Salto Wireless Access Control Secures Irish Institute

Salto Systems access control system using smart card technology and wireless networking provides secure access for students and staff at institute of higher education in Cork.


A high-tech research building at Ireland's Cork Institute of Technology has been equipped with Salto's wireless access control system to create a totally keyless environment.


Research is a core dimension of CIT and all main research activity is primarily organized around three Strategic Research Clusters. One of these is the new Nimbus Centre for Embedded Systems Research, which has been awarded a major research and infrastructure grant from Ireland's Higher Education Authority's Programme for Research in Third-Level Institutions (PRTLI) to establish a national facility for Networked Embedded Systems (NES) research and the Internet of Things.


The infrastructure grant has provided a two-floor 1,805 square meters building with accommodation for up to 90 researchers and support staff, state of the art hardware development laboratories, teaching and learning facilities, and spaces for knowledge transfer and interaction with industry. The building also includes a large and adaptable demonstration space which allows for practical demonstrations of NES applications arising out of the research carried out in the building.


Key control was paramount in such an environment so right from the start the design specification for the building called for the latest in RFID electronic locking systems to be incorporated in order that the Institute had total control over who was able to access what, where and when at all times. Backing this up was the equally important requirement to have real time full audit trail capability to provide 24/7 critical security management protection.


In order to achieve this and create a truly intelligent building that could be totally keyless, a secure system was needed to control access via Mifare contactless smart cards which would also double up as photo ID cards. It would also need to deliver everything that a secure hard wired system would provide but more cost effectively and in a mix of online and offline stand-alone wire free formats.


Besides the electronic door hardware, the heart of the new access control system is its Salto Virtual Network (SVN) software. This enables locks and key cards to be updated remotely and access profiles to be changed rapidly adding real value to the access management of the building. It also eliminates the physical restrictions of traditional stand alone electronic locks and can integrate with other third-party systems to allow ID cards and locks to be updated, restricted or deleted remotely.


The smart ID cards build up on-card audit trails through normal use, giving Cork Institute of Technology complete control over access and enabling them to track the movement of staff and visitors through both the offline and online parts of the system if required. This enables a complete access profile of each individual to be established and updated as necessary at the updater or 'hot spot' wall readers.


Any ID cards that get lost or stolen can be quickly and simply deleted from the system just by visiting the readers with updated cards. The system also greatly reduces the number of visits necessary to offline doors, since user data is simply transferred on cards by normal use. This eliminates the traditional need to replace locks if security is breached due to the loss or theft of an ID card.

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