In the world of physical security, many systems are now IP-based due to the many benefits they offer. Using standard hardware, IP access control systems such as AEOS run specific software and process large quantities of data.
Here, we cover the advantages of IP access control systems and also how to protect them robustly. As they run over IP networks, it’s essential they’re protected and upgraded in the same way as other IT systems so they’re always one step ahead of cyberattacks.
Advantages of IP access control
Access control systems that connect via IP offer several benefits over more traditional systems. Below are some of the key advantages.
Increased flexibility: There’s no limit to the number of IP-based controllers you can use. So you can increase the security or scale of your access control system by adding more controllers, as and when you need to.
Easy installation: An IP-based access control system uses your existing IT network, so there’s no need to install additional communication lines. This increases the ease of installation, saving both time and money.
Speed: One of the reasons IP access control is so popular is because it’s so efficient and convenient; it can very quickly transmit authorisation details of who’s allowed access where and when.
Accuracy: When access control runs over IP, all actions and events are stored centrally and changes are synched instantly. This means your system’s always up to date, so authorisations are accurate and security is high.
Valuable data: IP access control systems accrue and organise a huge amount of data you can use for tracking, planning and other business processes. From determining who accessed a specific space when to forecasting how many people will use the onsite restaurant each day.
Standard hardware: Some IP-based access control systems, like AEOS, use standard hardware, which makes installation easier and allows you to reuse your existing card readers and so on. AEOS is unique, however, in that its specialist software lets you actually define and change the functionality of standard security hardware such as card readers and AEOS blue controllers.
Make sure the protector is protected
For many companies, their security system is now one their most important IT systems. The problem is, they’re often not seen like this, so the security principles used in IT aren’t always applied to IP access control.
In the IT industry, for example, it’s common practice to upgrade systems as soon as a new web browser or software application becomes available. In fact, such upgrades are a necessity to ensure business processes continue to run smoothly.
If IP access control systems aren’t protected in this way, and by applying other IT principles, it leaves them vulnerable to cyberattacks that can have a dramatic impact. Fortunately, Nedap has developed a robust end-to-end solution to protect AEOS.
AEOS brings IT best practices to physical security
For end-to-end security, AEOS uses the latest principles of encryption and strong authentication used in IT. This ensures storage in every element of AEOS is secure, as is communication between all elements.
To achieve this, DESFire keys and digital certificates are stored in a Secure Access Module (SAM) inside AEOS door controllers where attackers can’t access them. This leaves card readers with no role in decrypting data, so secure communication between card and controller is guaranteed. And strong authentication of door controllers ensures they can’t be replaced by manipulated versions.
In this way, AEOS end-to-end security offers high levels of protection against both physical and digital threats. It meets a variety of security requirements across Europe and is used to protect critical infrastructures in several countries.
End-to-end security enables central updates
As AEOS’s end-to-end security ensures secure communication between all elements of the system, you can update keys from one central point – there’s no need to physically visit each card reader. And, if keys are compromised somehow, they can be renewed centrally.
If you choose, you can implement end-to-end security measures after your AEOS system has been installed. Your existing AEOS hardware and software is ready to support a full end-to-end security system.
Why staying up to date is crucial
In the IT industry, it’s common practice to upgrade systems as soon as a new version becomes available. In fact, such upgrades are seen as a necessity to ensure security’s maintained and business processes continue to run smoothly.
The same practice is essential for IP access control systems. You need to run the latest version of AEOS software to ensure optimum protection of your system. Nedap offers upgrade assurance so you always have access to the latest software for your system, and the benefits of this are far reaching:
- Increased security – using the latest version ensures all the features designed to protect your AEOS system are available and functioning properly.
- Compatibility – maintain on-going compatibility with Microsoft, Java, OpenSSL and more.
- Technology opportunities – some software updates allow you to take advantage of new AEOS technology partners.
- Usability – updates not only include new features but enhanced performance.
Harness the power of AEOS
When it comes to IP access control, AEOS has set the bar. Its wide-ranging functionality, open architecture and ease of authorisation management really set it apart. What’s more, you can add built-in intrusion detection functionality, and integrations with best-of-breed third-party products such as video management.
AEOS is designed around people and the challenges they face in their everyday lives. We call this Security for life because it’s about more than technology – it’s about enabling people to forget security and make the most of each day.
Want to share your security challenges with us or find out more about AEOS and access control IP? We’d love to help – get in touch today or explore our other content.
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Frequently asked questions
At a very basic level, access control is a means of controlling who enters a location and when. The person entering may be an employee, a contractor or a visitor and they may be on foot, driving a vehicle or using another mode of transport. The location they’re entering may be, for example, a site, a building, a room or a cabinet. We tend to call it physical access control to differentiate it from access control that prevents people from entering virtual spaces – for example when logging into a computer network.
If you decide to use an access control system, it’s probably because you want to secure the physical access to your buildings or sites to protect your people, places and possessions. That’s just the start for access control systems though. The right system, used well, can add value in a range of ways. You can use it, and the data it generates, to boost not just security but productivity, creativity and performance.
Today, physical security is about so much more than locks and bolts. Many modern physical access control systems are IP-based, powered by smart software and able to process large quantities of data. This provides more functionality, flexibility, scalability and opportunities for integration. It also means they’re part of your IT network, so it’s essential they’re protected and upgraded – just like your other IT systems.
From our perspective, a centralised access control system is always preferable – whether you have just two locations in the same town or hundreds spread around the world. Centralising your access control brings a range of far-reaching benefits.
For the people using your building, biometrics can give a better experience compared to an access badge. These days, biometrics are used for both identification and verification – sometimes even both at the same time. Being allowed to enter your building just by scanning your hand or face makes access control more convenient than ever.
Mechanical keys are the simplest form of physical access control and the method many smaller organisations use. Even for a small company, however, using mechanical keys has several flaws and limitations – especially as an organisation gets bigger. Below are just some of the problems presented by using keys.