Tag Archives: security

Key industry players join forces to establish FiRa Consortium focused on Ultra-Wideband technology

Recognising the need for emerging applications to build on a strong foundation that supports interoperability among all categories of devices, sponsor members prominent in the spheres of access, secure connectivity and mobile/CE device solutions – namely the ASSA ABLOY Group (which includes HID Global and NXP Semiconductors), Samsung Electronics and Bosch –  have announced the launch of the FiRa Consortium.

The new coalition is designed to grow the Ultra-Wideband (UWB) ecosystem such that new use cases for fine ranging capabilities can thrive, ultimately setting a new standard in seamless user experiences. Sony Imaging Products & Solutions, LitePoint and the Telecommunications Technology Association are the first companies to join the newly-formed organisation.

The FiRa name, which stands for ‘Fine Ranging’, highlights UWB technology’s ability to deliver “unprecedented accuracy” when measuring the distance or determining the relative position of a target. Notably so in challenging environments, UWB technology outperforms other technologies in terms of accuracy, power consumption, robustness in RF connection and security “by a wide margin”

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Charlie Zhang, chair of the FiRa Consortium and vice-president of engineering at Samsung Electronics, stated: “As an industry consortium, we believe UWB technology can transform the way in which people experience connectivity. We’re very much committed to the widespread adoption of interoperable UWB technologies.”

IEEE Standard 802.15.4/4z in focus 

The starting point for UWB technology is the IEEE Standard 802.15.4/4z, which defines the essential characteristics for low data rate wireless connectivity and enhanced ranging. It’s the aim of the FiRa Consortium to build on what the IEEE has already established by developing an interoperability standard based on the IEEE’s profiled features, defining mechanisms that are out of scope of the IEEE standard and also pursuing activities that support rapid development of specific use cases. 

The capabilities of UWB promise to make it an essential technology in many areas, among them:

*Seamless access control UWB can identify an individual’s approach towards or away from a secured entrance, verify security credentials and let an authorised individual pass through an entrance without physically presenting the credential

*Location-based services UWB offers highly precise positioning, even in congested multi-path signal environments, thereby making it easier to navigate large venues such as airports and Shopping Centres or find a car in a multi-story parking garage. It also enables targeted digital marketing campaigns and foot traffic data. Retailers can present customised offers, Government agencies can tailor their notifications and entertainment venues can personalise recommendations during events

*Device-to-Device (Peer-to-Peer) services By providing precise relative distance and direction between two devices, UWB lets devices find the relative location of each other even without infrastructures such as anchors or access points. This allows people to easily find one another in crowded spaces or find items even when they’ve been placed in hidden areas

Use with other wireless technologies

Due to its low power spectral density, UWB offers little-to-no interference with other wireless standards, so it’s well suited for use with other wireless technologies including Near Field Communication (NFC), Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

There are also adjacent markets that leverage UWB in other ways, especially automotive. “The FiRa Consortium’s commitment to a complete ecosystem means we will work with other consortia and industry players to develop approaches and define parameters,” explained Charles Dachs, vice-chair of the FiRa Consortium and general manager at NXP Semiconductors.

FiRa Consortium members will have the chance to influence industry trends, gain early access to technical details, certify interoperable products, expand the UWB ecosystem and share expertise. Ramesh Songukrishnasamy, director and treasurer of the FiRa Consortium and CTO of HID Global, commented: “We encourage anyone from any relevant industry area who has a vested interest in the success of UWB to join us and contribute to the Consortium’s work.”

*To learn more about the FiRa Consortium and the benefits of membership visit www.firaconsortium.org

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Nortech controllers manage access at shared parking facilities

The CPC202 and CPC204 Shared Occupancy Controllers from access controls specialist Nortech are compact, standalone, intelligent units that control access for groups of users sharing the same parking facility.

A single CPC204 Shared Occupancy Controller can provide full access control to a parking facility that’s shared by up to four independent user groups. As well as validating user credentials, it will monitor usage and prevent each user group from exceeding its allocated number of parking spaces. In addition, it will work almost any barrier/gate system.

The CRC202 Shared Occupancy Controller can be used to control access to a parking facility by a single group of users, preventing over-occupancy of the facility. It can also be used to manage the sharing of a facility by two user groups.

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Both Shared Occupancy Controllers provide a comprehensive range of access control functions such as restricting parking to certain times of the day, preventing the abuse of pass cards (pass back) and supporting visitor management by dint of using group-specific PIN codes.

The controllers support independent readers and gate controls for entry and exit gates/barriers and work with most types of card reader/vehicle ID reader. They have capacity for up to four count groups (CPC204) or two count groups (CPC202) and can accommodate anything up to 9,999 users per group.

The CPC202 and CPC204 devices also have capacity for up to 65,000 cards/tokens, provide a choice of counting methods and can control up to four message signs, Space/Full signs or traffic signals.

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The compact and easy-to-install controllers optimise parking capacity, thereby maximising return on investment. They also help to prevent parking in unauthorised areas. This not only improves safety, but also avoids disputes and minimises disruption to a given location.

Other benefits include the saving of fuel and reducing of pollution by preventing drivers from entering the car park when spaces are not available as well as the comprehensive range of access control features. The visual indication of which companies have spaces available also helps to avoid queuing and enables each tenant company to manage their own parking allocation.

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“Payments via voice tech on rise but consumers reluctant to make ‘big ticket’ purchases” reports Paysafe

According to new research commissioned by the Paysafe Group, over half of consumers (57%) questioned would use voice-activated technology, such as Amazon’s Alexa, to pay for low-value goods and services. The research also found that one-in-ten (11%) have used voice to confirm their identity when purchasing goods online.

Furthermore, over half (53%) of consumers believe that using voice-activated technology is quicker and more convenient than traditional payment methods, suggesting an increasing acceptance of voice-activated systems in consumers’ lives.

Nearly two-thirds (62%) suggested that a greater choice of verification methods, such as voice and fingerprint, make them feel more secure about making payments online, although most consumers (81%) still feel most comfortable if a password’s included somewhere in the process. 

While the acceptance of voice in payment scenarios is clearly increasing, consumers are still in two minds about making larger purchases and, indeed, the security of voice technology in general. For example, only 18% would be happy to pay for a holiday or book flights using voice recognition. From a security perspective, just over a third (37%) trust that their financial information is secure when using voice-activated technology and nearly half (45%) said they don’t want companies having access to their personal biometric details.

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The research report, entitled ‘Lost in Translation: The End of Risk?’, explores consumer attitudes to biometrics prior to the roll-out of Strong Customer Authentication later this year. The annual study tracks changing views on payments globally.

Commenting on the research results, Danny Chazonoff (COO at the Paysafe Group) said: “The age of voice has well and truly arrived with the advent of affordable and highly functional smart speakers. As consumers become more comfortable using voice to access services, it’s only a matter of time before ordering goods and making payments by voice enters the mainstream both via smart devices and mobile.”

Chazonoff continued: “Understandably with a nascent tech like voice activation, consumers are still apprehensive about security. Our research indicates that consumers are likely to start experimenting with low-value shopping and services, but this will inevitably change as people become more comfortable using voice. Once a user base is established, it can take a couple of years before we see a rapid increase in usage.”

*To read the full research report visit https://www.paysafe.com/lost-in-transaction-the-end-of-risk/

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London jeweller strikes gold with Mul-T-Lock CLIQ

Mul-T-Lock has supplied a high-end jeweller in London with CLIQ locks in order to help the business manage access to cabinets holding valuable items. 

Stocking bespoke pieces and precious stones, the jeweller was looking for a high-level security solution that allowed sales personnel access to individual glass cabinets, without the worry that if one of the keys was lost or misplaced that they would then have to replace the entire suite. 

Over 50 CLIQ cam locks from Mul-T-Lock were installed at the jewellers on each of the cabinets, offering maximum security with the added benefit of audit trail capabilities. 

These capabilities include the ability to schedule individual access permissions for each key, as well as to provide time-limited access. In the case of this particular jewellers, each member of staff was given access to a selection of cabinets at varying times, with individual permissions set by the administrator.

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For example, access could be set for only business hours, meaning that the cabinet could not be accessed at evenings or weekends. Similarly, each time a user opens a lock, that action will be recorded in the system, meaning that the administrator can keep an eye on operations electronically. 

Specialist Mul-T-Lock integrator Elelock Systems specified and installed the CLIQ locks at the jewellers after weeks of careful consultation with the business owner to better understand the store’s requirements. 

Chrys Chrysostomou, managing director of Elelock, told Risk Xtra: “One of the biggest concerns for this particular jeweller was the threat of compromised security if cabinet keys were lost. Mul-T-Lock’s CLIQ technology means you can revoke access in minutes, whereas with a traditional system you would have needed to replace the whole lock, in turn costing time and money. With no cabling, the system was easy to configure and install, making it suitable for a variety of applications. The store manager also received hands-on training from ourselves and Mul-T-Lock, alongside the jeweller’s head of IT and its security representative.” 

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Suresh Peri, commercial and technical manager at Mul-T-Lock, added: “Our CLIQ system is ideal for retail applications where there are a number of members of staff who need access at varying times, or that require individual permissions for access to high security storage rooms, cabinets or drawers. Being able to revoke access permissions when a member of staff leaves the business also allows retailers to uphold their security and reduce ongoing maintenance costs.”

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dormakaba introduces Argus barrier system for first line of access security

Stylish with intuitive access control, the new Argus range from dormakaba is a contemporarily designed barrier system that allows fluid movement while providing a first line of access security. 

The Argus range is badged as “the ultimate combination of efficient functionality and sleek styling” available in three models – Argus 40, Argus 60 and Argus 80. Featuring glass or plastic door leaves, the Argus 60 and 80 models also feature soft ambient lighting options to complement interior design and create a warm, welcoming entrance for authorised visitors.

Through the new motor drive system, barrier operation is also whisper quiet such that in busy lobby areas with multiple lanes the Argus isn’t intrusive, which helps in creating a more relaxed reception for staff and visitors. Through “class-leading” power consumption, building energy efficiencies are improved.

Flexible for a variety of applications, the passage widths are adjustable up to 1,600 mm so they’re able to suit any building or access requirements. For increased security, the door leaves can also be provided up to 1,800 mm height, while still retaining a 200 mm ground clearance.

Segregation sensors

Argus also contains highly efficient segregation sensors ensuring the door leaves move exactly before and after a person has passed through, not while they’re inside. The Argus 40 sensor uses a horizontal strip that’s able to detect people from 300 mm away with an optional hip height sensor to optimise this.

The Argus 60 and 80 models feature an “L”-shaped detection array with additional vertical sensor so unauthorised visitors can now be detected faster – to 100 mm from the person in front. This also means even if a person is carrying a suitcase, a delivery trolley or is a wheelchair user, the sensors will remain open only for the authorised individual.

Each barrier can be integrated into the emergency or fire alarm control system. This means that, when an alarm is activated, the door leaves will automatically open and stay open to allow for easy means of escape. In addition, the Argus 60 and Argus 80’s ambient lighting can then be changed into escape lighting, clearly guiding occupants to the exits, which can be crucial in the event of thick smoke or darkness.

Saferoute Control Unit

Argus barriers can also be specified with the dormakaba Saferoute Control Unit, which provides local emergency opening. An authorised individual with the master key switch can easily reset the system in the event of a test or false alarm. 

Lee Chandler, product marketing manager for Automatic Entrance Systems at dormakaba, stated: “Our new Argus series combines style with effective building access control and meets the complex requirements of the the modern office environment without compromising on aesthetics or performance.”

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Evolution invests in people development with appointment of Louise Gough as Human Resources manager

Evolution, the integrated fire and security solutions specialist, has appointed Louise Gough as its new Human Resources (HR) manager to lead the business’ recruitment strategy, implement new training and development opportunities, manage employee relations and provide support to the wider business.

Gough joins Evolution with a wealth of HR management experience, including eight years’s service with a market-leading integrated security business where she was also involved in project and bid work and facilities management. Prior to that, Gough worked for a number of large manufacturing and construction firms.

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Louise Gough: the new HR manager at Evolution

Now, Gough is looking forward to helping drive even further business growth at Evolution. “It’s a very exciting time for the business,” explained Gough in conversation with Risk Xtra. “The workforce has expanded considerably already this year and further growth is expected as a result of the business being successful in winning some large projects n the UK, the Republic of Ireland and further afield in Europe.”

Further, Gough stated: “I hope to add real value to the business and will start by closely reviewing our recruitment and wider people strategies and use my knowledge and experience to implement new methods that enable us to work smarter, while also enhancing our strong position within the integrated security sector. I want to take the HR burden away from the senior managers and allow them to focus more closely on their own roles, which in turn will lead to more proactive and productive teams.”

Richard Lambert, managing director of Evolution, enthused: “We’re delighted that Louise is joining the team. She has proven experience and great sector knowledge which will be invaluable. There’s no doubt Louise will help to drive the business forward as we continue our plans to grow in the UK and Europe.”

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NSI supports World Accreditation Day 2019

The National Security Inspectorate (NSI) offered its full support to World Accreditation Day 2019 (#WAD2019). A global initiative celebrating accreditation, the event (which took place on Sunday 9 June) focused on accredited bodies like the NSI adding value in supply chains. 

From a security and fire safety sector perspective, installers and service providers of security and fire safety systems and security guarding solution are a vital ‘link in the chain’ with their expertise at the point of delivery, keeping people safe, ensuring security solutions harness suitable technology and that they’re fit for purpose.

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Whether it be in the design, installation and commissioning of intruder alarms, access control systems, fire detection or suppression systems and CCTV or the monitoring of myriad guarding services, Best Practice in service provision by NSI-approved companies ensures that quality solutions are delivered to customers.

World Accreditation Day marked the work underway to launch ‘IAF CertSearch’, a website designed to provide buyers with the ability to verify management systems certificates such as ISO 9001 (itself a key component of NSI’s Gold approvals). This facility will help to distinguish certificates issued by accredited conformity assessment bodies (CABs), such as the NSI, from certificates issued by non-accredited CABs and to check the authenticity of a certificate.

Richard Jenkins, CEO at the NSI, commented: “World Accreditation Day plays an important role in promoting the value of accreditation and accredited conformity assessment. As an accredited certification body, the NSI conforms to ISO 17021-1 and ISO 17065 in the delivery of Certificates of Approval to over 1,800 approved companies operating in the UK and Eire. The worldwide system of accreditation spans economies accounting for 96% of global GDP*. The NSI is proud to play its small part in this ecosystem underpinning Best Practice, competency and consistent quality within our sector, as recognised by, among others, the National Police Chiefs’ Council, the Security Industry Authority, the Surveillance Camera Commissioner, BAFE and industry and insurer stakeholders.”

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Richard Jenkins

NSI Gold Approval combines Quality Management Systems approval ISO 9001 with specific product standards pertinent to services provided, in addition to NSI Quality Schedules and approval criteria specifically designed for the security and fire systems and guarding services sectors. The NSI adopts a ‘treat recommendations as mandatory’ stance with regard to all standards and Codes of Practice, affording buyers confidence that NSI-approved companies adhere to the latest Best Practice at all times.

For full details of the range of NSI approvals to international and British Standards and industry Codes of Practice visit www.nsi.org.uk

*Source: World Economic Forum

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