Card Access System Review: Moving from Prox To Smartcards

May 2, 2014
Hybrid technologies like multi-technology readers and door controllers help your customers migrate to a higher level of access control

Hybrid technologies are combining and refining the traditional system categories of standalone and wired access control, bringing together functionalities which formerly required cabling. This transition is made possible because of the increased efficiency of the electronics which can operate for extended periods on standard batteries, and the widespread deployment of wireless network topologies which can support remote system management and real time event reporting such as forced doors, and door control, such as lockdown and remote door release.

As the access control market matures and appeals to a wider market, the security profession better recognizes the core feature sets that clients need and will purchase, avoiding the top loading of projects with fluff and over-designed equipment.

The wider market for access controls means systems are getting deployed into facilities where there may be existing security equipment, or where requirements may be application-specific. An example would be a facility with existing cameras and an alarm system, ready to add door controls to better control visitors and employee movements in the facility.

In these environments, the ability of the locksmith to integrate access control with the existing hardware will leverage the ROI to the end-user and make the investment easier to justify and a more rewarding experience for all involved.

In the past, the locksmith might be faced with the upgrade of a site from keys to electronic credentials or mechanical keypads. In the present and future, the client may want to improve the level of authentication which could involve a more secure key product, establishing a key control process, specifying an electronic access device - standalone or networked - or consolidating access control credentials across the enterprise, campus or community.

Being aware of new technologies and techniques enables the locksmith to recognize opportunities for this scale of services and be able to effectively fulfill the clients’ requirements.

The present and future of electronic access control will involve hybrid technologies. Hardware, software, security management philosophies are all evolving as science delivers better solutions and the threats and risks in our world elevate.

We are required to constantly transition our techniques, retaining those which work, and replacing those which fail the test of time.

In the world of access control, the state of the art has brought us to an exciting point where solutions have never been more abundant, enabling the locksmith to better protect and service his customers.

One aspect of access control, the credential is a case in point where we can expect to continue to offer multiple solutions custom-tailored to the particular needs of each client. Following are some of the options available today.

Securitron R100-1H 

Although there are several long range reader/credential products on the market, all the readers require wiring, and the product group as a whole are aimed at the gate control parking access market.

Securitron’s R100-1H surface mounted wireless reader and pre-paired Aperio® hub offer a new way to extend access control to installation environments where a close range reader is required but it is impractical to hard-wire a reader or if it is aesthetically incorrect to drill for wire and mounting a reader.

I’ve done numerous installations of card readers and electric locking devices in glass lobbies, especially for banks, and used a variety of creative and custom techniques to accomplish the tasks. Coincidentally, I often used a Securitron product, as they were pioneers in providing specialty brackets and kits for all types of problem installs, notably for mounting to Herculite and glass.

Installation of the RI00-1H wireless reader requires no drilling or pulling of wires. The supplied adhesive sets the reader in position in a few minutes.

Product features include:

  • Fully-encrypted AES 128 wireless communication
  • Online transaction audit trail capability
  • Low battery signaling and reporting
  • Suitable for outdoor use
  • Up to 35,000 cycles per battery
  • Green status LED indicator
  • SecuriCare 3-Year No Fault Warranty
  • Dimensions: 4.25" x 1.8" x 1.0”
  • Operating Temperature: -40 to +122F (-40 to +50C)

Two models are available to support low frequency or high frequency cards. The low frequency model supports PROX and EM PROX. The high frequency model supports iCLASS, iCLASS Seos™, iCLASS SE, ISO14443B UID, Mifare, Mifare Plus, Desfire SE, Desfire EV1, NFC

More Info:

infinias eIDC32 

The PoE-powered infinias eIDC32 door controller is a compact self-contained EAC device which can run as a standalone, or networked. In basic standalone mode, the controller is connected to a reader, a lock and a power source. Programming is via CAT5 cable and a computer with a browser.

One significant feature is that the eIDC only requires a single cable running to the door. If used in a network environment, the Ethernet CAT 5 also brings power. The power may be used to run the eIDC, and with properly selected accessories can also power the reader and the electric lock. And with multiple inputs and outputs, the eIDC32 will power your door accessories.

For a multiple door networked environment, infinias offers a server-based Access control Suite which offers a multitude of door and credential management options.

Intelli-M Access 4.0 is packed with some great new features. The new software supports Stanley EL Wireless Locks as a solution for interior doors. Additionally, infinias Mobile Credential is now available to open doors via smartphones.

Licensing – Intelli-M Access 4.0 has an all new licensing model. In the past, this software has not shipped with a license key. Customers would have to follow a procedure where they received their license based on the unique product ID that is created during their install. The new licensing model ships a license key in the same packaging with the Intelli-M Access disc, allowing the installer to input the license key immediately.

Stanley EL Compatibility– The Stanley wireless locks offer a solution in an easy-to-install handset with wireless technology built in that does not require a strike. Stanley EL Series Wireless Locks work with Intelli-M Access in the same manner as an eIDC32 door controller and features the same reporting and access granting/denying capabilities. This is a great solution for interior or office doors. The locks connect to Intelli-M Access through the Stanley EL PoE gateway that can serve up to 64 doors with a line of sight distance of 100 ft.

Mobile Credential –The new infinias mobile credential app for iOS and Android allows users to unlock doors they have access to with a tap of their smartphone screen via Wi-Fi communication or Cell Data.

It is important to note that this is not NFC (near field communication), but is purely TCP/IP based communication.

Using Wi-Fi comes with the peace of mind of knowing the user is onsite. If the customer wishes, mobile credentials can be set up to work over cell data with an alternate setup. Mobile Credential Licenses can be purchased in packages sized to suit the customers’ needs.

Benefits include:

Increased security – If a phone goes missing, the phone owner usually notices right away, unlike a card or fob that could go unnoticed or unreported for days. Phones are also less likely to be shared. Using a smartphone as a credential provides an increased layer of security by allowing users in a corporate setting to capitalize on their corporate mobile device policies to require authenticated device unlock by pin, gesture or biometric, effectively adding multi-factor authentication to Mobile Credential.

Log of events – infinias Intelli-M Access software provides a record of each access  control event and transaction, documenting each time a user’s mobile phone is presented for use.

Consistent credential management – If a phone is lost or an employee is terminated, the credential can immediately and easily be deactivated to prevent unauthorized access.

More Info:

Secura Key NOVA.16

Secura Key offers the NOVA.16 (Model SK-MRCP) multi-reader access control panel. Units are in stock now, and ready to ship. This new platform provides a major technology upgrade to Secura Key’s legacy SK-NET™ system.  NOVA.16 can be combined with Secura Key legacy 2-door control panels on the same system, since they use the same programming conventions and user interface.

The NOVA.16 connects to the local area network, and it also connects to a high speed, RS485 peripheral network consisting of up to 16 single-door Smart Readers, each containing all of the inputs and outputs to control and monitor a single door.

This combination of a control panel and Smart Readers is far more cost-effective than the traditional 2-reader or 4-reader control panel, or even the newer edge devices.  It eliminates the labor and cost of cable home runs, and multiple control panel installations. This system architecture is similar to high-end system panels, but it is an entirely new topology for the 1-16 door market.

With NOVA.16, expansion is easy and inexpensive: to add individual doors, just connect additional Smart Readers and make all door connections at the reader. To go beyond 16 doors, additional NOVA.16s can be added to the network or daisy chained using RS485.

NOVA.16 reduces the number of control panels required for multi-door systems, which is a critical issue for IT, Electrical and Utility Rooms, where space for security electronics is at a premium.

NOVA.16 not only communicates with Smart Readers, which are available in contactless or proximity technologies, but it also communicates with the SK-WIO-1 Single Door Wiegand Interface.  The SK-WIO-1 allows any Wiegand device to be connected to NOVA.16, including keypad readers, biometric readers, long range readers, and non-Secura Key card readers.

The NOVA.16’s RS-485 communications lines are hardened with gas discharge tube surge suppression. The NOVA.16 boasts a 3-Amp heavy-duty power supply with power line noise immunity, and it continually monitors backup battery status. Communications speeds and transaction storage capacity have more than doubled over previous controller models.  The ARM platform will enable future feature enhancements and system upgrades. 

More Info:

aptiQ Readers

aptiQ multi-technology readers are designed to make credential technology upgrades simple and seamless.  The goal is to simplify transitioning the electronic access control credential technology into the future by supporting magnetic stripe, proximity and smartcard technology with the same reader. 

aptiQ Multi-technology Readers interface with magnetic stripe cards, proximity cards, MIFARE® Classic smart-cards, ultra-secure MIFARE DESFire™ EV1 credentials, and can read the card serial numbers of a variety of smart cards from other manufacturers. They are NFC-compatible and able to communicate with NFC-enabled phones (See sidebar for explanation of NFC)

aptiQ Features and Benefits:

  • Recognizes magnetic stripe credentials, most proximity credentials, and aptiQ™ smart credentials (MIFARE® Classic and MIFARE DESFire™ EV1)
  • Magnetic stripe track 2 default, tracks 1 and 3 configurable
  • FIPS 201-1 Compliant
  • NFC Compatible
  • Quick-connect cable for easy installation
  • Easy-to-install mounting bracket
  • Stylish design with multiple reader cover color options
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty

More Info: