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Controlled access at IFSEC

11 April 2012

We asked the organisers of IFSEC International 2012 to give an overview of the latest access control innovations that will be in show at the NEC

Knowing who is on your premises when, why and for how long, is one of the biggest security challenges faced by FMs managing busy buildings. Overseeing the security of businesses with multiple sites and a large volume of visitors is a daily challenge in itself.

Controlling access to a building is not a new concept and has been used for many years in the simplest of forms such as gates and locks. Over the years however, the term 'access control' has evolved to cover more advanced technology solutions ranging from simple video entry and keypad access, to highly sophisticated biometrics, swipe cards and even computer systems based on Internet Protocol (IP) - whereby the physical solutions are integrated directly into existing IT networks.

Ahead of IFSEC International (14 - 17 May 2012, NEC Birmingham), we take a look at the latest developments in access control technology. FMs visiting IFSEC International will leave with a comprehensive overview of the access control market and have the opportunity touch and feel new products, services, technologies and source new suppliers.

"The economies of Europe and the UK have been noticeably impacted by the on-going saga that is the Euro Crisis. Growth across Europe is a challenge in the wider economy, but the Access Control sector seems to be holding up well if our year on year sales growth is typical across the sector", said John Davies, Managing Director of TDSi (Hall 4, Stand 4/G20), supplier of access control systems for all sizes of businesses and organisations.

Davies continued: "Whilst we are seeing growth both in the UK and Europe for our systems we are seeing a lengthening of the sales cycle and some new dynamics in the market, such as the increasing entrance of IT players into the Security space and moves by FM and M&E contractors to come direct to manufacturers for kit rather than via distribution. There is still growth in the Middle East, South East Asia and China - all areas that TDSi has been focusing on for some time now. We've also continued to invest in new product development activities, having launched and about to launch some exciting new biometric and Network Video Recording software products to further augment our offering and increase our ability to take advantage of growth opportunities as they arise."

Convergence of IT and facilities management
As enterprise IT and facilities management departments continue to cross paths, the same trend is happening in the security market and is one for FMs to watch. To date, information security typically sits with the IT department and physical/traditional security sits with the FM or real estate departments. However, as physical and information technology security policies, technology and people converge, it is vital that FMs learn about the opportunities and challenges their individual organisation will face.

The convergence of data and telecommunications over Internet Protocol (IP)-based networks now brings FM and IT closer than ever and security forms a key element of this. CCTV surveillance systems are a great example of this and have been relying on transmission over IP networks for many years. The access control market has been slower to adopt this approach over the years, however, today's access control systems are increasingly IP-based and as a result, are becoming more advanced, easier to integrate with existing systems and more cost-effective.

Developed in partnership with Anixter; a supplier of communications and security products, the brand new IP Assured Zone will showcase at IFSEC International 2012. Set up to help end-users and the channel alike, better understand IP and the impact it is having on their customers' business today and in the future, this exciting new feature area will comprise of an engaging mix of educational workshops and sharing of best practice.

FMs keen to hear about the latest innovations for IP-based access control technologies at IFSEC International 2012 should check out provider of complete IP Video security solutions IndigoVision (Hall 4, Stand 4/D20) which is launching its enhanced support for Gallagher's (Hall 4, Stand 4/D120) access control system formerly known as Cardax FT which will enable live video from the IndigoVision system to be viewed in Gallagher's Command Centre user interfaces. This streamlined video integration user interface increases the space available to display live video, improving viewing capabilities for the operator. Camera identifier data has also been simplified, for faster decision-making and straightforward configuration of the access control system.

Gallagher's Security Product Manager, Trish Thompson says Gallagher Command Centre v7.00 is about "the control room and managing, monitoring, and controlling security within a site. This version introduces the ability for you to put in front of your operators the particular information they need to see to manage the task in front of them."

Intelligent Integration
"There is a continued move in 2012 toward true integration between components of the physical security, network security and building management infrastructure and systems - as well as increasing the overall security", said Davies. "This is being done in order to drive down the cost of operating buildings and the cost of ownership of monitoring systems, as well as increase the reliability of system components and improve the environmental impact of the systems."

Charlie Cracknell, Event Director for IFSEC International, added: "While a greater emphasis is being placed on IP solutions, there are also many legacy systems and businesses that are integrating both analogue and IP technologies; to manage investment and facilitate current systems to create hybrid solutions."

Continuing the focus on hybrid solutions, ISM (Integrated Security Management) will once again be sponsoring and providing expert insight and advice at the Intelligent Integration Zone. Visitors will be able learn and see where they and their business can benefit from creating multi product hybrid solutions and what integration capabilities will help their business security and business management.

John Davies, TDSi said: "The increased homogeny of data systems means that integration is a far simpler and more desirable way of running an organisation and its premises efficiently. The wider technology trends that are influencing access control technology include IP integration (which is becoming more mainstream) and Near Field Communications (using ubiquitous mobile devices instead of card credentials). Both will become increasingly more prevalent in the management of access control systems. The continued development of biometric reader technologies is bringing the cost of this technology down further resulting in further growth in sales from these readers."

Access control innovation
IFSEC International will bring together many of the world's leading access control companies including ievo, Gallagher, Kaba, TDSi, Paxton Access, Salto Systems and HID - all set to showcase the industry's latest innovations.

Davies believes that rapidly evolving integrated technology, such as video analytics cameras which count people and prevent tailgating (one of the biggest access control issues), will increase security and reaction times. "Multiple application smart cards at one end of the scale and biometric reader developments at the other will continue to evolve and offer affordable and highly usable solutions", he said. He is also keen to stress that "Beyond the technology, access control, like every other business expense, will be expected to continue to offer tangible value for money. The age-old consideration of total cost of ownership will continue to be a key factor in where and how customers spend their budgets."

ievo(tm) (Hall 4, Stand 4/H47) will be showcasing its brand new biometric solution - ievo micro(tm) internal only fingerprint reader. This clever technology includes a spoof detection feature, where the reader is able to differentiate between live human fingerprints as opposed to synthetic man-made prints and optimum retention of functionality even with types of creams and powders on the skin as well as some types of latex gloves. With the global launch taking place at IFSEC this May, ievo(tm) plan to integrate a testing station on stand for both its micro(tm) and ultimate(tm) solution, whereby FMs can put different substances, liquids or latex gloves on their fingertips and try the products for themselves. ievo's ultimate(tm) product has recently been installed in an Olympic site, the Scottish National Arena for the Commonwealth Games 2014 and the German Embassy in London.

Showcasing at IFSEC International, TDSi's DIGIgarde Plus solution is a compact optical fingerprint reader that is compatible with fingerprints, cards and PINs. It provides added security should a specific entrance require it, offering access using a combination of secure methods.

TDSi's work to achieve integration of Intruder Alarm Panels will also culminate in the launch of Texecom Intruder Integration; a module for true TCP/IP integration between TDSi's EXgarde PRO software suite to alarm specialist Texecom's Premier range of Intruder Alarm panels. The solution allows full integration of Texecom's Premier range of panels to other serial-based devices such as IP CCTV and TDSi's VUgarde NVR, providing visual verification of Intruder Alarms through TDSi's EXgarde PRO.

Kaba evolo the latest stand alone electronic access control solution from Kaba (Hall 4, stand D140), will also be on show at IFSEC. Kaba believes this will offer FMs "the latest in technology, flexibility and future security". Its wireless connection is Mifare-compatible allowing for integration with many security systems. With in-depth knowledge of critical infrastructures, technological expertise and a continuously developing range of bespoke products, Kaba's fully integrated solutions are extensively used within education, stadiums, finance, manufacturing, transport, government, MoD and any other industry that considers security as part of their remit. Kaba's product experts will be on hand throughout the show to discuss FMs' specific business needs and security concerns.

Visitors to IFSEC International can also check out Kaba CardLink which combines online access control and stand-alone electronic locks. This innovative concept enables on-line and stand-alone components to be configured centrally - so from one single control system, so FMs can now manage both networked doors and access points with standalone door locks and readers. Kaba believes this provides "convenience for the user and maximum security for the system operator".

Predicting the future of access control, like the future of anything, is always a difficult task to do accurately according to TDSi's John Davies and never more so than in the current economic climate which is dependent so much on political will to bring the Euro back from the precipice. "Indications are that the UK and Europe will grow slowly if at all in 2012 but that the Middle East, Asia (India), South East Asia, China and South America will continue to invest in building their economies and infrastructure as the balance of economic power shifts further to the East and the South. Putting macro-economic issues to one side though, we're predicting and can see a great future for the access control sector. There is no question that the integration of systems will be a key factor in the future of access control management as the benefits are enormous" he concludes.

Charlie Cracknell, Event Director at IFSEC International concludes: "Gone are the days when security cameras and lighting were sufficient enough to deter security threats. Access control solutions provide a safe, professional and cost-effective way to help facilities managers with their daily job of keeping their organisation secure. FMs visiting IFSEC International 2012 will meet some of the industry's leading access control suppliers who can tailor a solution to suit any building or site set up."

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