Tagged: access control

New General Data Protection Regulations for Organizations with EU Operations

By AMAG Technology, Vice President of Products and Partner Programs, Dave Ella

davidellaOrganizations using AMAG’s Symmetry Security Systems throughout the European Union [EU] are preparing for the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) which take effect from May 2018. GDPR will require organizations who control or process personal data from EU residents to obtain consent from employees, visitors and contractors for data stored in physical access control systems. Organizations will need to define why the data is needed and when it will be removed. The new regulations reflect the cloud hosted nature of many current information systems, but also have implications for on premise installations which are typical of security systems. Fines for non-compliance are steep – up to 4% of annual global revenue – so these are regulations which organizations must take seriously.

Multi-national organizations with a single access control system spanning North America and Europe will potentially be affected by the new regulations, as a database held on premise by an organization in North America will be subject to the new regulations in the same way. If a third party organization such as a security integrator is either hosting the server or managing it on a day to day basis, there are potential implications for that third party, even if they are not situated in the EU.

Access control systems are capable of holding extensive levels of personal data and as with previous regulation, organizations need to ensure that the data held is relevant and justifiable. It is easy for an organization to import data from an HR system which is not directly necessary to the specific security application. Retention periods, particularly for former employees, contractors and visitor’s personal data, also need to be considered.

GDPR-800x300An important new aspect of the GDPR regulation includes data from which a person’s location can be calculated. While this is presumably targeted at web applications which track cell phone location, physical access control systems do hold data related to who has gone where and when, so the responsible parties within an organization need to take this into account. As with any new regulation, it is unclear how this will be interpreted in a real-world scenario.

GDPR broadens the definition of ‘personal data’ to mean anything that could identity a person. For example, an email address, home address, job title or type of car one drives. Other identifiers could include gender, political views, biometric information and personal interests.

There is a strong link between GDPR and cyber security since security of the data being held is understandably seen of great importance under the regulations. It is important that AMAG customers have hardened their system using IT best practices and considered using the encryption mechanisms within the Symmetry system.

With web based applications in mind, the regulations now insist that people explicitly agree for their personal data to be held by a system – typically by proactively ticking a box in a sign-up screen which must be empty by default. How that will be interpreted for the systems of organizations which require to hold personal data such as HR and payroll systems – and security systems – is not yet totally clear, and statements in employee terms and conditions of employment may still be sufficient. Visitor Management systems need to be considered too, as some personal data of visitors either in a Symmetry database or as video will also normally be held.

Video Management Systems, and the retention periods for storage of video data fall under the GDPR regulations as well. As with all personal data recorded by business systems, as long as there is a genuine need for the data to be held for a given length of time, and the systems have been considered and recorded by the organization’s data protection officer in line with the new regulations, there should be no major implication for the Symmetry user in terms of the continuation of their physical security arrangements.

AMAG certified resellers with customer sites in Europe, and security managers in Europe should familiarize themselves with the new regulations and co-ordinate with each organization’s data protection team to ensure that their activities are fully compliant.

To learn more visit: http://www.eugdpr.org/

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AMAG Earns the Title of Technology Leader

By AMAG Technology, President, Matt BarnetteMatt Barnete_Casual_Jacket_06-16-14

Coming off another successful ASIS and heading full speed into the fourth quarter of 2015, it’s been a year full of exciting adventures.  First we launched our new video product, Symmetry CompleteView, to bring our customers a superior video management product line, and now we’ve introduced Symmetry CONNECT™, our policy-based identity, access management and visitor management cloud-based software solution.

We are also excited to launch our newly designed website and logo.  Our three offices, Torrance, Burlington and Tewkesbury, UK are now all known as AMAG Technology, a G4S company, and our new logo and website reflect the coming together of the three offices to provide unification across our global company.  The newly designed website demonstrates our company alignment and globalization of our operations with G4S.  We are thrilled to offer our customers streamlined communications, combined resources and around the clock support.

At the heart of everything we do, is you, our customer.  The products and solutions we offer are developed because you have a security need.  Our new Symmetry EN-1DBC+ access control panel provides an edge network solution that can use Power over Ethernet, if available.  This cost effective controller secures one door, but can easily grow to two doors with the addition of a low-cost snap-on module.

Got Casi?  Our Symmetry SR Controllers are a state-of-the-art access control system and can help migrate a customer from an obsolete Casi Rusco platform to a new Symmetry solution quickly, easily, at a low cost and with low risk.  When combined with Symmetry CompleteView Video Management and Symmetry Power Protect NVR (available in the USA and Canada only), it delivers a powerful security management system for users of any size and market.  This is the best solution on the market for those converting from an old Picture Perfect or Secure Perfect Casi system and we have the references to prove it!

But what I am really excited about is our new Symmetry CONNECT software.  Symmetry CONNECT manages a companies’ operational needs.  Symmetry CONNECT automates how organizations can manage visitors, employees and contractors.  By automating processes, a company reduces manual errors and implements sustainable policies to operate more efficiently.  Organizations can be certain the right people have access to the right areas at the right times.

Symmetry CONNECT nicely rounds out our product line and positions AMAG as a true technology leader in the security industry.  AMAG Technology offers Symmetry Access Control for access, alarm and event monitoring and it contains a workflow engine, Symmetry CompleteView VMS for situational awareness and video management, and now Symmetry CONNECT for credential authentication, helping meet compliance requirements and visitor management to help companies operationalize and streamline their business.  AMAG offers you everything you need to efficiently and effectively secure and protect your buildings, employees, visitors and assets.  And you can get this robust solution for a fraction of the cost of our competitors.

It’s been another busy year working to provide the best products, services and solutions to our customers.  With Symmetry, CompleteView and CONNECT, our powerful trifecta product offering, you and your customers win!  Get everything from ONE company and for a lot less than what our competitors are offering.  I can’t wait to see what happens next!

You can reach me at matt.barnette@amag.com.

AMAG’s Symmetry System Offers PSIM

By AMAG Technology, VP of International Sales, Ramon Grado

An industry colleague recently reminded me, “Perfection is the enemy of ‘Good Enough’.” So what does that have to do with Physical Security and Physical Security Information Management (PSIM)? As security professionals, shouldn’t we strive to do our very best to protect people, property, assets and reputations?

The answer is a resounding “Yes, but…” Most of us work under the constraints of limited resources, be they CAPEX and OPEX funds, time, personnel or energy. So, as a result, expenses get spared, people get cut, projects get scaled back or delayed and the goal of increased Situational Awareness and an improved response to threats becomes a faded or distant vision.

Borrowing from a fellow blogger, “PSIM systems are ungodly expensive. Not only that, but they take 12-18 months on average to implement. And at the end of the day, for all that valuable Security budget, PSIM doesn’t provide a complete solution.” While not all PSIM projects go that way, it is a fair description of most large-scale attempts to connect the unconnected. Most of you already manage physical security information to some degree. Increased Situational Awareness begins with defining objectives. The next step should be looking at existing tools, not always looking to place an overhead layer above them.

Surprise: some of the tools you are using, including AMAG’s Symmetry access control system, have the capability to provide increased Situational Awareness by allowing users to better manage the information they already capture, transmit, analyze, display and store. It is often a matter of adding context, not necessarily cost. This can be accomplished by activating existing functionality such as Visitor Management, Threat Level, Video Analytics or Workflows. Symmetry also offers integration with complementary systems such as VMS, intercom, biometrics, EAS, IDS and yes, if you require it and have the budget, full-blown PSIM systems.

So we return to my original point: what is good enough? This begs the question, “What are you trying to accomplish?” If we cannot define what we are trying to accomplish, then we are not prepared to evaluate solutions. As some end users of security systems are finding, often the solution to their particular security problem is just an enhancement to their existing system(s) or simply taking advantage of the features that are already embedded and available in them. Often all that is needed is some additional training or orientation, worst case a minor investment in expansion modules and/or Professional Services to create increased Situational Awareness.

Food for thought for next time: why do end users spend so much time, effort and money on systems to record and playback video of the horses leaving the barn instead of spending a little more on systems aimed at controlling access and keeping the barn door closed in the first place?


Become a Vertical Market Expert at PSA Tec, May 6 at the Westin, Westminster, Colorado and visit AMAG at booth A46

By AMAG Technology, Public Relations Manager, Kim Rahfaldt

Selling in the security industry can be a challenge.  Many different organizations need security, and those organizations often need to meet complicated government regulations or standards.  Where can a person new to the security industry or even a veteran in the industry go to learn that hospitals must meet strict privacy requirements and financial institutions need to maintain U.S. OSHA code compliance along with many international, state and local fire and emergency preparedness codes?  Where are those types of classes offered in the security industry? 

PSA Tec.

PSA Tec is offering a NEW Vertical Market Specialist Workshop this year, and AMAG Technology’s Senior Systems Design Architect, Adam Shane is one of the presenters.  The day long workshop is designed to offer strategic training for sales, technical and hybrid positions.  Adam is part of an expert team of presenters that include HID Global, Arecont, 3xLogic, March Networks plus others that will be discussing how to tackle the healthcare, manufacturing and financial markets, and will teach resellers the end user’s pain points so they leave the class with the facts needed to solve their challenges. 

Adam will teach resellers how network access control systems offer solutions to help healthcare, manufacturing and financial verticals meet government and compliance standards and effectively secure buildings, employees and assets.  Students will have the opportunity to ask questions and design a complete system, and will receive coaching on product strategies they can employ against typical risk profiles.  Resellers will leave prepared to tackle the healthcare, manufacturing and financial markets.

Visit AMAG at booth A46 on Wednesday at PSA-TEC’s exhibit day and see our new products:

  • Symmetry™ SR Controller Family of Products -Delivering the best upgrade solution for Casi Rusco™ systems of any size, the expanded the product line includes the SR-OCS16 for elevator control and the SR-2000 four door controller. Customers can upgrade their systems quickly, easily and affordably while protecting their hardware investment.
  • Symmetry V8 – Supports the ONVIF Profile S camera plug-in, greatly expanding camera support, and offers new card holder features to more easily manage vacations and temporary cards.
  • Symmetry EN-2DBC- The new intelligent Symmetry™ EN-2DBC Power over Ethernet Controller supports two doors and 90,000 card holders, providing another upgrade choice for your customers.  Wired at the door, it installs easily and saves on cost.
  • Symmetry HD Cameras include advanced motion detection, automated video streaming to Symmetry software, and are available with 1080p, high-quality onboard video content analytics. These true day/night cameras will optimize your system by delivering clear video in various lighting conditions.
  • Aperio Wireless Lock technology integrates with Symmetry to offer a range of locks that supports almost every opening. AMAG’s new EN-LDBU controller supports 16 locks for easy, affordable expansion.

Please register today for PSA Tec’s Vertical Market Specialist Workshop, scheduled for Tuesday, May 6 at PSA Tec at the Westin, Westminster, Colorado.  Visit AMAG at booth A46 on Wednesday, May 7.  Hope to see you there!

Security – A Three Legged Stool

By STENTOFON/Zenitel USA, Inc., Senior VP OEM Global Sales, Dan Rothrock

As the sophistication and advancement of security audio technology continues to change, we too are seeing more options when it comes to audio choices that best suit security needs. With numerous options and products that offer more features and functions than ever before, it pays to do your homework on why audio is so critical to your overall security plan. STENTOFON has been providing superior audio communications for over 70 years, and leads the industry globally in providing the most advanced security audio products on the market today.

I often use a three-legged- stool reference to explain the importance of audio in the overall security mix. One leg is for video, another for access control and the third – voice audio. When you add the audio leg to the two other legs, you now have a fully interactive security system. You can talk and listen to the person you see on your video system no matter where the location or how remote. Any area that an integrator has installed an access control point or deployed an IP camera, is when you should ask the question: Is this where we need to add audio?

When we think of intercom, we tend to think of the horrible distortion of many fast food drive-thrus. Turbine, STENTOFON’s latest advancement in intercom, has truly revolutionized the way we look at and hear intercom.  With stations capable of 10 watts of audio power over standard POE and 105 decibels, you have audio quality that is like nothing you’ve ever experienced before.  The audio quality insures that messages are understood even with severe background noise. Active noise cancellation is just ONE of the many features that set us apart from the others. STENTOFON is known not only for its superior audio quality, but also for the many features, functionality, robustness and sleek design of its stations; promising you an ascetically pleasing intercom to fit any environment.

Okay, so you say seeing is believing? How about hearing is believing. Just listen to the audio quality from one of our Turbine stations. You can clearly hear why we’re changing the way people look at intercom.

For more information on our full line of security products, see our web site at www.stentofon.com  and please check out our Extreme Audio YouTube video by typing in “STENTOFON Turbine” or click here.