Mobile Access Trends

How are edge devices transforming security?
How are edge devices transforming security?

The Internet of Things (IoT) is driving innovation in the security marketplace, just as it is in almost every other market. IoT devices, also known as ‘edge devices’, provide sensing, processing ability, software, and other technologies to connect and exchange data. The most common edge devices in the world of IP security are video cameras, which are becoming more intelligent and capable of processing the data they collect. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How are edge devices transforming the security marketplace?

Consolidation changing the face of the security market
Consolidation changing the face of the security market

Consolidation is a dominant trend in the security marketplace. Large companies typically swallow up smaller companies as a means of expanding both their technology portfolios and their geographic reach. Sometimes a big fish is swallowed up by an even bigger fish.   Despite the pandemic and resulting economic challenges, the security market has continued to be a desirable environment for both big players and startups, which then provide abundant acquisition targets for the larger companies. Acquisitions of Motorola Motorola Solutions has been among the most acquisitive of the larger players, recently adding several smaller companies to their growing portfolio. Just this year, Motorola has acquired Ava Security, a video security and analytics company; Calipsa, another analytics company; and Videotec, an Italian provider of ruggedized video solutions for critical infrastructure applications. Video solutions that help to enhance safety and streamline operations while supporting customers In one announcement, Motorola chairman and CEO Greg Brown stated the goal of acquisitions is “to support our customers’ evolving security needs by expanding our portfolio of intelligent video solutions that help to enhance safety and streamline operations.” Previously, Motorola Solutions acquired Envysion, a video analytics company for the retail market. On the access control side, Motorola acquired Openpath Security, a cloud-based, mobile access control provider, in 2021. Motorola entered the video surveillance business back in 2018 with the acquisition of Avigilon for around $1 billion. Also now a part of Motorola are IndigoVision and Pelco, among others. ACRE's mergers and acquisition Another company active in the mergers and acquisition market has been ACRE (Access Control Related Enterprises). The company began with a spinoff from Ingersoll Rand in 2012 to become Vanderbilt Industries. As ACRE, the parent company has been active both in acquisitions and divestitures over the next decade. Vanderbilt grew with the acquisition of Siemens’ Security Products in 2015. ACRE owned Mercury Security, a manufacturer of OEM hardware used by access control companies, from 2013 until it was sold to HID Global in 2017. The acquisition of Razberi enhances the ComNet portfolio while providing complementary technologies ACRE’s more recent access control acquisitions are RS2 Technologies (in 2019), Open Options (2018), Feenics (2021), and Matrix Systems (2021). They acquired ComNet, a manufacturer of video and data transmission equipment, in 2016. The acquisition of Razberi (in 2020) enhances the ComNet portfolio and provides complementary technologies to the access control brands. Acquisition of ACRE ACRE itself was acquired by European investment firm Triton in 2021, and Joseph Grillo, the company’s founder and CEO, announced his retirement in 2022. His knowledge of the security and access control markets helped to drive the company’s growth, including 11 successful acquisitions in all. Securitas acquiring Stanley Security  The acquisition of Stanley Security is transformational for both Securitas and the security industry Stanley Security has also made headlines. In December 2021, Securitas signed an agreement to acquire the Electronic Security Business from Stanley Black & Decker for $3.2 billion in cash. Securitas President and CEO Magnus Ahlqvist says, “the acquisition of Stanley Security is transformational for both Securitas and the security industry.” Allegion plc, global security products and solutions provider, later signed an agreement to acquire Stanley Access Technologies and assets related to the automatic entrance solutions business from Stanley Black & Decker, Inc. for $900 million. Acquisition by HID Global, ADT Inc. & Allied Universal HID Global has acquired Vizinex RFID, thus increasing its presence and relevance in key vertical markets, including healthcare/medical, manufacturing, oil and gas, data centres, etc. and adding a key technology to HID Global’s RFID tag portfolio. ADT Inc. recently expanded its geographic reach with the acquisition of Key-Rite Security, a locally owned and operated security provider specializing in access control, surveillance, intrusion, and intercom systems in Colorado and for customers across the United States. Allied Universal continues its strategic growth with the acquisition of Attenti Group, an electronic monitoring company Allied Universal has acquired Star Protection Agency, the largest Hawaiian-owned and veteran-owned security company in the state. Although Star is primarily a guard patrol service, with workers at 125 sites throughout the state, it provides a range of security technology and consulting services. Internationally, Allied Universal continues its strategic growth with the acquisition of Attenti Group, an electronic monitoring company. Allied Universal will integrate Attenti Group with G4S Monitoring Technologies, to create Allied Universal Electronic Monitoring Services. SALTO Systems making acquisition news Also internationally, SALTO Systems has made acquisition news by investing in Bluefield Smart Access, thus strengthening their portfolio of access control solutions. SALTO Systems is a manufacturer of electronic access control and operating system solutions, designed to provide a seamless, keyless and mobile experience for modern buildings. Also joining the SALTO Group is Cognitec Systems, a face recognition company. The goal is to strengthen their research, development and market reach while working with SALTO on new technologies for expanding biometric markets. SALTO strategically selected Cognitec Systems to meet market requests for adding face recognition and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to the company’s electronic access control and ticketing solutions. Acquisitions by MOBOTIX and Resideo Technologies  Resideo Technologies, Inc. entered into an agreement to acquire First Alert, Inc., a provider of home safety products Further, on the international scene, MOBOTIX has reached an agreement to acquire Vaxtor Group, Tres Cantos, Spain, an artificial intelligence (AI) based video analytics provider, specializing in Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and Deep Learning technologies. On the residential system's front, Resideo Technologies, Inc. entered into an agreement to acquire First Alert, Inc., a provider of home safety products, from Newell Brands Inc. for $593 million in an all-cash transaction. Established in 1969 and based in Aurora, Illinois, First Alert offers a strong omnichannel presence serving end-users directly through retail and e-commerce channels and professional contractors through relationships with distributors and home builders.

The right to privacy in the age of digital eyes
The right to privacy in the age of digital eyes

Back in 1890, Samuel Warren and Louis Brandeis published a ground-breaking article in the Harvard Law review called ‘The Right to Privacy’. To this day, it is regarded as one of the most influential essays in the history of American law and is widely regarded as the first publication in the United States of America to advocate a right to privacy, articulating that right primarily as a ‘right to be let alone’. In this essay, the authors questioned whether the arrival of photo cameras would put citizens at risk from constant surveillance. They argued that since new technology has the ability to unsettle societal foundations, new legislation is sometimes needed to redress the balance. Concerns regarding privacy on the rise In our increasingly connected world, it’s not surprising that concerns around privacy, particularly in relation to personal data, are on the rise. Questions about who has access to what information and for what purposes are important. Today, governments and other regulatory bodies have developed regulations that are aimed at restricting the collection, processing, and access to personal data, including video footage, to help maintain privacy and mitigate the risks of criminal cyber activities. Digital information, vital component to protect people Acquiring digital information is a vital component for protecting people and assets At the same time, acquiring digital information is a vital component for protecting people and assets. Governments and private businesses frequently collect data from individuals, who are using the spaces in and around their facilities. This can include personal identifiable information (PII), such as surveillance footage, photos, and licence plate information. This doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice privacy for the sake of physical security. Organisations can develop their security strategies with privacy protection, as part of the overall plan. What is personally identifiable information (PII)? One tricky question security professionals wrestle with is where to draw the line, in regards to personally identifiable information. For example, when is surveillance footage of public spaces considered personally identifiable information (PII)? The answer isn’t always a straightforward one, because legislation around PII varies from place to place. In general, however, it isn’t the video itself that is problematic. It’s the image of a specific person. If the video is so low resolution that a person who knows the individual on camera could not recognise them, it would not be considered PII. With camera resolution becoming much higher quality, it is becoming more important now than ever before that security professionals ensure they are fully aware of local regulations around PII. Regulations around PII and data privacy New regulations and restrictions around PII and data privacy are introduced regularly. It can be challenging for private citizens and small businesses to keep up with all these changes, especially when legislation is not communicated in ways that are easy to understand and accessible. Vendors and integrators can help educate end users on these guidelines and promote awareness of best practices. It’s a good practice for everyone who captures or accesses video containing PII to be mindful of who has access to the data, as well as privacy regulations and restrictions. No need to compromise on privacy to ensure security In fact, many organisations today are going beyond regulatory requirements around privacy Balancing security and privacy isn’t a zero-sum game. In fact, many organisations today are going beyond regulatory requirements around privacy, in order to ensure that they are not only protecting personal data, but also making sure those who access the data are accountable for their actions. Privacy regulations establish a minimum standard for how personal data should be stored and managed, but companies can do more than the minimum. Modern video management software (VMS) allows them to ensure that only authorised people access the data and how they are able to access it. VMS platforms with privacy protection capabilities VMS platforms with privacy protection capabilities can pixelate people in videos, to blur identity and provide audit trails to ensure there is a record of who accessed data and when. Likewise, they have enhanced cyber security and accountability. Regulations usually focus on how end users operate the system. Is your data stored securely? Do you have a clear process to access sensitive data? Yet, protecting personal information is a shared responsibility. The end user can research vendors and their privacy protection capabilities. The software vendor can provide the right tools to enable the end user to protect the data, including encryption, authentication, security, and facial blurring. The systems integrator can configure the systems correctly and train the end user on how to operate them in a way that respects privacy. The end user’s operators can then be trained on internal processes to ensure data is protected and can’t be accessed without proper authorisation. Mindful data collection leads to better decisions Video surveillance systems are more prevalent and powerful now than ever before Video surveillance systems are more prevalent and powerful now than ever before. The price of cameras has declined, the quality of video footage has increased, and video analytics have become much more sophisticated. Now that it’s cheaper and easier to capture and interpret video footage, more organisations and individuals are adding or upgrading cameras. Yet, more data doesn’t always result in better decisions. Access to more data can lead to information overload. By using tools to filter all the input, you can make sure you’re paying attention to what matters most, while maintaining the security of the other data. Minimising the amount of data stored One way to do this is to minimise the amount of data that is stored, keeping only what is necessary to achieve your goals. Another way is to ensure only those who need the information, and can provide the correct authorisation, have access to sensitive data. Another way is to implement the ‘four eyes principle’. To ensure personal data is only seen by people who really need to see it, some companies require two people to provide credentials, in order to access certain kinds of data. For example, faces on video recordings can be pixelated by default. If an operator sees an event happening, they can ask a supervisor to unlock the video. For very sensitive data, some companies require two supervisors to agree to authorise a request to access data. Automation can be used as well. For example, if a sensitive area is under surveillance, pixilation may be used to protect privacy. Yet, if someone breaches the perimeter, you may want to show the original video stream to quickly react. It’s important in this case to clarify who is able to see the original video stream and under what circumstances others may gain access. Trust is essential Data privacy means having the right to control how personal information is being collected Privacy is connected to trust. All stakeholders must be able to trust that data is stored securely and that the technology and systems that you are using are working as advertised. Critically evaluate what kind of data your system is collecting, the quality of that data, and the effectiveness of the checks and balances in place. While the concept of privacy can be understood in different ways, from a security perspective, it is essentially about being able to keep personal matters to yourself. For individuals, data privacy means having the right to control how personal information is being collected and used, as well as avoiding unauthorised access to information. Transparency is fundamental Transparency is fundamental. Data and privacy protection is all about context. For example, people may agree to share their location, while using certain applications on their phone, but do not want those apps to continue tracking and sharing their location, all the time. In the same way, access to personally identifiable information captured by surveillance cameras must be warranted. In certain situations, it is necessary to authorise access to sensitive data and this does not violate privacy ethics, as long as the people affected are informed about what data is accessed, when, and why. Ethical privacy standards without compromising security There are several ways organisations can develop ethical privacy standards without compromising security: Be selective about the data you collect. As an organisation, critically evaluate what information is necessary to accomplish your purpose. For example, when collecting data on visitors, do you need their full home address or is it enough just to verify their ID? Develop an internal privacy policy. Appoint a data protection officer, or another responsible person, to create and maintain policies on what data is collected, how it is stored, who can access this data, and under what circumstances. Look for security software vendors that are certified for privacy protection. Certification involves a thorough check of the source code, in order to ensure data cannot be accessed without authorisation. This is not just about the product itself, but also the infrastructure around it, including any related websites that store user data. Privacy protection by design Organisations can work with vendors who develop tools that include privacy protection by design. They can select and deploy solutions that are hardened against cyber threats, by manufacturers out of the box, so as to alleviate worries around system vulnerabilities. These solutions can also give them complete control over their data, so that they can adjust protection methods and processes, to meet evolving regulations and help them configure the system, to define who has access to sensitive data and footage, without slowing down response times or investigations. When these measures are in place, it is a team effort to ensure security with strong PII protection.

Which security trend is here to stay?
Which security trend is here to stay?

Technologies and trends in the security marketplace come and go with some regularity. But how can you tell which trends are gaining traction and which amount to ‘the flavour of the month.’ For guidance, we asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: Which new security trend do you think is here to stay?

Latest Access control news

Abloy Oy and ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions launch the jointly developed - new ABLOY Keyless Access Controller
Abloy Oy and ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions launch the jointly developed - new ABLOY Keyless Access Controller

Abloy Oy and ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions have announced their jointly developed, new ABLOY Keyless Access Controller. With the controller, businesses can upgrade their doors to be keyless - making most electric locks and other electronic door locking devices work with a digital key on a mobile app, instead of a physical credential. The new controller not only works with ABLOY products, but also with hardware of any brand using compatible wiring. ABLOY Keyless Access Controller The ABLOY Keyless Access Controller is an ideal solution that conceals the locking mechanism and manages access without a physical key. Relying on continuous power, this small device is optimally installed inside a cabinet or behind a door and is, therefore, difficult to manipulate from the outside. “By developing and applying new technologies, we can enable a smoother, safer and a more connected world. We see a future where any door or hatch can be opened, locked and monitored from anywhere, in real time. Our Keyless Access Controller is a major leap,” said Jussi Ahvalo, the Vice President (VP) of Abloy International. Keyless access management “Keyless access management not only prevents downtime and reduces operational costs, but also minimises energy-consuming travel, making daily processes work smoothly. We want to help organisations move towards a keyless future and take secure, controlled steps forward,” said Simo Pikkarainen, the Product & Software Director - ABLOY Critical Infrastructure at ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions. Deployed to various electrically operated doors or gates The controller is operated with the ABLOY mobile app on the user’s mobile phone over a BLE connection The controller is operated with the ABLOY mobile app on the user’s mobile phone over a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) connection. The device is compatible with numerous electric lock types, such as electromechanical, electric, magnetic, motor and cabinet locks but also with alarm systems, door strikes, latches, actuators as well as automatic or manual garage, sliding and roll-up doors, gates and lifts. Relying on a continuous power supply, the compact controller is designed to be installed inside a cabinet or behind a door. Latest extension to ABLOY portfolio of keyless access solutions The controller is the latest extension to the ABLOY portfolio of keyless access solutions for professional use. Used in combination with other locking products available, it brings more access management options to different operating environments. The controller expands the solution range of two product families, tailored to the different needs of critical infrastructure on the one hand and more conventional business on the other: The ABLOY BEAT controller is ideal in critical infrastructure protection, in sectors such as water, energy, telecom, transportation and logistics. The ABLOY CUMULUS controller is designed for commercial real estate and public spaces. These include parcel deliveries, cash-in-transit, office spaces and construction, for example. Managed via ABLOY OS INCEDO The controller can be managed with ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions’ CIPE Manager, ABLOY OS INCEDO The controller can be managed with ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions’ CIPE Manager, ABLOY OS INCEDO or by integrating with a third-party system. The solution offers well documented application programming interfaces (APIs) and mobile software development kits (SDKs) for easy integrations and partner solutions. The controller tracks usage and records opening and locking events automatically. The records can be accessed in the management system used by the organisation. Both controller versions will become available in stages in selected markets globally, by regional ABLOY Critical Infrastructure and ABLOY sales units, respectively. Product specifications: Body material: High heat resistant acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) plastic Size: 50 x 50 x 32 mm Operating temperature: -30 °C to 60 °C Connectivity: Bluetooth Low Energy, range up to 50 metres Wiring: one device per controller, 12-24 V powered The Keyless Access Controller will be on display at TowerXchange Meetup Americas 2022 event, which is taking place in Palm Beach, Florida, USA, from July 13 to July 14, 2022.

Cohesity named a leader and outperformer in two GigaOm radars on hybrid cloud data protection
Cohesity named a leader and outperformer in two GigaOm radars on hybrid cloud data protection

Cohesity, a provider of next-gen data management, announced it was named a Leader and an Outperformer in two GigaOm Radar reports: the GigaOm Radar for Hybrid Cloud Data Protection: Large Enterprises and the GigaOm Radar for Hybrid Cloud Data Protection: Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises. This is the third time Cohesity was named a Leader in the Large Enterprises report. Cohesity is acclaimed for offering “strongly differentiated cyber resiliency features,” “great data management,” exceptional analytics capabilities, broad workload and database support and exciting consumption options — including self-managed and Cohesity-managed SaaS deployments — all in a single platform. The large enterprises report The GigaOm Radar for Hybrid Cloud Data Protection: Large Enterprises report applauds Cohesity’s “comprehensive and coherent data platform,” as well as key components of Cohesity’s overall solution, including: Remarkable cyber resiliency capabilities:  AI/ML-based anomaly detection that can play a key role in the early detection of attacks based on data changes against normal patterns; immutable snapshots; strong multi-factor authentication; and the Cohesity FortKnox isolated data vault solution, one of Cohesity’s Data Management as a Service (DMaaS) offerings. “Fully fledged” disaster recovery orchestration via Cohesity SiteContinuity: “Converges backup, continuous data protection and automated failover and fallback orchestration with a unified policy engine.” Balanced workload coverage in hybrid cloud scenarios: Workloads (Microsoft 365, AWS EC2 and AWS RDS, etc.), databases (Oracle, SQL, SAP, NoSQL, etc.), virtual environments (VMware, Kubernetes, etc.), physical servers (Windows, Linux, etc.) and NAS systems (NetApp, Isilon, etc.). Comprehensive analytics engine: “Predictive capacity modeling and alerting based on historical trends” as well as the ability to perform simulations via Cohesity learning models, which “allow administrators to perform fine-tuned ‘what-if’ analysis sensitivity favors for burstiness and workload seasonality.” Exceptional consumption choice: On-premises or via Cohesity’s DMaaS offerings or both, providing flexibility to customers all managed “under a single umbrella.” Authority comment  Cohesity focuses on improving cyber resiliency by utilising modern data protection and disaster recovery capabilities “Our position in these reports continues to validate that Cohesity provides a next-gen approach to data management that uniquely empowers customers to enhance data security, enjoy phenomenal choice and flexibility and accelerate the move to hybrid cloud environments,” said Lynn Lucas, chief marketing officer, Cohesity. “We are critically focused on helping customers improve cyber resiliency utilising modern data protection and disaster recovery capabilities that advance business continuity, while automating and simplifying data management through AI/ML — all via one consolidated, easy-to-use platform.” The small and medium-sized enterprises report According to the GigaOm Radar for Hybrid Cloud Data Protection: Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises report, “Cohesity has made a major leap in its SMB coverage with a compelling solution that offers balanced workload coverage in hybrid cloud scenarios and better consumption options through its growing BaaS offering.” Cohesity also was cited in the SMB report for providing “strong, differentiated cyber resiliency features, great data management capabilities,” exceptional ‘as a service’ offerings, a comprehensive and consolidated platform and a “compelling feature set.” Cohesity continues to be an outperformer “Cohesity continues to be a Leader and Outperformer in hybrid cloud data protection, providing an approach that is truly next-gen in the market,” said Enrico Signoretti, senior data storage analyst, GigaOm. “Cohesity offers remarkable cyber resilience and security capabilities, exceptional data management with a growing set of compelling features, comprehensive disaster recovery offerings and fantastic choice and flexibility, including ‘as a service’ consumption options ideal for many enterprise and SMB customers.”

Vicon Industries appoint Diego Morales as the VP of Software Engineering to produce smart solutions
Vicon Industries appoint Diego Morales as the VP of Software Engineering to produce smart solutions

Vicon Industries, Inc., a subsidiary of Cemtrex Inc., designer and manufacturer of video surveillance and access control software, hardware, and components, recently appointed Diego Morales as VP, Software Engineering. In this new role, Morales will lead the design, development, and management of Vicon’s next-gen products, while continuing to galvanise its current product line. Under his lead, Vicon’s research and development will be laser-focused on producing smart solutions, which will rely heavily on AI and cloud technologies. Key strategic roles This new cloud and AI video analytics solutions will be offered in an easy-to-adopt model for both new and existing Vicon customers. An accomplished leader, Morales holds a master’s degree in Technology Administration with an emphasis in Project Management, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Systems Engineering. Morales holds a master’s degree in Technology Administration with an emphasis in Project Management He has over 21 years of experience in the technology industry, holding several key strategic roles such as CTO, CIO, VP of Technology, and Head of IT for both multinational corporations and regional companies. “One of the things that drives me is my passion for what I do…my passion for technology; I am a developer at heart and have been doing just that, at some level or another, for almost 15 years,” said Morales. “I prefer to motivate through example and knowledge,” continued Morales. Incredible market demand “People tend to be more inspired when they understand how they impact the bigger picture, and how their day-to-day contributions help Vicon achieve its long-term goals.” His appointment will accelerate the adoption and delivery of Vicon’s deep pipeline of innovations, and scale the product ecosystem of high-performance technologies to meet the incredible market demand. “Diego’s strategic technical leadership, and over 21 years of experience in the technology industry, will be a huge asset to Vicon’s product and engineering teams,” said Bret McGowan, Senior VP of Sales & Marketing. “His background makes him well-suited to be that influential leader who will drive the adoption of new technologies and inspire the team to deliver world-class, enterprise-grade software solutions,” added McGowan.

3DX-Ray appoints Vincent Deery as CEO
3DX-Ray appoints Vincent Deery as CEO

3DX-Ray Ltd has announced the appointment of Vincent Deery as Chief Executive Officer, with effect from the 1st of July 2022. Vincent is a highly experienced professional whose successful career beginning at the General Electric Company has encompassed sales, marketing, and business development across high technology sectors (both public and private) including security and defence, power control, oil and petrochemical, and metrology. Vincent's experience After joining 3DX-Ray in 2008 Vincent was appointed to the board of its AIM-listed holding company Image Scan in 2013.  His appointment follows a recent stint as interim CEO. He has extensive experience in implementing new product strategies and commercialisation of technology and the introduction of new products to market, and a wealth of knowledge in developing global networks and distribution channels for the commercialisation of software and hardware products. He brings with him over 25 years experience of operating in the SE-Asian and Chinese markets. Vincent's qualifications Vincent has a BEng Hons in Manufacturing Engineering and has been an active member of several industry-related organisations including the International Association of Bomb Technicians and Inspectors (IABTI), the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), and attends and contributes to industry forums, publications, and events. Commenting on his appointment as CEO, Vincent Deery said, “We have a strengthening product base and a great team. After 14 years with 3DX-Ray, I’m looking forward to taking on the role of CEO to drive the growth and development of the business forward.”

Access control applications

LFC Milling deploys ASSA ABLOY’s CLIQ key-operated electronic access control solution to enhance security and product safety
LFC Milling deploys ASSA ABLOY’s CLIQ key-operated electronic access control solution to enhance security and product safety

Food safety, employee health and site security must all work in harmony, in order to ensure the efficient operation of a large-scale food producer. At LFC Milling in South Africa, ASSA ABLOY’s CLIQ key-operated electronic access control helps to ensure that happens. Access control for LFC Milling LFC Milling manufactures maize products and sells a range of prominent brands in the South African market. Maize is received from farmers, undergoes several cleaning stages, and is then milled. The large LFC plant houses high-end manufacturing equipment used in the process. LFC Milling was looking for an access control solution that would enable the business to manage access throughout their wide-ranging site, and control employee access to specific machines and equipment. CLIQ key-operated electronic access control The system needed to log all access into specific zones, like storage areas The system needed to log all access into specific zones, like storage areas, giving security staff the ability to generate audit trails when needed. This further benefits the health and safety of personnel because it restricts access to any potentially dangerous areas or specialist equipment. The access management software was another major concern, during the commissioning and specification process. The demand was a system with software that is easy to use, so as to enable swift on-boarding of new personnel and quick changes to staff access rights, when needed. The advantages of CLIQ in a manufacturing site LFC Milling chose CLIQ key-operated access control from ASSA ABLOY. “We need to ensure that our employees and production processes are safe and secure at all times — and CLIQ supports that,” explains Cobus van der Linde, the General Manager at LFC Milling Pty Ltd. Thanks to CLIQ battery-powered programmable keys and locking cylinders, now only authorised personnel enter designated areas from tool rooms to storage areas, or can operate specific plant equipment. CLIQ Web Manager (CWM) software deployed For the management of access rights, LFC Milling deployed CLIQ Web Manager (CWM) software, alongside a CLIQ Wall Programming Device and CLIQ Remote functionality. Keys can be updated conveniently around the site. For added security, CLIQ keys are also set for specific revalidation periods For added security, CLIQ keys are also set for specific revalidation periods. If a key is lost, it is quickly excluded from the system. The CWM software interface simplifies user, key and door management, as well as time-and-date functionality. It also provides audit trail reports should an administrator need to track access into a specific area or by a specific person. This has significantly improved accountability and security. CLIQ’s extensive range of programmable locking devices CLIQ’s extensive range of programmable locking devices meets the needs of almost any door or application. Padlocks secure exterior roller doors, machines and other equipment. Electronic cylinders protect higher security doors, swing-style security gates and standard doors. Cobus van der Linde adds, “The CLIQ system allows for easy management of access control in a dynamic environment with continuous production and extremely high health and safety standards.”

Transforming hotel operations with Cisco Meraki's smart technology
Transforming hotel operations with Cisco Meraki's smart technology

Think back to the last time user stayed overnight or attended a conference at a major hotel or hospitality provider. Chances are the hotel room had fresh linens, the shower had hot water, the on-site restaurant had good food, and in general, users felt safe during their stay. This is the typical experience that users have come to expect from a hospitality provider.  Challenges with hotel operations Providing a pleasant and comfortable stay, however, is no simple feat. The equipment used to do the laundry, heat the water, and air condition the building is generally pushed to its limits and operates in harsh environments. This creates an assortment of challenges that facility managers face daily to ensure a quality experience for guests.  Let’s take a look at a day in the life of Jared, Director of Hotel Operations at a major hospitality provider, and some of the challenges he and his team face.  A day riddled with problems Jared learns that two of his team members are out sick, so it’s all hands on deck, including maintenance requests On his way to work, Jared learns that two of his team members are out sick, so it’s all hands on deck, including his, to support maintenance requests for the day. When he first arrives, Jared discovers guests have been complaining their rooms were too hot overnight. As it turns out, extreme humidity levels caused a refrigerant leak with one of the chillers. As Jared finishes fixing the leak, a coworker informs him that the laundry hopper is clogged. Jared hurries over to fix the clog in fear of running out of fresh linens. He then makes his way up to the hotel lobby, where a guest has reported that their luggage is missing. Jared heads to the security room and spends over an hour sifting through video footage to find a video clip to send to the police.  There has to be a better way Efficient operations management  After what appears to be a never-ending day, Jared thinks to himself that there has to be a more efficient process to manage the operations of the hotel. The challenge is, that he has limited visibility into hotel operations, so he often doesn’t know about issues until they become big problems. He contacts his hotel service provider and learns that he can upgrade the facility to a smart hotel by installing smart cameras and sensors. This will enable him to be more proactive in addressing operational issues by providing real-time alerts and insights when things go wrong. Transforming operations with smart technology Sensors Temperature, humidity, and air quality sensors are integrated with the HVAC system to automatically adjust Excited about the benefits of intelligent spaces technology, Jared deploys sensors and smart cameras throughout the facility.  Temperature, humidity, and air quality sensors are integrated with the HVAC system to automatically adjust levels to protect equipment. Water leak sensors are placed under the chillers to send alerts anytime a leak is detected. Smart cameras and automation Smart cameras are not only placed throughout the facility to help speed up security investigations but also placed near laundry hoppers, where analytics can proactively detect improper loading and prevent jams. Lastly, smart automation buttons are placed around the hotel so staff members can generate service tickets any time additional issues arise. Time to focus on improving the guest experience After implementation, hotel operations have been running much more smoothly. Jared has visibility into all facility environments and can proactively plan for required maintenance. This approach is saving the hotel significant costs by reducing the number of service calls and has transitioned Jared and his team’s role from being firefighters into one in which they can focus their efforts on improving guest and hotel experiences.

Access Ability UK deploys Videx 4G GSM intercom system to enable customised and secure door entry for the Great Northern Tower in Manchester
Access Ability UK deploys Videx 4G GSM intercom system to enable customised and secure door entry for the Great Northern Tower in Manchester

The Great Northern Tower is an impressive 72-metre (236 feet) high-rise tower block that has been tailor made for residential living. With 25 floors, it is home to 287 self-contained apartments, located in the heart of Manchester, United Kingdom (UK). An effective door entry system plays a critical role in convenient, secure and flexible access control, as well as the safety and wellbeing of residents. The tower block has a concierge service too that also requires specific authorisation for entry into and exit out of the building. Challenges with existing system Parts of the system were failing and proving to be very expensive to replace The building was completed in 2007 and fitted with a door entry system that, 15 years later, was hugely outdated and causing issues for entry into the tower block by residents, visitors and for concierge use too. Residents were not consistently notified, when someone was calling their apartment, so they often missed deliveries and visitors. Parts of the system were failing and proving to be very expensive to replace. Residents enter the tower block via a fob system and although this operated normally, the rest of the system was deteriorating. Complicated system A key challenge also presented itself in how a flat or apartment was called. The existing system was very complicated and visitors had to look up a flat number on the system and then get a three-digit code to dial. This often led to people, from visiting friends and family to tradespeople and delivery drivers, dialing the wrong apartments and calling the wrong people. There also needed to be a specific concierge function on the system that could alert the main reception desk of a tradesperson coming to visit, or a parcel being delivered, for a resident who wasn’t home. A bespoke system featuring GSM technology One major issue that we needed to solve was to enable effective, easy and secure door entry for residents" Replacing the system with a bespoke solution, but retaining the existing access control fob reader aspect, all fitted within a glass wall, was highly complex. Installer - Access Ability UK Ltd opted to fit a Videx 4G GSM system that was highly customised, integrated perfectly with the existing fob reader, but crucially, solved the key entry challenges residents and the concierge team were facing. Barry Kimber, a Director at Access Ability UK Ltd, said “One major issue that we needed to solve was to enable effective, easy and secure door entry for residents, to authorise entry in and out of the tower block.” GSM intercom system with a VX2200 panel installed He adds, “By installing a GSM intercom system with a VX2200 panel meant residents could receive notification of someone at the entrance straight to their phone, whether they were home or not. For example, they could be on holiday or at work, but receive a call to say a delivery had arrived, grant entry to the courier driver, who can leave the parcel with concierge for safe keeping, until the resident returns. In terms of calling each flat, visitors now simply need to enter the number of the flat and it calls that flat directly - there’s no need to look the flat number up on the system to dial a code to then input.” Barry Kimber continues, “The GSM-powered intercom system also enables the concierge team to authorise entry for visitors to deliver parcels or fix appliances for example, when the resident is away. Conveniently, the intercom is very easy to adapt and modify, and the concierge team can programme the system both locally and remotely, when flat residence changes, as people move into and out of the tower block.” Highly customised to exact specifications Alongside the GSM technology, Videx also supplied a highly customised entry panel that was not only specifically manufactured for The Great Northern Tower, to sit within a very difficult-to-navigate glass wall, and feature the existing third-party access control reader, but also carried bespoke engraving too. For example, the block numbers are clearly identified as well as the concierge service button. Barry Kimber stated, “It’s probably the most challenging entry solution I have fitted, but working closely with Videx ensured the job could be done. Many other installers and manufacturers would have walked away from the refit, but Videx really showed their commitment to providing a highly customised, pretty much exclusive and tailor-made system, to meet the entry needs of the Great Northern Tower. He adds, “Their customer care, technical support and commitment to getting the job done, and to a very high standard was second to none.” Videx 4G GSM system benefits The Videx 4G GSM system is extremely flexible and provides the utmost convenience and security to users The Videx 4G GSM system is extremely flexible and provides the utmost convenience and security to users. Programming can be done via apps, text messages and PC software, both local and remotely. The digital 4G intercoms can support up to 1000 apartments, each with coded access and proximity access, as additions to the dial to open access control option. Up to 10 free access periods can be programmed for any of the outputs on the Videx 4G GSM system, making it great for public access at busy times. Versatile and convenient access control solution Mark Roud, the Northern Area Sales Manager at Videx UK, said “Our 4G GSM solution is highly versatile and convenient, providing an excellent access control and entry system for a wide range of properties and developments.” He adds, “It can integrate seamlessly with third-party applications, like it has in this specific installation with the existing fob reader and is fully customisable, meaning additional coded access keypads and proximity readers for other entrances can be added, and conveniently managed from one place.”

Teledyne FLIR Defense deliver 127 unmanned ground vehicles to the German Army
Teledyne FLIR Defense deliver 127 unmanned ground vehicles to the German Army

Teledyne FLIR Defense, part of Teledyne Technologies Incorporated, announced at Eurosatory that it is completing deliveries of 127 PackBot® 525 Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs) to the German Army (Deutsches Heer). Final shipments are expected to occur in July. Contract award and deliveries were facilitated through Teledyne FLIR’s partner, European Logistic Partners (ELP) of Wuppertal, Germany. Teledyne FLIR PackBot 525 robot The Teledyne FLIR PackBot 525 is the most advanced model of the company’s signature ground robot, used by the U.S. and international defense forces since 2001. Deployed in combat zones from the caves of Afghanistan to the IED-littered roads of Iraq, the rugged, 27 kg PackBot keeps operators safe while conducting a wide range of tasks, such as bomb disposal, close-in surveillance, and situations involving hostages or hazardous materials. Counter-IED robot This new delivery of unmanned assets will give Germany’s soldiers more than a hundred versatile UGVs" “This new delivery of unmanned assets will give Germany’s soldiers more than a hundred versatile UGVs, with upgraded features and technology to keep them from harm during dangerous missions,” said Tom Frost, general manager of Unmanned Ground Systems at Teledyne FLIR Defense. “PackBot is the world’s most trusted counter-IED robot, and this latest shipment adds to the German Army’s inventory of Teledyne FLIR unmanned ground vehicles.” Communication, coordination, and teamwork “We’re proud to work with ELP and deepen our long-standing relationship with the German Army during this crucial and challenging time for European security,” added Tom. “We are pleased to work with Teledyne FLIR to provide the best solutions to the German Army. Communication, coordination, and teamwork have been essential in making sure the program becomes the success it is today. These ground robots are vital to future security efforts within and outside of Germany,” said Simon Weiss, managing director at ELP. Features of PackBots Employed in 57 countries, PackBots have helped defeat more than 70,000 IEDs. The advanced UGV offers enhanced communications, a tablet-based controller, and a common architecture that allows users to quickly connect cameras and other attachments to suit different mission needs. Among its many features, PackBot accepts a wide variety of sensors to detect chemical, biological, and nerve agents, radiation levels, and explosives.