Genetec, the developer of unified systems for enhanced security, operations and intelligence, has announced a new series of webinars designed to assist end users and system integrators in navigating these testing times.
The sessions outline ways in which customers from various industries are repurposing their existing physical security systems in order to solve specific pandemic-related issues. In addition, they will cover ways in which Genetec is evolving its own solutions to address critical new requirements.
The details for the upcoming webinars are as follows:
Thursday 16 July
Privacy now and after COVID-19 Amid a public health crisis, the global pandemic is raising questions about privacy. How can technology help?
Tuesday 21 July
Physical security innovations to help during the pandemic In this session, experts will discuss the new reality and how technology is being developed and deployed
Tuesday 4 August
Delivering new innovations Experts from Genetec, Quanergy and HID will discuss collaborative innovations that are supporting end users in the current environment
Tuesday 18 August
Identity as the new perimeter Experts will discuss why identity is now the backbone to infrastructure management and the enforcement of security policies
Wednesday 26 August
Machine Learning: Making sense of data Data scientists will explain the use of machine learning to improve product performance, give users greater insights into their physical security data and enable organisations to more effectively automate their processes
ACRE, the provider of security products and solutions for the access control, intrusion, smart traffic and video surveillance markets, has announced that CEO Joe Grillo has been inducted into the Security Sales and Integration (SSI) Industry Hall of Fame Class of 2018. Grillo joins nearly 100 security leaders recognised for their “unforgettable impact on the industry” over the course of their career.
Founded in 2004, the SSI Industry Hall of Fame represents the highest honour for extraordinary professionalism, conduct and achievement, paying tribute to individuals who are instrumental in improving the security industry. Inductees are nominated by past inductees and other luminaries, citing the impact each has had over a long and illustrious career.
Grillo, a 30-year electronic access control manufacturing veteran, was chosen for his proven track record of growing, acquiring and restructuring businesses.
“Growing sales in a highly competitive market is difficult, but I thrive on successfully meeting the goals of an organisation through development and profitability,” explained Grillo. “I’m honoured to be recognised by the Industry Hall of Fame alongside an incredible group of hardworking executives. Throughout my career, I’ve been fortunate to be able to enjoy what I do.”
Grillo was instrumental in helping HID grow from a $15 million card and reader company to a dominant $100 million-plus industry leader by 2000, also leading the effort to sell HID to ASSA ABLOY in 2001.
In 2012, he founded ACRE LLC as a platform to consolidate electronic security acquisitions, forming Vanderbilt out of the Ingersoll Rand Software and Controllers product portfolio while adding Siemens AG’s former Security Products Division, Access Control Technologies and ComNet.
Grillo also added Mercury Security and later re-sold to HID Global in 2017.
Norbain has announced the launch of HID’s latest Seos technology, which now includes the ability to use mobile devices for secure access and efficiently manage multiple applications.
The new range consists of the following components:
HID Seos Profile Readers
The latest readers in the SE Portfolio. The readers use the Seos platform which offers the simplest configuration and Best in Class security and privacy protection. Additionally, the readers are available to be used with HID Mobile Access.
HID Mobile Access
Allows the user to download an app to their smart phone and take advantage of either NFC or Bluetooth to communicate with the reader and allow entry. The system is seamless to set up and install, offering the next generation in access control. The app can be downloaded via the Apple app store or Google Play (Android).
iClass Seos Cards
Based on the latest technology from HID Global, Seos cards work seamlessly out of the box with Seos Profile readers and offer Best in Class security and privacy. The cards represent the perfect solution for environments where multiple legacy reader technologies are in place and the move to advanced, more secure technology is desired.
Anne Wesley, product marketing manager for access control at Norbain, commented: “Products in HID’s new Seos range of readers and cards allow end users to advance to the more secure technology now being offered. With products that can seamlessly integrate into legacy systems, this allows end user customers to not only manage the move into more advanced security, but also upgrade security at a pace that’s suitable for their budget.”
In the latest Research Note issued by IHS, Blake Kozak – the company’s senior analyst in the sphere of security and building technologies – discusses how the new NFC and Apply Pay features of the iPhone 6 could be the “lightning rod” to finally spark changes in the way that mobile credentials are used for access control.
For more than four years now, one of the most talked about trends has been Near Field Communication (NFC). NFC was supposed to change the face of the access control world by eliminating the need for cards, subsequently reducing the administrative burden on organisations of all sizes while at the same time increasing security.
However, this scenario has not yet come to pass, with suppliers to date offering little more than pilot projects and limited real world installations.
Of course, NFC isn’t a new concept. In 2006, Nokia released the first NFC phone. Four years later, Samsung issued the first Android NFC phone before announcing its inaugural Secu-NFC technology a year later. According to Samsung, the Secu-NFC chip combines an NFC controller and a secure element storing personal information and security keys with advanced encryption technologies.
Then, last year, Samsung and Visa announced a major partnership for mobile payments.
Today, the list of NFC-enabled phones is extensive. Examples include Alcatel, Asus, BlackBerry, Nexus, HTC, Kyocera and LG (among many others).
The iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus
Barriers to NFC’s implementation in access control
Historically, most NFC installations were instigated by partnerships between handset manufacturers and financial institutions, in turn producing closed systems with limited opportunity for developers to expand the concept to uses beyond mobile payment.
IHS believes this has been one of the main barriers to the implementation of NFC in the access control sector.
On Tuesday of this week, Apple announced that NFC would be a feature of the new iPhone 6. While Apple Pay is primarily a mechanism for secure mobile payments, there appears to be plenty of opportunity for other applications since iOS 8 will also have an Apple Pay application programming interface (API) available for developers.
Already, many retailers and restaurants have implemented Apple Pay within their own applications, allowing patrons to skip lines and pay/order directly from a mobile device. According to Apple, the mobile payment transaction occurs by assigning a unique device account number which is encrypted and securely stored in the secure element (a dedicated chip inside the iPhone). When a purchase is made, the device account number alongside a transaction-specific dynamic security code is used to process the payment. On that basis, the actual credit or debit card numbers are never shared with merchants or transmitted with payment.
The true benefit of this announcement for the access control sector is the potential use of the open API for developers. Although Samsung Galaxy has an embedded SE and countless other devices offer subscriber identification module (SIM)-based SE, there has been limited traction for access control.
There are many forms of secure element, including the universal integrated circuit card (UICC), NFC SIM, embedded SE, external (sticker or sleeve) and microSD. The most used formats are UICC and embedded, with the new iPhone 6 featuring an embedded SE.
According to the 2014 IHS report on NFC, 18.2% of cellular handsets shipped in 2013 were NFC-enabled (up from about 8% in 2012). IHS forecasts the number of phones that are NFC-enabled to reach about 1.17 billion by 2018.
The report also estimates that, in 2013, around 70% of NFC secure element implementations within cellular handsets were embedded while 27% resided on the SIM card.
What does this mean for the access control sector?
Apple’s announcement addresses one of the barriers the access control sector has faced with regards to NFC (ie loading an identifier onto the secure element). With the API mentioned by Apple, it’s possible that access control manufacturers – among others in the supply chain – could load and command an identifier directly onto the secure element. Currently, most providers of NFC-based access control are using encryption methods located in the sandbox (host operating system) of the handset only rather than the SE.
By using host card emulation (HCE), providers are able to offer NFC outside of the SE. Although this isn’t deemed a Best Practice method, the only other means to provide mobile access control through NFC would be to partner with all the cellular carriers and providers which can be an incredibly arduous process. By partnering, the access supplier is allowed access to the SE, which is typically either embedded or in the SIM card.
One example of such a partnership is HID and Oberthur Technologies. In 2013, HID announced a partnership with Oberthur Technologies to carry Seos digital keys on NFC SIM cards.
As mentioned above, the Apple announcement could make it easier for access control suppliers to provide mobile credentials with the true security afforded by the secure element.
Beyond the buzz, the market opportunity for access control remains unclear. Only time will tell if Apple providing mobile payment will ‘jump start’ NFC usage for access control. Some access control manufacturers speculate that the use of the secure element may not always be necessary and that the encryption provided for access control data on the handset is sufficient for most end users.
Impact on the access control sector
How quickly could this announcement impact access control? Today, data suggests that less than 3% of retailers (or 220,000 out of about nine million) will be using the mobile payments at the start. One of the main reasons for low adoption is the lack of infrastructure in stores.
However, every credit card in the US, for example, will be required to have EMV Chip and PIN technology by October 2015. As a result, merchants could decide to move forward with NFC capabilities since they will need to upgrade their system in any case.
Interestingly enough, Apple is initially only launching in the US which has the lowest penetration rate of mobile payments compared with all other regions. There is a tremendous upside though. Access control end users already have the infrastructure in place to support NFC (eg the smart card reader, 13.56 MHz). While some pieces of the system (such as incompatible hardware and software) may need upgrading, the system is mostly ready.
The iPhone 6 is larger than the iPhone 5S
Unlike the retail space, which has to replace millions of terminals and retrain employees, access control is already primed for the transition.
Overall, Apple could instigate change for the access control sector. However, adoption will remain low due to the other barriers which have not been addressed, such as mobile phone issuance to colleagues and identifying which department in an organisation will manage the mobile credentials. In most cases, the phone would be managed by IT and the security credential would be managed by the Security Department.
New policies and procedures will have to be created and many end users will still be issued with badges for identification purposes.
Bluetooth: a viable alternative to NFC
Bluetooth is becoming a viable alternative to NFC. Security suppliers have been working for the past several years to partner with NFC and implement it beyond pilot projects but to little avail.
As a result, many are turning to Bluetooth, which is deemed by many to be a more robust option for security purposes such as access control since, for instance, the read range can be modified.
Additionally, Bluetooth has a longer history with smart phones than NFC. Bluetooth was introduced in 2000 and NFC in 2006.
While the Apple announcement sets the ball rolling for NFC in the physical security space by providing more outlets for app developers to create a unique user experience, other barriers still need to be overcome before a state of critical mass is attained.