to procure the corresponding keys for their duties from a key depot and return them again afterwards. With the new NFC-based key/card distribution capability, access authorizations can now be sent directly to the corresponding employees' smartphones from the headquarters at any specified time, or for limited periods of time in emergencies or replacement scenarios.

For the end user, it is as easy as downloading an app to their handset and waving it in front of a reader or lock. The system administrator simply assigns the access authorisation(s) to the user as how it was done previously: whenever something changes for a user with an NFC smartphone, a new smart card data set (Mifare Classic or DESFire) is generated automatically and pushed to a central, closed, over-the-air (OTA) key management server.

An important element for mobile access is over-the-air provisioning of digital keys and credentials to NFC-enabled smartphones. “In a hotel environment, guests receive electronic room keys on their smartphones so they can bypass the front counter when checking in,” Hulusi said, giving some real-life examples. “In a commercial environment, new employees receive their digital keys OTA so they can use their smartphones to gain access into a given building for their first day of work.”

To support these applications, a cloud-based provisioning model is advised. This will enable credential issuers to monitor and modify security parameters when needed, eliminate the risk of credential copying, issue temporary credentials as needed, and revoke credentials when devices are lost or stolen. “NFC-enabled smartphones would be very convenient and reliable universal platforms for carrying a variety of embedded keys and credentials that can be issued OTA, with improved convenience and security,” Hulusi said.

Since not all smartphone manufacturers make NFC capabilities innate yet, NFC attachments or shells are usually employed: iCartes for iPhones and microSDs for Android-based phones. These attachments, according to SimonsVoss, include an NFC chip for close-proximity communication and a secure element in which all security-critical information, such as passwords and access authorizations, are stored and cryptological calculations are performed.

Mobile Applications
Mobile wallet, file sharing, ticketing and loyalty programs are other emerging, promising NFC applications, said Jacek Debowski, Research Analyst at Frost & Sullivan. “A considerable amount of mobile-wallet applications has been introduced to the market, and Google becoming a provider of such applications is particularly noteworthy. Developers of mobile-wallet applications are actively partnering with mobile-network operators to widen the proliferation of their software and services, making mobile payment a key contributor to NFC proliferation and growth.”

Contactless payments and contactless access control go hand-in-hand with NFC-enabled phones or handhelds; interesting “apps” also include transit ticketing, data transfers and access to online digital content, Hulusi said. This makes it easy to combine multiple virtual credentials on a single device for things like secured facility access and the ability to make cashless payments at the facility's cafeteria. “Cashless, contactless payments are becoming increasingly popular in, for example, Canada. According to an August 2010 study by Technology Strategies International, an Ontario-based tech market research firm, a significant chunk of transactions in Canadian stores will be carried out using cashless-payment systems by 2014. The value of contactless transactions is expected to reach US$5.6 billion, and there is also strong interest in mobile payments,” Hulusi said.

In Japan, NFC-based payment systems are already installed in fast-food restaurants, subways, taxis and vending machines, Hulusi continued. “University campuses would also be ideal candidates for this technology. Students can use NFC mobile phones to enter buildings, pay for parking, make purchases, use transit systems, check out library materials, identify themselves before taking tests, and access computer resources.”

Peer-to-peer exchange, such as electronic business cards, interactive games (social gaming), and Bluetooth or WLAN connections, is also possible with NFC, according to SimonsVoss.

Although several initiatives that intend to propel NFC applications are taking place, the need for investment in supporting infrastructure, which translates to ensuring larger volumes of PoS terminals and smartphones that support NFC, presently appears to be a major cause of concern for the industry, Debowski said. “In accelerating market penetration, end-user confidence and data security are significant limiting factors.”

No More “Guess Who?”
We are entering a new era of digital keys and portable, digital identity credentials that can be securely provisioned and safely embedded into smartphones. “Deploying this new model requires a seamless, end-to-end ecosystem of products and technologies for mobile keys and credentials, including the smartphones that carry them, the readers that authenticate them, the locks they open, and the services for issuing them,” Hulusi said. “With the advent of the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) business mobility deployment model, IT managers know they must protect data that is accessed by devices owned by employees and brought into the enterprise. One-time passwords or soft tokens can be generated for NFC-enabled phones or devices to securely log on to and access the network.”

Debowski added that standardization and certification efforts are being made in the industry to improve the security levels, so that trusted service providers can develop access, payment and management applications in a secured, reliable and effective manner.

Is 3-D for Security?

Is 3-D for Security?

Editor / Provider: Alyssa Fann | Updated: 8/7/2012 | Article type: Tech Corner

Currently, 3-D technology is used in the security industry to create virtual 3-D environments — 3-D mapping — which is then integrated with a number of third party security systems, such as video surveillance, access control, intrusion detection and fire safety into a PSIM platform. Most of the companies currently providing this solution have partnered with a number of manufacturers in the security industry for the integration of hardware and software in order to exploit the benefits of 3-D. Fortem, for example, has listed its integration partners on its website.

Termed as a tool to gain situational awareness, 3-D can be beneficial in helping to mitigate false alarms, improve detection, reduce training time, increase speed of competency and finally, reduce search times in case of an event. Currently, it is mostly utilized in large facilities such as universities, airports or city surveillance projects. According to Debjit Das, VP of Global Marketing for Video Intelligence Solutions at Verint Systems, a 3-D model is created in PSIM using a layered approach. "The first layer is created using publicly available images and information about the areas, such as satellite images. Next, CAD drawings of floor plans and structures for the facilities are incorporated into the 3-D model."

At the same time, Rémi Bréval, Associate Director of Product Technologies at Genetec, pointed out that the “implementation of 3-D in security environments is leading, and in some cases bleeding edge technology that requires specialized knowledge and 3-D modeling expertise that may not exist in-house with integrators and end users. This is largely due to requirement for specialized knowledge of modeling and visualization tools and complex work involved in development of high fidelity 3-D environments."

“This expertise is not something common to the security industry, although there may be cases in which an integrator has nurtured in-house capabilities to support delivery of this functionality to its customers. In all cases, maintenance and updating of the 3-D environment will be an ongoing requirement that organizations need to factor into their implementation plan,” added Bréval.

2-D versus 3-D
What are the major differences between 2-D and 3-D when it comes to surveillance? Starting with the designing process, 3-D technology can maximize security budgets and provide what Cynthia Woo, Marketing Coordinator at Fortem, called “unparalleled situation awareness” that enables you to “see things that a 2-D design might have missed.” Woo provided the example of Fortem's 3-D simulation tool that allows users to try out camera and lens type on a 3-D simulated virtual map to visualize what the camera will see and at what resolution. Ultimately, Woo said, “prior to the purchase or installation of any camera, a 3-D map will allow you to effectively plan out your security design, reduce costs and meet all design requirements.” Similarly, Das agreed, “We offer 3-D to improve planning and response, ensure that the appropriate coverage of a facility is achieved. A 3-D model in PSIM provides better visualization and heightened situational awareness compared to a 2-D model, and in the planning and response process, it allows you to increase the effectiveness of your security operations."

Next, when it comes to the actual surveillance, 3-D technology promises to transform the experience. Accordingly, Woo said, “The major difference between 2-D and 3-D is the visualization aspect. With 3-D you are able to distinguish height and depth of a given area.” Similarly, Das summarized, “3-D provides better planning, easier visualization and hence a higher level of situational awareness for more effective response.”

Enhanced Visualization
A number of 3-D technology providers have partnered with PSIM service providers to provide an enhanced integrated security model. Accordingly, Ted Ingalsbe, CTO at Bridgeborn, said, “The 3-D environment is becoming the center piece of PSIM software. It provides the mashed up view of all the security system information integrated into PSIM software so an operator is provided better situational awareness.”

Benoit Georis, Analytics Expert at Digital Barriers, listed four benefits of 3-D technology in PSIM security platforms. First, 3-D technology provides consistency checks by removing false alarms that might arise from a lack of perspective management present in 2-D technology, such as showing that a person cannot jump over a high wall. Second, in what Gerois termed as “redeployable cameras,” a 3-D system is parameterized with real world 3-D parameters so that camera locations can be changed without the need to readjust settings, unlike a 2-D system which requires re-parameterizing. Third, industry experts all agree that 3-D technology can be integrated seamlessly with existing systems. Finally, a 3-D enabled security system can locate a suspicious person on a 3-D map of a site or building through information of the X, Y, Z location. In other words and as Woo said, “simply click on the 3-D map and you will be redirected to the appropriate video feeds, saving valuable time in critical situations.” For example, a 3-D PSIM platform such as Fortem's central command enables security staff to instantly view the site of concern when an alarm is triggered, alongside the corresponding video feeds. Next, as third party security systems can easily be integrated into the 3-D PSIM, security staff can easily “fly over an entire city or area for a full visualization of the surroundings” and alter the settings of third party security systems as required, such as unlocking or locking a door from an access control system that is connected to the PSIM. Furthermore, Woo added, “an investigator will be able to visualize possible routes that a suspect may have taken.”

Static and Immersive
Before getting into the nicks and crooks of investing in a 3-D PSIM system, it is necessary to differentiate between static and immersive 3-D technology. Keith Bloodworth, CEO of CNL Software, explained, “Static 3-D visualization is where a company is contracted to render a 3-D image, which is displayed within the PSIM software to which camera locations and fire points are added.” For example, an old CCTV system with multiple DVRs and a NVR can be modernized into 3-D by placing it upon a Google Map or SketchUp in a 3-D representation of the exterior/interior. While the improvement in quality will not be drastic, the integration of it into a PSIM system can be vastly beneficial to management and operation.

On the other hand, Bloodworth said, “immersive 3-D interacts with hardware to render the virtual environment and process the user input to provide a real sense of walking through a building. When cameras are overlaid on this, it creates a much richer user experience, allowing them to see more contextual information. The 3-D rendering is very process heavy, so requires lots of processor power. This adds significant costs to any deployment.” Hence, security budgets should be a factor in the process of adopting a 3-D PSIM system.

Scottish University Secured by Assa Abloy Access Solution

Scottish University Secured by Assa Abloy Access Solution

Editor / Provider: Assa Abloy | Updated: 8/3/2012 | Article type: Education

Security products such as door closers and locks from ASSA have been used throughout new halls of residence development in the University of the West of Scotland's campus in Paisley, Scotland.

The University of the West of Scotland's most northerly campus, in Paisley, Renfrewshire, caters for around 10,000 students with courses ranging from business and engineering to social sciences and midwifery.

A range of ASSA products – including the new ASSA ABLOY DC500A door closers, 765 Modular locks, Nordic U lever handles, Twin Combi cylinder locks and ASSURE panic hardware – were used to secure all areas of the new GBP 13.2 million student residences complex.

The products were specified by Hypostyle Architects, who worked with the ASSA Specification Team and Glasgow-based architectural ironmongers, Williams Ironmongery. Ian Carswell, who was responsible for selecting and supplying the products, said: “We specified ASSA products throughout the entire development, as we knew they had the product depth and range for an application of this size.”

ASSA's DC500A door closers were used to provide access for communal entrances and shared social facilities, with the cam-motion functionality enabling doors to be easily opened by disabled users or elderly visiting relatives.

Nordic U lever handles from the Scanflex range were used throughout the development to create uniform and minimalist aesthetics. The attractive door furniture was supported by high-security cylinders, such as the Twin Combi 5800, which is fully resistant to any known picking methods, and the 765 Modular locks.

Finally, panic hardware that has been tested and meets the requirements of BS EN 1125, including ASSURE 8761 and 8762, was installed on exit routes, thereby ensuring student and staff safety in the event of a fire or emergency.

Barry Harris, regional sales manager for ASSA ABLOY Security Solutions, said: “Our existing relationship with Williams Ironmongery and combined experience in the education sector meant we were confident that we could deliver our solutions on time and on budget. Williams' decision to source all access control and door-opening systems from one contact helped to reduce project costs and ensured a smooth supply and installation process.”

Stockholm Property Company Upgrades Access System Using Assa Abloy

Stockholm Property Company Upgrades Access System Using Assa Abloy

Editor / Provider: Assa Abloy | Updated: 7/9/2012 | Article type: Security 50

Property company Vasakronan is updating the access systems in two large buildings in central Stockholm. In the historic environment of the Westmanska Palatset conference center, the access system was switched to ASSA ARX one year ago. Now Vasakronan is continuing its modernization project in the Klara Zenit retail and commercial office block.

Klara Zenit is a property at the heart of the action, a modern city block occupied by retail, service commercial and residential uses with a total of 70,000 m2. The downtown Stockholm location requires high, stable security for the large and complex Klara Zenit block, where certain areas are difficult to visually monitor. Therefore Vasakronan is now upgrading its old RiTA access system to ASSA ARX. Vasakronan would like to have contactless readers, a more modern IT platform and an integrated telephone entry system.

Residents can easily use the touchscreen to reserve laundry times on the digital schedule board. The system uses the same contactless tags for identification that also provide access to the front door and the elevator. The ARX access system can also handle the new entry phones that are being installed, which will make it convenient for residents to receive visitors. Fewer separate security systems translate to easier administration and management.

Another part of the access system update involves domains for some of the commercial tenants. Businesses that have their own access systems for their own premises can manage building access. They can use the same cards or tags in either system, making it convenient for users.

The access system also controls access to the different floors in the nine elevators. Office tenants can use the card reader in the elevator to manage employee access rights to the floors.

Finally, Vasakronan wanted to create a cohesive access system for the entire block, which entailed replacing about one third of the code readers from another brand. The previous locking system was also replaced with an ASSA system.

Swedish Hotel Boosts Security With Assa Abloy Electronic Locks

Swedish Hotel Boosts Security With Assa Abloy Electronic Locks

Editor / Provider: Assa Abloy | Updated: 7/2/2012 | Article type: Security 50

The new Clarion Hotel Post in Gothenburg boasts high security with smart electronic locks. Products from ASSA and VingCard ensure that the right doors open for the right person, but also that they close.

Clarion Hotel Post chose VingCard Signature RFID for its system for hotel doors. Guests simply hold a contactless key card up to the door to open it. The card cannot be demagnetized and it is not encoded until the hotel guest checks in. It contains information such as the exact times during which the card is activated and the areas that the guest may access.

VingCard retrieves information about authorization and other details to be included on the guest's card from the hotel reservation system. As a result, guests can check in quickly and with a minimum risk of errors. If guests lose their cards, the problem is easily solved – just ask the front desk to make a new one. When the guest opens the door with the new card the lost card is no longer valid.

Door closer DC 340 was chosen for the hotel rooms, while door closer DC 700 is used for other types of door environments. The DC range was launched in autumn 2011 and features an updated design. One important reason is that the arms and slide rails are narrower than previously. And because the integrated mounting plate is not visible after installation, the door closers easily blend into the hotel environment.

In a room that seats up to 1,000 guests – the banquet hall at the Clarion Hotel Post – the emergency exit hardware must meet extra high demands. That's why the hotel uses ASSA 1141, an emergency exit device used for outward-opening doors. The device is combined with an electronic lock. On the outside is a VingCard reader, which is controlled by code and card. The emergency exit device with its electronic lock can handle not only evacuation, but also re-entry.

Security Simplified

Security Simplified

Editor / Provider: Hayden Hsu | Updated: 6/27/2012 | Article type: Hot Topics

By now, there is no doubt that IP and HD are trending, with SD representing less than 30 percent of global market share. As systems grow larger and more interconnected, individual sensors, products and user interfaces need to “grow” as well, to be more intelligent, easier to install and operate, and less taxing on network and storage resources.

With IP-based security systems, contractors, integrators and installers often struggle with network and storage issues the most. “Signal latency is somewhat acceptable in the data world, but not in the I/O-intensive surveillance world,” said Jeffrey Burgess, President of BCDVideo. “Many people would just drop the megapixel resolution to get the data moving, avoiding bottlenecking but losing what they originally paid for.” The pains have not gone unnoticed; a number of security solution providers have actually risen to the challenge.

From the ground up, the integrator community and end users need to understand that IP-based systems are not simply about connections of sensors, but information and situation management. “You have to take noise out of data, and only send alarm-triggered video, events and logs to the relevant party through a Web-based, vendor-agnostic, policy-driven platform,” said Darren Chalmers-Stevens, EMEA Director for Vidsys. This controlled manner of information collection and distribution helps cut down system cost and boost system availability and value.

Within any security environment or installation, security or IT managers usually look to video surveillance when the system or network goes down. The easiest to blame are typically the multimegapixels and HD video quality that modern network cameras promise to deliver. “Are higher pixel counts always required? Not necessarily,” said Steve Ma, VP of Engineering and Operations, Vivotek. “The trick is in application-specific triggers. With IP, there are cleverer and better ways of getting things done. For example, we can use H.264 SVC profile to make sure bandwidth use is flexible and can be minimized when necessary. With more powerful CPUs and mature algorithms, solution providers like us can help customers accomplish their missions more efficiently with better customizations and services.”

For enterprise and government applications, seamless integration, simplicity and intelligence are what Ma thinks critical considerations in design, planning and implementation. “Just to name a few, 360-degree fisheye coupled with PTZ cameras, software-adjustable lens angles and smart streaming capabilities can all save operators, business owners and system integrators a great deal of headaches in installation, operation and maintenance.”

Some solution providers go to great lengths in bringing the same analog video user experience to the IP world. “Four to five years of hard R&D work in perfecting our IP product lines are finally paying off,” said Jason Hill, Group VP of Merit LILIN. “The first quarter for us showed 800-percent revenue growth in IP, compared to the same period last year. We are bringing a unified, intuitive interface, low-light performance and unparalleled user experience to our new channel partners in IT/infrastructure distribution, audio/visual and telecommunications.”

Software innovation and flexibility are key to continued success, echoed Jurgen Klijn, Senior VP of EMEA, IndigoVision. “At the moment, our easy-to-use interface integrates 26 subsystems off the shelf. We remain open, and we don't charge for extra workstations, alarms, added features or third-party integration. The landscape today is different; product rollouts are much easier. We will continue to update our software offerings twice a year, focusing on large-area resilience and hardware compatibility.”

While access control and intrusion detection systems are less demanding of network and storage resources, making it easy for the installer and end user is a common goal shared by solution providers. “We are simplifying the world, with one single credential that reads and accesses all,” said Johan Molin, Head of Global Technologies and President and CEO, Assa Abloy. In driving sales growth in difficult times, cost savings are a “feel-good” enabler for all parties involved. Assa Abloy also works with a new wireless locking mechanism that is powered by electromagnetic energy generated by the key's friction, saving batteries and resources in both installation and maintenance.

In access control, another key development is wireless technology for keyless buildings, as installation and expansion costs are significantly reduced. “Data is actually stored on the card and transmitted through our own secured, virtual network,” said Keith Carey, UK Marketing Manager at Salto Systems. “This kind of technology is easier for our partners to service and works well in student accommodations, hospitals, hotels and corporate buildings.”

Unified control calls for a unified interface. Tyco has a preconfigured, pre-enabled server box that oversees combined intrusion, access and video functions. “Simplicity is a great value proposition,” said Tony Mann, Sales Director of Intrusion Products for the U.K. and Ireland, Tyco Security Products. “Look at Apple in the consumer market; security is going exactly the same way. We make sure our installers don't need to worry about boxes and configurations.” Battery life of wireless products is also extended to five to eight years with corporate-grade reliability, eliminating unnecessary installer dispatch and user headaches.

Size Doesn't Matter
Simplicity is not just needed in large-scale projects or installations. “Our server solution was designed specifically for the small- to medium-sized market, with 20 to 100 readers and 8 to 32 IP cameras,” said Leon Langlais, Product Management Director for Residential and Small Business, Tyco Security Products. “At aggressive price points, we address all the issues that installers care about: speed of installation, reliability and third-party integration, so that they can continue to grow with us even in difficult times.” For example, the fact that no wireless repeaters are needed (thanks to the Visonic acquisition) and installation time is cut from two weeks to two days makes it rather easy to sell, even to the cost-conscious bunch.

To see all the security components work well together also requires good software interfaces and hardware displays. Examples include Milestone Systems, Honeywell Security and eyevis, which offer scalable solutions fit for mid-sized commercial applications but can “grow” with organizational needs. Milestone's new software version is an adaptable, easy-to-use client application for daily operations; the streamlined interface helps improve usability, making it easy to monitor installations of all sizes, access live video, investigate security incidents and export recordings. Through solutions like this, a uniquely efficient working environment can be provided and optimized for different tasks and operator requirements; Milestone, for instance, provides the option to choose dark or light themes for different working environment needs to further improve work flow.

Honeywell has a similar goal in mind, to provide sophisticated security systems that are scalable, easy to manage and easy to customize, with hybrid technology to minimize disruption to the client's business during the transition from analog to IP. Solutions for the residential and SMB market segments are also available and can work with other enterprise or government solutions.

And at the end of the day, it all comes down to what the operator's eyes can see. HD backlight displays from eyevis are preconfigured to work with a number of video and building management software packages that are easy to navigate, customizable and flexible. “Our complete, attractive package is easy on the eye and caters to exactly what operators need,” said Eric Hénique, Director of Marketing and International Sales for eyevis. “Our solution can be preset, for example, to reflect day/night shift formats. So, demand from international markets like Asia and the Middle East is really growing, and we are expanding our production facilities to meet that demand.”

Getting High
Another way of making things easy for all involved — and an industry buzzword — is the cloud. Manufacturers, distributors, system integrators, central stations, and even telcos and cable companies the world over are offering a myriad of possibilities, targeted at residential, SMB and remote applications. Take UK distributor Norbain. It works with Axis, Panasonic, Vista and Vivotek to provide installers and service providers with plug-and-play cameras and maintains its own cloud VMS and a data center, bypassing all the headaches associated with IP equipment configuration and maintenance. “The service represents a great opportunity for our installers to offer new services to new or existing markets,” said Andrew Pigram, Technical Director. “The joy of the service is also that because it utilizes mobile technology that end users already own and are comfortable operating, it breaks down the traditional cost and technical barriers to entry.”

With everything processed and stored on a virtual network, other hardware and energy cost savings can be easily demonstrated to the end user. “We have one application with more than 400,000 users and 64,000 doors running on and managed by one single PC,” Carey said.

According to Jonas Andersson, Chairman of the Steering Committee of ONVIF, industry standards are also becoming easier to understand, follow, and pick and choose. Profiles, much like those in Wi-Fi technology, are being developed for backward and forward compatibility in network cameras, recorders and other security products. It is a clear sign of an increasingly mature industry and technology, and exciting times for interesting applications and collaboration opportunities.

Assa Abloy Locking Solution Safeguards HK Gov. Building

Assa Abloy Locking Solution Safeguards HK Gov. Building

Editor / Provider: Assa Abloy | Updated: 6/20/2012 | Article type: Security 50

Tamar is the government headquarters in Hong Kong. Assa Abloy Hong Kong provided the door hardware and locking solutions that would cater to the building's complex security needs.

Hong Kong's government relocated The Central Government Complex, Legislative Council building to the Tamar building. It is the administrative and executive hub of the Hong Kong government. The building complex also contains an open space for the public such as recreational facilities.

The Hong Kong SAR government's architectural service department supervised the whole design and building project to make sure all the hardware specified fulfilled the security and safety requirements and architectural regulations in Hong Kong.

Assa Abloy Hong Kong was chosen to provide full package of door hardware from locking solutions to escape hardware including 4,000 units of high security Assa (DP440 series) cylinders and 200 sets of Abloy door automatics solutions.

The project involved advanced specifications, as the different government departments housed on the site all have their own security requires. For example the door of the chief executives officer's office needed to be bullet-proof and explosion-proof, while keeping the look of the door neat and stylish.

Assa Abloy Turning Profits From Emerging Markets

Assa Abloy Turning Profits From Emerging Markets

Editor / Provider: Hayden Hsu | Updated: 6/21/2012 | Article type: Security 50

A key element of Assa Abloy's rapid expansion has been identifying and building up relationships with potential acquisitions, successfully acquiring them, and equally successfully integrating them into the group. The company has now made over 150 acquisitions. The company's journey can also be described as one from mechanical locks to complete door-opening solutions that meet increasing demands for personal and physical security as well as user friendliness.

In Q1 of 2012, revenue grew 25 percent; profit also went up 22 percent, with key contributing regions being Asia, Eastern Europe, South Africa and South America. “The U.S. is also doing quite well, but Europe is a bit slow,” said Johan Molin, Head of Global Technologies and President and CEO, Assa Abloy. “We are simplifying the world, with one single credential that reads and accesses all. It's an important message for the industry.” To make things even easier, Assa Abloy also has a new wireless lock cylinder that is powered by the key's electromagnetic energy and requires zero batteries, saving resources in both installation and maintenance.

Molin was confident in reaching this year's targets with his global teams, and his only concern was that he could not grow this company even faster.

Bosch Ensures German Castle Security and Safety

Bosch Ensures German Castle Security and Safety

Editor / Provider: Bosch Security Systems | Updated: 6/18/2012 | Article type: Security 50

High above the Sonnenstein district of Pirna lies Sonnenstein Castle, a partially preserved 13th-century fortress that was originally built to protect the trade routes from Stolpen to Prague and from Konigstein to Meissen. Situated on a rocky plateau about 70 meters above the Elbe, the castle has had a colorful history over the centuries, and since December 2011 has housed the administrative headquarters' district administration office of the region. As part of a public-private partnership (PPP) between the district and the Bilfinger Berger construction group (a partnership that was honored by the PPP 2011 innovation prize in Berlin on May 3, 2011), the historic building complex was fully renovated and converted in less than three years. Construction work began in January 2009 and by December 2011, Sonnenstein Castle was ready for business again. Bosch Security Systems was tasked with providing security measures at the fortress. The complexity of the site and the specific regulations relating to listed buildings meant that Bosch had to overcome a range of challenges both in terms of planning and construction.

Covering a total area of 17,700 m2, the building complex consists of the "town" wing and "Elbe" wing, as well as a car park, gatehouse, cafeteria, and library, with the car park also providing space for the public order office vehicles.

In order to protect the historic site, the series 5000 modular fire detection system was installed along with 540 fire detectors. Smoke extraction systems are used in areas that require higher levels of security, such as the server and IT rooms to ensure that fire is detected at an early stage. All emergency exit doors are also controlled via the fire panel.

More than 150 motion detectors and over 400 window and door contact points guarantee security and provide continuous monitoring via two networked intrusion control panels (MAP5000). Entry to the different areas of the building can be controlled separately. While some areas can be freely accessed by the public, other areas – such as the IT rooms – are permanently alarmed, and must only be entered by those with special admission rights. The site management also made some additional requests, such as automatic heating regulation. This requirement was met by fitting magnetic contacts to the windows. These send signals to the intrusion control panel, from where they are transmitted to the central building control system via a data interface. If it is reported that a window is open in a certain area, the heating valves are adjusted accordingly. The pay stations in the public area of the car park are also secured via an intrusion control panel.

In order to regulate access by both district administration office employees and guests, a system was installed that combines an online access control system with offline readers and digital Pegasys locking cylinders. The identification carriers for the system are multi-functional, contact-free proximity tokens that use the BSI-certified MIFARE DesFIRE EV1 method of reading and encryption. Management and administration tasks are carried out via the BIS Access Engine management system. This software also controls the numerous motor locks on all of the automatic doors. The task of integrating the existing personnel time recording system into the new system represented a particular challenge. However, the multi-functional Bosch access control system proximity tokens were able to solve this problem. Fitting them with an integrated chip in order to use printers and photocopiers means that just one single medium is required for regulating access, operating bollards and barriers, recording personnel times.

When it comes to technology, the renovation of Sonnenstein Castle and the security measures that were put in place have truly made it a 21st-century building.

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