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June 22, 2017

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The Video Surveillance Report 2022

IFSEC 2017

The trends shaping the future of access control

Access control is undergoing a period of rapid change.

In a wide-ranging panel debate at IFSEC International 2017, a panel of access control manufacturers discussed the trends shaping the industry.

Panel chair John Davies, Managing Director of TDSi explained that just as there had been a major disruption five or six years ago things in the CCTV world when communication was opened between cameras and different pieces of software – this now is also happening in the world of access control.

Spencer Marshall, HID Global explained that access control has been until recently still its infancy. Credentials were used on a low and slow frequency, with no memory capability. Encryption had not evolved – this was raw data – and a lot of people still use the 125 Khz technology, according to Marshall.

However, moving forward manufacturers will increasingly use the faster, higher frequency (13.56 MHz) handshake between credential and reader as this speed allows encryption to take place. Marshall furthermore identified mobility as the main driver of innovation for the future.

An encrypted credential can now be placed on a smartphone, and using NFC or Bluetooth communicate with the reader using a strong set of keys (user-determined) to manage the whole route of the credentials in a trusted manner.

Access control panel at IFSEC 2017

NFC and bluetooth

Davies pointed out that some years ago everyone was talking about NFC, then Apple locked the NFC technology on their Apple pay, which led to a move to Bluetooth. However now things are about to change, as Apple have announced that in iOS 11 access to NFC will be opened up.

Marshall explained the differences between NFC and Bluetooth technologies. NFC is near field, very close proximity. Bluetooth (BLE) is low energy and draws a minimal amount of battery energy out of the device. BLE is also long range (8 to 10 metres) and HID have now patented a Twist and Go reader using BLE technology with device gestures that can be used for example for parking.

Gareth Ellams, ASSA ABLOY, identified simplicity as the main driver of innovation in the locking aspect of security. The drive to deploy secure locks in an access control system as simply as possible has resulted in the development of the wireless, encrypted Aperio product. There are no issues around wifi as it is a proprietary format, but the functionality is open. Multi-tech readers in the Aperio means that it is future proofed for the technologies it is going to be used for e.g. tablets, pcs. The next step involves working with access control partners to adapt the platform for use by access control manufacturers.

Davies pointed out that this technology was created to solve a tricky problem within co-located data-centres where servers store information from different companies. Access to this data needed to be secured – this was done with keys, but this was not secure until ASSA ABLOY developed the wireless lock that also ensures a full audit trail.

Shane Naish of Integrated Design introduced the innovations currently turning the humble turnstile into a speed gate. This is still controlled by simple relay IO, moving forwards however integration with access control systems using ethernet is key. This will increase functionality and data gathered. An alarm event can then be specifically identified as entry, exist, crawl or tailgating (an unauthorised person following an authorised person into a building). Other ways ethernet is being used is in the integration with CCTV. An alarm event can be shared with a CCTV system so that this tilts, zooms or pans to look at the person involved. Also smart building management systems can use this technology to count people populating a building or floor using portals throughout the building.

Open protocols

Davies pointed out that the physical security world in general is evolving rapidly and moving away from manufacturing in different silos. Technology and open standards are breaking down the differentiators or barriers. Some new standards are being developed and used on the credential side.

While Wiegand protocol is still prevalent, there are development within this area as Spenser Marshall explained. Wiegand is one-way – it only is directed to the panel. Details are sent to a reader and from the reader to a panel via Wiegand. HID is working to develop a new protocol with multiple manufacturers called OSDP – Open Supervised Device Protocol – this is an open standard that is supervised because there is an encryption between the reader and panel. Also this communication is bi-directional, so data can be sent back to the reader. This means tampering can be detected and the reader can be updated or upgraded.

Davies went on to discuss open protocol drivers for access communications – many have adopted profile C for their controllers. This means they can be controlled by someone else’s software, it breaks through the proprietary world. Management systems, alarm receiving centres, building management systems will now be able to talk in an open controller manner to controllers developed by TDSi and HID.

On the trust and identity side of things it is important to ensure that the credentials issues are issued to the right smart device or individual.

Marshall explained that HID ensures credential through a process of encrypted emails sent from their cloud service. These contain a license code, which is then entered into the app and communicated back to the cloud services and exchanges all relevant details about the device– the communication is encrypted and the person using the trusted identity is known.

Cloud access

The cloud is having a huge impact within access control according to Davies and means a paradigm shift because companies are not selling kit but providing a service. The need of customers is to be secure and this means they want a secure building or management system, which is driving the service-side of security. The industry started with opening doors – but it is now about people and how people interact with systems.

HID, for example, went from selling cards to developing trusted identities – not a card but a signature on a smart device. It’s about securing the journey with a trusted authenticated identify.

The changes for ASSA ABLOY are driven by standards and quality of locks and making technology smaller to fit into the doors easily.

Integrated Design has extended its services by developing products that use infrared to deactivate or reactivate a system in an energy efficient way.

Keep up with the wireless access control market

Download this free report to find out more about:

  • The current state of wireless access control solutions in the market
  • The developing ‘move to mobile access control’ trend
  • Views on open architecture and integration
  • The growing use of the cloud and ACaaS to manage access systems
  • How important is sustainability to the industry?

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