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Wireless 2.0: New Uses (and Opportunities) for Wireless Security

  
  
  


Article contributed by: Peter Boriskin, Director of Product Management, Electronic Access Control, ASSA ABLOY

The world is going mobile, and commercial and residential security is no exception.

The advent of wireless locking systems and mobile access has marked a major advance in electronic access control (EAC) capabilities, enabling the installation of wireless locks in locations that were previously inaccessible or impractical using conventional wired or mechanical locks.

Aperio Wireless Cabinet LockFor example, instead of a hospital locking up all its drugs in a central pharmacy, they can put the drugs into cabinets in the patients’ rooms. Each cabinet would have a wireless lock that is linked to the central access control system. This speeds delivery of drugs to patients, improves the operational efficiency of the staff and provides a complete audit trail of exactly which cabinet was opened by which staff member and when.

Wireless systems offer significant savings compared to the labor and expense of installing a wired system. Most significantly, they offer control capabilities not possible with conventional wired EAC systems. Their advantages are so compelling that integrators and businesses should start looking at ways to utilize wireless access control beyond traditional security-only uses.

Wireless 2.0 Applications

These next-generation “Wireless 2.0” applications open up entirely new areas of implementation and profit potential. Let’s look at a couple examples:

  • Fast food restaurants are moving toward wireless access control as a way to manage personnel. Using a mobile phone with a one-time PIN code, full-time and temporary workers can obtain entry to the restaurant – and this access information is reported to the owner, who will know when the restaurant was opened and that it is properly staffed even if he or she isn’t there. The expense of issuing keys or the risk of having them stolen is eliminated, along with the possibility of someone obtaining the code to a PIN lock by unauthorized means.

  • Universities are also looking at utilizing smart phones, which most students carry, for access and network authentication in addition to physical ID/access cards (which will be used more for identification purposes). Systems like ASSA ABLOY’s Seos offer a comprehensive means of issuing and, if necessary, revoking digital keys to NFC (near-field communication)-enabled smart phones. Seos is designed to leverage the secure mobile infrastructure that is already in place. It’s as much about convenience as security – if a student loses his or her phone (hardly a rare occurrence!), their digital keys can be removed over the air and re-issued to their new phone – something that can’t be done with a plastic card.

But what about wireless system compatibility?

Commercial Residential Mobile AccessEven if a user’s apartment, place of business, or other locations they frequent all have wireless access, odds are they might not all be on the same wireless system. There may be a Yale Real Living keyless door lock on the apartment, a SARGENT wireless lock on the office door, dozens of Aperio wireless locks on the server cabinets in the company’s data center. Instead of confusion, complications, or limited access, in the near future a Seos-enabled phone will let users have access to anywhere they need to go without having to carry multiple credentials. Better compatibility means happier customers – and expanded profit opportunities for integrators offering universal wireless system compatibility.

Heightened security, complete access control, total monitoring capabilities, complete convenience – it’s hard not to see that wireless access control systems offer tremendous growth opportunities.

What else do integrators need to consider for Wireless 2.0?

Aside from new applications, what should integrators consider in making the move to Wireless 2.0? Make it future-proof.

Any technology an integrator implements should be upgradeable in terms of infrastructure and credentials. Also, consider that wireless and networking systems require a level of IT knowledge that might require some additional training for some or all of your staff. It’s an investment that will pay off as wireless access control is an industry that’s only going to get bigger and bigger.

Above all, think about new ways in which wireless security systems can be used. The “intelligent” capabilities of Wireless 2.0 can be used to target specific customer segments and create tailor-made solutions that make life more convenient and secure for your customers. Can you install a system that eliminates constantly issuing, changing, keeping track of and losing keys and credentials? Can you give customers peace of mind by solving their access control needs – or by identifying solutions to potential problems they might not even realize they had?

Wireless security isn’t just about keeping a home or facility locked up anymore. It’s about making your customers’ lives easier.

2015 IBC Overview: How Will It Affect Your Business?

  
  
  


Article contributed by: Dick Kreidel, Vice President Strategic Initiatives, ASSA ABLOY EMS&OEM Group

In IBC (International Building Code) 2015, the Means of Egress Chapter (Chapter 10) covers numerous significant changes. These revisions are the biggest related to magnetic locking in the 15-year history of the International Building Code.

Maglock Family

IBC 2015 finally stops making incremental changes

There have been some basic misunderstandings in the building code concerning magnetic locks. The International Code Council (ICC) says the questions it receives the most are about these sections regarding magnetic locks and delayed egress.

The ICC was interested in cleaning up this problem, as was ASHE, the American Society of Healthcare Engineering. All the changes made sense, not only in healthcare but in many other occupancy types as well. That’s why we see these wholesale changes in IBC 2015.

Let’s take a closer look at five key changes that may affect your organization now or in the near future.

#1. “Special Locking Arrangements” becomes “Controlled Egress Doors”

This encompasses an entire section and has been retitled “Controlled Egress Doors” in Group I-2. Group I-2 consists of hospitals and nursing homes with more than five patients who receive care on a 24-7 basis and are incapable of self-preservation. On a related note, occupancy class has been expanded to include I-1 as well as I-2 under IBC 2015. 

For many years, code officials, end users and governments had differing interpretations of what “Special Locking Arrangements” meant. Often misinterpreted, this section has now been clarified. The section also now specifically names magnetic locks in contrast to generic locking systems.

#2. “Delayed Egress Locks” becomes “Systems”

iMXDa Mag Lock

"Delayed egress locks" is now being described as “delayed egress locking systems.” Multiple delays are now allowed in the egress path making it more consistent with NFPA 101, which had dropped a number of restrictions in 2009.

Nuisance delays have been defined, and the biggest change is the code now separates delay electronics from the lock. This allows the exterior side of the door to remain locked while the interior egress side goes from delayed egress to free egress. This solves many objections security managers have with delayed egress locks by ensuring that building security is maintained.

#3. “Access Controlled Egress Doors” becomes “Sensor Release of Electrically Locked Egress Doors”

This section has created confusion because of the title. It does not have anything to do with access control. It is concerned with reliable egress from access-controlled doors. To eliminate that, it’s been retitled “Sensor Release of Electrically Locked Egress Doors.” Again, magnetic locking systems are specifically mentioned.

#4. Sensor technology is evolving and allows many different types of sensors to be used 

Another change in the electromagnetically locked egress door section allows hardware with built-in switches to release the magnets.

This means life safety exit devices and fire-rated exits that have built-in switches are now allowed to unlock and lock doors with magnets. This was approved in IBC 2012, but 2015 changes will remove ambiguity, making it less open to local interpretation.

#5. Required UL 294 listing

In these sections in IBC 2015, all locks—magnetic locks, lock systems and lock components—require a UL 294 listing. UL 294 is a security standard that ensures these locking systems will work together and provide for safe egress.

How will these changes benefit end users?

1. Magnetic locking systems are now specifically mentioned in the building code. It allows you to use magnetic locks with existing hardware that is embedded in them.

2. These components must be UL 294 listed. This ensures that the function of the hardware in both design and manufacture is at the highest level and appropriate for ensuring safe egress from buildings.

What magnetic lock options are available to the end user now?

Securitron M680BD closedSecuritron M680BD open

IBC 2012 is slowly being adopted. But what is available to end users today is the ability to take existing language, for example IBC 2012 or IBC 2015, and request local approval and variances for installations.

Many county and state building officials will allow installations that are in line with IBC 2012 and IBC 2015 by product demonstrations and showing them later versions of the code.

How do I know everyone in my organization will always be able to get out of the building safely?

That is a valid concern. The single biggest issue Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs) have when permitting magnets is ensuring that people aren’t locked in the building. In fact, the number one reason for disapproval of magnets is that the relevant AHJ doesn’t know how to ensure the installation is done correctly.

ASSA ABLOY has developed a simple test

Our test ensures that the magnets installed are installed correctly. And anyone can perform the field test. They don’t have to be an expert. Push and hold the exit bar (or touch a Touch Sense Bar) and open/close the door while holding the bar depressed. If the door re-locks when the door re-closes or after the allotted time in the electronic access control system (card swipe time), then it is wired incorrectly – the exit bar is not directly interrupting the maglock power. The lock should remain unlocked indefinitely while depressing the exit bar.

What’s the bottom line on IBC 2015?

IBC 2015 eliminates much of the confusion and ambiguity of the previous versions of the code. It was created not by industry but by a coalition of healthcare professionals and the ICC: end users and industry working together to clarify the necessarily complex but occasionally ambiguous building code.

From 2015 on, we have a very clear definition on the safe use of magnets, both for free egress and delayed egress.

Your next step

Download our free handbook, “Code Inspector’s Handbook for Understanding Electric Hardware.” It’s packed with information such as a glossary of common electrified locking terms, common electrified locking solutions, new codes affecting electrified hardware, the history of the conflict between codes and electromagnetic locks, and much more.

How is a Door like a Toothbrush?

  
  
  


Article contributed by: Adam Auer, Product Manager, Securitron, ASSA ABLOY Americas

Wireless power transfer brings new flexibility to electrified door hardware.

A common issue when installing electrified door hardware is how to bring power to a moving, swinging or sliding door. Currently available solutions run power wires from the frame to the door through an electrified hinge, an armored cable, or through spring-loaded fingers.

PowerJump ICPTSecuritron® has developed a new method of transferring power to a moving door – magnetic inductive coupling. Power is transferred across the door gap using a two-piece system that operates on the same principles used in cordless toothbrushes and cell phone charging mats. This safe and flexible product is called the Securitron PowerJump™ ICPT (Inductive Coupling Power Transfer). The power pathway is invisible and undetectable to door users, making it a tamper-resistant option.

Currently available solutions share some common issues in regards to installation, durability and security. For example, hinge and cable transfers require an additional step of moving the wires across the door from the hinge side to the lock. This is usually accomplished by drilling a long tunnel through the center of the door. Drilling through an already installed door requires specialized training and tools, making electrified locks a less popular option for retrofit.

Traditional power transfers rely on moving parts, which over time may expose the internal wires to pinching, friction or wear from repeated opening and closing of the door. With use, the hinges and moving parts may bind and the wires may break, requiring repair and maintenance. The PowerJump ICPT has no moving parts or wires across the gap eliminating the risks of friction, wear or accidental breakage.

How It Works

The Securitron PowerJump ICPT uses the principles of inductive coupling and magnetic fields to conduct power from one unit to the other. The frame-side unit is connected to a 24VDC power supply and positioned parallel to a door-side installed in the door. The door unit connects to the electrified lock or latch. The two units can be separated by up to 3/16ths inch air gap and can provide up to 500 milliamps of sustained power in 12VDC or up to 250 milliamps in 24VDC. Voltage output is field-selectable. The unit can support momentary inrush of up to 1.5 Amps for up to 500 milliseconds.

Check out a quick video to see how it works.

What is Inductive Coupling?

Inductive coupling for power transfer is widely used in consumer products. Cordless electric toothbrushes and cell phone charging mats harness inductive coupling to charge batteries.

The technology is based on magnetic properties discovered by Michael Faraday and Nikola Tesla more than a hundred years ago. Faraday is credited with discovering the ability of magnetic fields to create or “induce” an electrical charge in 1831. Nikola Tesla, most famous for scientific contributions that led to the creation of the modern power grid, expanded on this idea, demonstrating the possibilities of wireless power through inductive coupling in the 1890s.

Inductive CouplingInductive coupling is the result of magnetic fields that are generated during the flow of electricity. A conductor, such as wire, generates a magnetic field when a fluctuating current is applied. When a second conductor is brought into the changing magnetic field, it also becomes magnetized. This induces a voltage on the second conductor. The two conductors are now inductively coupled. By separating the two conductors slightly, power can “Jump” across the gap safely, without wires or physical contact.

Magnetic induction is fundamental to power generation and transmittal in transformers, generators and motors. The Securitron PowerJump ICPT uses the principles of inductive coupling to jump power across the gap between frame and door.

The Power of Flexibility 

Installation of the PowerJump ICPT is very flexible.

The system can be used in:

  • A variety of door types (aluminum, metal or wood)

  • In any configuration (on the latch side, hinge side or top of the door)

The PowerJump can be installed wherever an installer would like the Power to Jump the gap.

PowerJump with Adams Rite 4300The unit is ideal for use with electrified locks, such as the Adams Rite® 4300 Steel Hawk operating in fail secure mode. Devices with output wires for latchbolt monitoring, door position or request to exit are not currently supported by the PowerJump.  

To ease installation, the PowerJump comes with self-adhesive, templates that guide the installer through proper alignment and preparation of the frame and door. Like a traditional wired solution the frame and door side units have two-wire flying leads to connect power to the electrified door hardware.

Installers and integrators will find many new uses for the Securitron PowerJump ICPT in place of wired power connections. More information about the Securitron PowerJump can be found at www.securitron.com or by asking your local Securitron distributor.

Let us know about any new or interesting uses you can think of in the comments section below.

Three Factors Impacting Campus Access Control and ID Credentials

  
  
  


Article contributed by: Peter Boriskin, Director of Product Management – Electronic Access Control, ASSA ABLOY Americas

College CampusToday’s college campuses are the perfect environment for emerging credential technologies. With student populations that tend to be very tech savvy, they are often eager to be first to use the latest and greatest innovations. College students are also essentially attached to their smart phones, relying on them for everything from social interaction to news and entertainment. With the advent of NFC (Near Field Communication) and the ability to use a mobile phone and digital keys to unlock doors, there is no doubt that college campuses will start migrating their credentials to phone based technology over the next few years.

However, there are three important factors that will impact this migration:

1. The Acceptance of NFC/Mobile Keys

The use of the mobile phone as a credential is largely contingent upon people’s willingness to use their phone in place of traditional card credentials. What we’re seeing, especially on college campuses, is that users are not only willing to accept, but beginning to expect this convenience as an increasing number of services become available through mobile phones.

One of the biggest concerns we hear about is “what happens if I lose my phone?”. This concern is easily addressed. First, we find that most college students are far more likely to misplace keycards than their cherished cell phones. Even in less progressive environments, people today are generally very conscious of having their cell phones on them at all times. In the event that a student does lose their phone, the digital keys stored on the device can easily be revoked over the air, removing any access privileges instantaneously.  Also, with many services across campus, from buying lunch to accessing dorm rooms or offices, accessible via NFC-enabled smart phones, students and faculty will not have to remember multiple cards.

2. Ensuring Identity Security

Seos phone with SE LP10 MortiseLock 100pxEvents in recent history have made security on college campuses more critical (and visible) than ever. We would not expect to see college campuses begin to use NFC or mobile access without the assurance of the highest level of identity security. This can be accomplished using technology that provides multi-layered security to ensure data authenticity, privacy, and tamper-proof protection of keys. Digital keys must be delivered with end-to-end encryption. In order to ensure they are safe on arrival, they should be stored securely on SIM cards or embedded secure elements. To provide this chain of trust, a complete infrastructure must be in place for issuing, delivering and revoking digital keys on mobile phones with NFC technology.

Existing card technologies like MIFARE require specific hardware support in the handset since they can’t be directly emulated by an application without the proper chip. This could become a limitation when using NFC phones to open doors since handsets may not always support the chip technologies. This is one of the reasons we have developed a new credential technology, Seos, which can be downloaded over the air to any standard Secure Element.

3. Seamless Migration

Corbin Russwin Access 700 IP-Enabled LockAnother important consideration for campuses is a migration path from their existing card systems. College campuses often have mixed populations using any combination of magnetic stripe and contactless credentials, such as prox or iCLASS. Locks like the Corbin Russwin Access 700 and the SARGENT Passport 1000 are designed specifically to address this issue. As campuses begin to adopt mobile access technologies, they will need lock solutions that can support legacy credentials as well as NFC-enabled mobile phones.  

 

 

Going Mobile

Mobile phones are becoming ever more pervasive on college campuses. Over the next two to five years, as NFC becomes available in more and more smart phones, schools will be able to leverage the technology in a number of ways. Students and staff will be able to access any number of services from their smart phones, whether its unlocking doors or cashless transactions at the university book store. Students will come to expect the convenience of using their smart phones for door access, while parents and universities will appreciate, if not demand, the heightened security it provides. 

Watch our video to learn more about Seos technology. Share your thoughts in the comments box below.

Providing safe and secure classrooms

  
  
  


Article contributed by: Chris Gaughan, Director of Product Management - Commercial Mechanical Products, Architectural Hardware Group, ASSA ABLOY

Last week, we discussed the urgent topic of improving the security of our schools. Given the critical nature of this subject, and our important roles as security professionals, we’d like to go into more detail of one of the topics we addressed last week. 

Specifically, how can we help school professionals react quickly in the face of an emergency or crisis like the tragic events that recently took place in Newtown, CT?

School security solutionsOn the surface, a school’s mission seems quite clear – to teach, to nurture, to educate. Whether it’s an elementary school, a high school or a university, all are places where students are free to explore and learn about the world around them. The tools needed for a school to be successful seem rather obvious: teachers, books, and chalkboards, just to name just a few. But just as important is a safe and secure environment.

Securing a sense of freedom

Though tragedies of the sort that have shocked the country in recent years remain anomalies, every school has to plan for the worst. Government authorities and school administrators are tasked with the challenge of securing students and staff, while not allowing fear to dictate the atmosphere and attitude of a school.

Here at ASSA ABLOY, we strive to address the security needs of many types of facilities, including schools, by pairing innovative access control technologies with practical applications. Because security should provide peace of mind and a feeling of freedom, these solutions should not be top of mind for everyday users, but quick and easy to use if or when they are needed. 

Innovation meets practical application

A specific example of innovation combined with practical application is our radio frequency (RF) fob with panic button. Used with electronic locks, the panic button quickly locks the door from almost anywhere inside the classroom to prevent entry by intruders. A light on the inside of the lock indicates the door is secure and provides assurance for teachers and staff.

This solution provides the educational community with faster reaction times and easy operation in the confusion of an emergency, both of considerable value when children are at risk.

Both the Access 800® AC2 from Corbin Russwin and the Profile Series v.G1.5 from SARGENT offer panic button functionality. This solution provides the educational community with faster reaction times and easy operation in the confusion of an emergency, both of considerable value when children are at risk.

Stand-alone electronic lock with RF FobThis panic button functionality offers several key benefits:

  • Locks the door from up to 75 feet away inside the room

    • Saves critical seconds in securing a classroom

    • Eliminates the need to approach the door or enter the hallway

  • Disables user credentials to ensure only proper authorities can access the room

  • Provides peace of mind

    • The door stays locked even if fob is pressed repeatedly

    • An interior indicator flashes red to show the door is in lockdown

  • Maintains a safe environment

    • Always allows free egress from the inside

Simple and effective, the SARGENT and Corbin Russwin stand-alone locks with RF panic button functionality combine innovative technology with practical application. Developed with the education community in mind, they enable easy everyday access to classrooms, and also provide extra assurance in life-threatening emergencies.

Are you a security professional faced with the responsibility of helping schools quickly address their address their security requirements? Share some of the challenges and successes you're experiencing in the comments box below. 

Improving Your School’s Security In An Emergency: What You Can Do Now

  
  
  


Article contributed by: Chris Gaughan, Director of Product Management - Commercial Mechanical Products, Architectural Hardware Group, ASSA ABLOY Americas

The Sandy Hook tragedy has brought school security to the top of everyone’s minds. While the safety of students has always been paramount, in the wake of the horrifying events in Newtown, Connecticut, the urgency has never been greater to improve the security of our schools – and do it now.

In the event of a school emergency, being prepared is the best defense. A secure facility keeps unauthorized individuals from entering the building, protects from dangers from within the school and ensures ready or controlled egress as necessary. However, each school is unique and there’s no “one size fits all” security solution. That said, there are a number of steps that can be taken to improve a school’s short-term security, even while mapping out a long-term plan.

School

What’s Needed?

In brief, a school’s security system needs to do the following:

  • Control and monitor access, using either traditional locking solutions – locks and exit devices – or combined with access control technology.
  • Quickly secure a classroom from the inside with the aid of specially designed lockset functions.
  • Provide a safe means of egress from the building with exit devices.

To accomplish these objectives, companies like ASSA ABLOY offer a wide range of solutions, from mechanical locks to networked access control systems that provide an entire facility with real-time lockdown capability. In every case, school administrators should consult with a certified security professional to ensure that the best solution is implemented for their facility.

What Should You Do Right Now?

The first order of business is to make sure that perimeter doors and critical interior spaces that can serve as areas of refuge, such as classrooms, are secured.

Start with the fundamentals: Check all existing openings for basic functionality. 

  • Do all doors easily close and latch? 
  • Does the hardware operate?
  • TIP: Remove door stops from outer doors, such as those commonly used for recess areas. Door stops can block doors from closing quickly should the need arise.

Review your key control:

  • Are a master key and key control system in use? 
  • If so, what are the key control policies? 
  • Do you know where all of your keys are? 
  • Does your key system have procedures in place to prevent unauthorized distribution?
  • Any gray areas in the system must be addressed immediately.
  • TIP: If you find that your key system is not properly managed, the quickest course of action is to update your cylinders. If budget is a concern, perimeter doors are the highest priority.

Determine your long-term vision for the school's security and create a plan to achieve that vision.

Establish the best locking scenario for every door in your facility. Typical options include:
  • The door remains locked throughout the day, limiting access through a single point.
  • The door remains unlocked except in an emergency situation.
  • All door locks are controlled from a central location.

Evaluate your options to accomplish these scenarios.

  • How does the existing hardware control and monitor access?  

Does the school have an Electronic Access Control (EAC) system in place? If not, it should be considered. An EAC system adds a greater level of security by using wired and/or wireless locks that interface with a master access control system in the main security office (or centralized facility). EAC systems also provide essential monitoring functions that enable precise tracking of anyone who uses a lock anywhere in the system as well as the status of critical doors to ensure they are not only closed, but latched and secured.

G1.5 with FobIf it’s not feasible to add a full EAC system right away, consider installing basic stand-alone electronic locks that operate using a keypad or credential to reduce the need for keys and their potential for theft and loss. A radio frequency (RF) fob is also available to allow remote lockdown by pressing a panic button. From up to 75 feet away on the inside of the classroom, the panic button secures the door and disables all user credentials to prevent entry. This is an ideal solution, providing everyday access with the convenience of a PIN or credential, with the ability to secure the classroom quickly in an emergency. Stand-alone locks also provide some advanced features of a networked access control lock like audit capability and temporary access codes. Check out the Corbin Russwin Access 800 AC2 or SARGENT Profile Series v.G1.5 stand-alone locks for more info.

  • Do the current locking solutions use the proper functions for optimal classroom security?

Traditional classroom functions can only be locked by key on the outside. Today, there are several functions that allow the classroom to be secured from inside, reducing the chance of harm to teachers or staff. Classroom Security Intruder functions, with or without deadbolt, can be locked from the inside or outside and offer the additional assurance of visual indicators when the door is secure.

Schools should consider changing locks that are lockable from the outside only to locks that are lockable from the inside as a quick and easy way to improve the security of their classrooms.

  • Are the right life-safety devices in place and configured properly?

Exit devices perform the crucial function of facilitating safe exiting while restricting access from the outside. Typically used on perimeter doors, panic bars are the first line of defense against intruders and their specific function should be carefully considered.

ShimKit

Exit devices are available with many options for improving school safety and security, such as electronic monitoring. When tied to an access control system, many parts of the device can be monitored for movement including the latchbolt and lever. This helps eliminate security breaches caused by doors being propped open or vandalized. SARGENT, an ASSA ABLOY group brand, offers an Exit Device Security Shim Kit for double raised-frame doors that prevents chains or ropes from being wrapped around exit device pushbars, trapping people inside a facility as was done in the Virginia Polytechnic incident.

Keep in mind that any changes to an existing security system must conform to federal and local codes including fire codes and ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance.

Although the pressure to make sure a school’s security is greater than ever before, it’s imperative to keep in mind that the quick fix may not always be the best fix. Implementing the wrong life safety and security upgrades can be more harmful than no solution at all. The short-term benefits of any changes to a system must be considered while ultimately looking at how they will fit into a school’s total security picture, now and in the long term.

Where do I begin?

A simple review of a school’s locking hardware can catch small glitches that could potentially jeopardize the security of the entire school. Our K-12 Security Specialists are available to help you conduct a security audit and develop a long-term security plan.

Learn more about our K-12 Solutions:

Airport Security Spending Increases Access Control Growth Opportunities

  
  
  


Article contributed by: Peter Boriskin, Director of Product Management - EAC, ASSA ABLOY Americas

 

Airport Security Image

In the next several years, airport security spending will more than double. According to the 2012 Frost & Sullivan Global Airport Security Market Assessment, total global airport security expenditures in 2011 reached $19.10 billion. By 2018, expenditures will reach $45.43 billion.

There are two main drivers increasing airport security:

  1. Security landscape drivers

    Major events in our recent history have brought airport security to the forefront in the news media. Not only is it at the center of public attention, funding has been made available through a Homeland Security initiative to increase airport security.

    Managing the complexity of airport security is no small task. Airports have local employees, state employees and federal employees. That means many different types of people have to be moved in and out of many locations—quickly, easily and securely.
     
  2. Technology drivers

    A lot of attention has gone into creating secure, interoperable credentials to do just that. The result is the Transportation Worker Identity Credential, or TWIC. 

    That TWIC card is a variation of the PIV, or Personnel Identity Verification, credential that we see for government contractors and military personnel.

So these two key drivers - technological shifts with respect to cards and credentialing and an increased level of threat - are now coming together to increase airport security to new levels.

Benefits for airport security mangers

Airport security managers will receive two main benefits from increasing airport security spending:

  1. Move more people—quickly and easily

    From a credential perspective, rolling out secure, interoperable credentials will allow security managers to move people quickly and easily through their facility in a secure way.

    Local, state and federal employees will be able to go through a facility with one set of rights, privileges and credentials. This will provide a greater degree of control and give you a better understanding of who’s in your building from all of these different groups at any given time—without having to cross multiple systems or without having to give out different sets of cards.
     
  2. Increased authentication and validation

    Airport security managers now have an opportunity to achieve a greater level of authentication and validation of the people coming and going through their facility.

    In the past, you had several systems all trying to do that job—some better, some worse. There was no minimum set of requirements across all systems, so you were at the mercy of the least secure credential or the least secure system. Your security was essentially reduced to the weakest link. Now the bar is raised.

What does this mean for integrators?

Integrators will benefit in two ways:

  1. Directly—there’s a benefit because there are more opportunities to work with airports. 
  2. Indirectly—as large facilities roll out and inspect these technologies, there will be an opportunity for other non-public sector types of customers to make use of the same technology, but in a commercial base.

How will increased airport security spending provide access control growth opportunities?

ASSA ABLOY sees tremendous growth opportunities for access control in several areas:

  1. There is an increased interest and desire for more secure, interoperable credentials. The airports that had a “grab bag” of different technologies in the past are now moving to unify their credentialing strategy.
  2. There are benefits to our integrator channel partners. ASSA ABLOY can help airports with tight budgets deploy wireless access control, enabling them to enforce greater control throughout their airport.
  3. And then, generally, access control is playing an increasingly larger role in all types of environments and facilities.

A quick example

When Ottawa International Airport opened its new terminal, it decided to use ASSA ABLOY’s Logic Cliq for its airport security system.

Some of the benefits the airport enjoys from the Logic Cliq system are:

  • The ability to perform an audit trail
  • Quick and easy programming 
  • Quick and easy installation software

Over to you

  • Where do you see other growth opportunities for access control?
  • What challenges will airport security managers face as airport security spending continues to increase?
  • Do you think human interaction will be replaced by increasing technologies?

I’d like to hear your thoughts. Feel free to share them in the comments section below.

The Right Level of Door Security Part 3: Online Access Control

  
  
  


Article contributed by: Peter Boriskin, Director of Product Management - EAC, ASSA ABLOY Americas

In the last of this three-part series, we'll explore the considerations for selecting online access control. Online systems are located to the far right on the security continuum and represent the highest level of security.

Security Continuum

Online systems give you real-time communications between the device and the security management system. Offering a much higher level of authentication, these systems are capable of:

  1. Processing user transactions: who went where and when
  2. Providing immediate lockdown capabilities

 

Immediate response

Online access control systems can respond immediately to lock/unlock commands and can send status information in real time.

Different credential types

Online systems support different credential types. Depending on the specific type of lock, you can:

  • Use different types of antennas - high-frequency and low-frequency antennas, or both at the same time for an easy and affordable migration from one credential technology to another.
  • Provide multiple levels of authentication.  One or more of the following can be used in combination: PIN, RFID and biometric validation.

 

Integrated Wiegand Photo Diagram 500px

What about Wiegand devices?

ASSA ABLOY offers a number of Integrated Wiegand devices that make it easy to incorporate doors and hardware into existing access control systems.

Wiegand benefits

Our Wiegand-enabled locks and strikes use an open architecture technology that is compatible with most access control systems, making them an easy option for high security openings. They significantly reduce installation time by combining the separate components used in traditional access control implementations into a single device. Installation is further simplified by pre-terminated ElectroLynx® connectors and only one cable run from the lock to the access control panel.

Our Integrated Wiegand locks also offer a streamlined aesthetic that blends flawlessly into any environment.

 

Power over Ethernet 

The Power over Ethernet (POE) system

This system is based on a model much like we talked about with WiFi locks.

The similarities are:

  • It has intelligence in the lock, and all the access control processing is done within the lock.
  • It re-uses existing IT network infrastructure to simplify installation and reduce costs
  • It can operate as a stand-alone solution in the absence of network connectivity.

Real-time communications

Whereas the WiFi lock checks in periodically during the day, the PoE device uses Ethernet cabling for both power and data, giving it the ability to have online or constant real-time connectivity between that lock and the security management system.

When do I use one solution or the other?

While both Integrated Wiegand and PoE locks offer online connectivity, there are a few key differences to keep in mind when deciding which technology is the best fit for particular openings. 

  • Difference #1: Where are the “smarts”?

    The PoE lock is an intelligent lock. It does not require an access control panel and connects directly to the security management system.

    In the Wiegand-based system, all the intelligence is in the security management system’s access control panel. A panel infrastructure is required to communicate with the system.

  • Difference #2: Complex event processing

    The major benefit of a panel-based system is the ability to do complex processing of events—things like “man traps” and “sally ports”.

    To manage these types of complex interlocks, typically we would leverage an access control systems panel that has that logic built in, or anything where you might do complex Boolean ladder logic.  

    An example of this might be; if the outer door is open, the inner door will not unlock until the outer door is closed, or if you don’t sense a car or delivery truck outside the roll-up gate (through video analytics or pressure sensor tie in), badge requests will be ignored (to save on HVAC and reduce opportunities for theft).

  • Difference #3: What if there is a loss of power or network connectivity?

    In Integrated Wiegand solutions, the access control panel usually has some battery backup built into it. If the Internet or the network goes down, the Integrated Wiegand lock will continue to run because the panel is running.

    But if the connectivity between the panel and the lock goes down, the lock has no intelligence and it’s going to fail over into whatever its normal fail state is.

    With the PoE lock, built-in intelligence allows the lock to continue to function regardless of the state of its network connection. However, in the event of a power loss, a PoE lock will revert to a user-defined failure state (locked/unlocked). 

 

Here’s the bottom line

Online access control systems work well on tight budgets because they can:

  • Migrate systems from an existing card technology to a new card technology with relative ease

  • Allow you to save on re-credentialing costs and avoid re-badging everyone

  • Reduce deployment costs by dovetailing with existing access control systems

  • Simplify installations and troubleshooting using an integrated lock set

 

Summary

By using the security continuum to determine the security needs of each opening, you can provide increased security coverage to your facility— while staying within your budget.

ASSA ABLOY has different kinds of products based on the infrastructure that you have already invested in.

For instance, if you have a POE or WiFi infrastructure, we can take advantage of your existing network.

If you have a traditional access control panel based security management system, we have products that can integrate with those access control panels and augment what you’ve already got in place.

So no matter what sort of infrastructure (or lack of infrastructure) you may have as a security manager, ASSA ABLOY offers solutions that will fit within your budget and meet your security requirements. If you need assistance addressing those requirements, consider a free consultation with one of our Integrated Solutions Specialists.

If you missed the previous two articles in this series, you can find them here:

The Right Level of Door Security Part 2: Wireless Access Control

  
  
  


Article contributed by: Peter Boriskin, Director of Product Management - EAC, ASSA ABLOY Americas

Last week, in Part 1 of this three-part series, we introduced the concept of using the security continuum to maximize security budgets by matching the locking technology to the specific requirements and risks for each opening.

Next, we'll move up the continuum and delve into wireless solutions. Here you begin to realize the advantages of secure wireless technologies that tie into the security management system.

Are all wireless systems the same?

There are a number of different wireless systems in the market today, and ASSA ABLOY has two distinct offerings in wireless security:

  1. IP-based WiFi lock technology
  2. ASSA ABLOY Aperio™ wireless lock technology

Each system offers different capabilities, so let’s take a look at each one. 

WiFi Systems: No wires to run

WiFi locks and exit devices provide complete access control in locations where it would be difficult or cost prohibitive to install a wired lock.

With no wires to run, installation time is significantly reduced—simply install the device on the door and configure it to communicate with the wireless network.

WiFi system drawing

IP-based WiFi systems have intelligence in the lock itself

The lock has its own database of users and times, and all decisions are made at the lock itself. The lock can be configured to communicate with the security management system at set intervals. Typically, the lock will not check in more than a few times a day unless there’s an alarm.

Even if it were completely disconnected from the rest of the security management system, it has enough intelligence and onboard power to manage all its functions until it can reconnect with the head end system.

What about security breaches or unusual events?

Let’s say someone is presenting an unknown card to the system, or the system detects a forced or held open door location. Events like that will be flagged by the lock and sent to the security management system.

There is no security management panel required in this deployment. The WiFi lock connects directly to the security management server, right to the software—there is no additional hardware required.

 

Now let’s look at the Aperio system.

 

Aperio System Drawing

 

Aperio technology utilizes local wireless communication between the lock and a communications hub to connect to an online electronic access control system.

This offers facilities an easy, affordable way to expand the reach of existing access control systems and secure additional openings.

Easily connect Aperio to your existing security system

In cases where there is existing security infrastructure, companies now have the opportunity to leverage their investment by expanding their access control system to more places and more applications, without the same expense as traditional access control locking solutions.

This is a key benefit for users who have an existing security management system and want to secure additional areas (or add a few different types of devices). With the ability to add Aperio to their existing infrastructure, a broad range of openings, from cabinets and drawers to a variety of door types, can now all be managed the same way.

In addition, real-time communication with the security management system allows for immediate privilege updates for individual users, should a current employee leave or a new employee come on board.  

Flexibility is everything: make use of the systems you already have in place

If you have no security infrastructure in place and you want to take advantage of your IT network, WiFi-based access control is an excellent solution. ASSA ABLOY also offers Power over Ethernet locks for an IP-enabled option that is online all the time.

If you have existing security infrastructure, think about expanding it with Aperio wireless locks to bring a new level of security to your facility. 

 

What about security? How secure are wireless access control systems?

Here’s what you should know: Because data is being sent through the air, it has to be secured. All ASSA ABLOY wireless locks offer advanced data security with standard encryption techniques to provide secure communication between the devices and the systems to which they connect.

Many online systems are seen as secure because they’re physically connected. However, there are a number of online systems that do not provide any level of security between the card and the reader (or between the reader and the panel).

ASSA ABLOY has credential technologies like Seos, which use digital certificates to secure data and encrypt that data between the card (or phone) and the reader.

The bottom line

WiFi access control locks work well for tight budgets in facilities with existing WiFi infrastructure because they:

  • Completely eliminate any wiring and reduce the number of components required at the door, significantly improving installation time
  • Do not require the installation of additional access control infrastructure
  • Leverage the building’s WiFi infrastructure that you’ve already paid for
  • Reduce management costs, since the system is centrally managed
  • Dovetail with your existing security management system, reducing management costs even further
  • Are intelligent—in the face of a network outage or a power outage, even a complete grid loss, these locks would still continue to function because they contain batteries and don’t require external power

Aperio works well on tight budgets in facilities with an existing access control system because it:

  • Offers real-time communication to the access control system without the inconvenience of wiring the door
  • Dovetails with nearly any access control system
  • Offers a variety of lock types to address nearly any application, at a variety of price points
  • Reduces installation time and costs
  • Allows employees to use a single credential throughout the entire facility, whether it is a typical door or a cabinet or drawer

 

Did you know you can download our highly interactive ASSA ABLOY Security Continuum Mobile app?

This free app guides users to the best access control locking solution from ASSA ABLOY Group brands to fit the needs of the user and the facility.

In part three, we’ll continue moving through the security continuum to talk about online access control.

You can read part one of this three-part series here: Choosing the Right Level of Door Security Part 1: The Security Continuum

Choosing the Right Level of Door Security: Part 1

  
  
  


Article contributed by: Peter Boriskin, Director of Product Management - EAC, ASSA ABLOY Americas

There’s no escaping it.

Budgets are flat year-to-year.

Or worse, budgets are down year-to-year.

That leaves security managers facing two major challenges:

  1. Doing more with the same budget as last year or
  2. Doing the same with less.

Managers are asking themselves:

  1. How can I increase the security of my facility?
  2. How can I increase security without spending as much money?

The solution? Take out some of the infrastructure costs.

If you can reduce the infrastructure to deploy security, then you can provide it in many more places. For instance:

  • Security solutions have been tailored to the high-security market. These have typically been costly wired solutions requiring a lot of cable runs and specialized labor to deploy. 
  • For commercial customers, solutions tended to be more expensive than what was needed.

The pressure is on
Not only are managers being asked to secure people, property, and assets, but they’re being asked to be part of a more holistic security approach.

This includes providing physical security to support data security and provide audit trail capability to address regulatory requirements like the Sarbanes-Oxley Act that mandate the protection of company data.

The question remains . . .

With all these constraints, how do you go about choosing the right level of door security?
One way is to look at three different dimensions of the solutions you are interested in deploying:

  1. Cost. What are the parameters within my budget? If I have a fixed set of dollars and a fixed set of portals or personnel that I need to protect, then that’s one set of bookends. 
  2. Technology and infrastructure. What do I have already in place, both from a security management perspective and from a building infrastructure perspective, to potentially leverage in a security management system?
  3. Protection. What needs protection? Is it doors, cabinets with protected materials, a laboratory, a drug dispensary, or IT closets?

The security continuum
Because every opening is different based on its usage, employing a single technology throughout a facility doesn’t make sense. Careful consideration of each opening based on usage requirements allows proper selection of access control, enhancing the security of a facility and keeping costs in line.

From mechanical keys to intelligent openings, this array of technologies—known as the security continuum—pairs the appropriate locking technology to the specific requirements and risks of each opening.

Security Continuum

How does the security continuum work?
If you look from left to right along the security continuum, on the left side you have low or no infrastructure required, things that are stand-alone— mechanical locks, keypads, etc. These have a low level of authentication.

As you move up and to the right, you get increasing levels of authentication and increasing levels of security—but there are also increased costs involved in providing that level of security.

The spectrum moves from low-cost, low-infrastructure, low-authentication solutions to highly authenticating, online, real-time systems.

Think of the continuum as a way to maximize budgets by matching the locking technology to the specific requirements and risks for each opening.

To get even more familiar with the security continuum, you can download our highly interactive ASSA ABLOY Security Continuum mobile app.

This free app guides users to the best access control locking solution from ASSA ABLOY Group brands to fit the needs of the user and the facility.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this series. In the next article, we’ll move through the security continuum and talk about secure wireless technologies.

 

 

 

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