- Smart Cards. Multiple technology credentials enable biometric and personal identification, multipurpose, and highly secure facility management.
- Biometric Cards. They bridge the gap between conventional access and ID credentials, and the totally card-free biometric process which has been on the horizon for many years, and which is gradually reaching fruition. Processing speed and memory capacity are the two technical hurdles which experts promise are on the verge of being conquered.
- Pin Numbers. Personal Identification Numbers still play a significant role in a large number of security applications as a convenient method which does not involve the technological and management issues associated with credential based systems.
- Photo Badging. Although photo ID predates most electronic access control, it is a widely used as a first line method of premises protection. Photo-ID technology has evolved to the point where, for a growing number of applications, conventional photographic technology has been replaced by computer imaging, and duplication, storage and transmission of images utilizes digital and network technologies. Photo ID's are paired up with one of the numerous credential technologies to provide multi-purpose and multi-functional credentials
Alarm Points are the updated term formerly referred to as "Zones." Alarm Points permit pinpointing of the location and nature of a problem or violation. Formerly, security systems were comprised of one or two zones (for example: interior and exterior; day and night, or instant vs. delayed loops). Access controls might, at best, have only provided monitoring of the doors they actually controlled. Today, access control and burglar alarms have converged into microprocessor based security management devices which also provide offsite monitoring, annunciation and control.
Multiple Workstations render the system far easier to manage, by offering end users a higher degree of control over more specific areas and functions of the system. Password protected and encrypted desktops, laptops and PDA's have revolutionized the way you gather, manage and respond to security issues of all types.
Parking & Vehicle Management
Parking lots and garages have become even more of a target because in addition to the traditional security problems they pose, automobiles are also being used as weapons today. Parking control has attained higher levels of priority to security managers in all market segments and applications. New tools permit IDing of vehicles, license plates and sniffing for contraband and explosives.
Elevator Access Control
A typical application which requires the integration of the premises' access control system is the control of elevators. However, when using elevator cars that carry multiple occupants, it may be difficult to provide absolute control.
This is one of the most challenging areas of system integration, and perhaps presents the most opportunities for the typical dealer. There is an abundance of network ready hardware and the ability to view and control IP based CCTV creates multiple and remote workstations.
Convergence and system integration, at every level of the electronic video security supply channel, has changed the course and plotted a new future for the entire industry. Fostered by technological developments in digital signal processing and network technology and accelerated by an increased demand; electronic video surveillance has quickly evolved. Both the suppliers and end users of such systems are plentiful.
A Positive Plan
When there is uncertainty as to whether or not there is an issue or a breach in security, you want to be the first to know. As far as the building's management is concerned, it may signal that a more articulated system or more regimented security plan needs to be implemented. A typical example would be a malfunctioning stairwell door access/security system that provides card access entry off the stairwell, and free egress from the stairwell into the suite of offices. In this specific case example, the door was not latching. It therefore creates both a security as well as life safety issue within the premises. Anyone can pass onto the floor without a credential; and the building's life safety posture, with respect to the control of fire and smoke migration, is severely compromised.
Were the system adequately monitored for unauthorized entry onto the floor from the stairwell, building management would be more likely to be aware when an issue presents itself. Building occupants need to know what proper system operation is supposed to be, what the possible ramifications of an inoperative system are, and the policy and procedure for reporting system issues that are in place.
Then, it's likely that the condition would be detected and addressed sooner. Surely if a burned out light bulb in the lobby or illegally parked car in a handicapped space triggers an immediate response, but a faulty security at a stairwell door is somewhere down the page of priorities, you have to wonder why the system was installed in the first place.