Security Business

DEC 2018

Find news and information for the executive corporate security director, CSO, facility manager and assets protection manager on issues of policy, products, incidents, risk management, threat assessments and preparedness.

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36 Security Dealer & Integrator / December 2018 Due to the proprietary way that access control security components have historically been designed and manufactured, achieving interoperability between different manufacturers' products hasn't always been easy. ©BigStock Access Control Enabling Access Control Interoperability A closer look at ONVIF Profile A By Bob Dolan The need for interoperability is certainly nothing new in the security industry. It has paved the way for technological developments, while at the same time ensuring future-proof products and helping to guide newer trends – such as AI and IoT – into maturity. As new technologies reach this crucial point where standardization is necessary for seamless integration, the need for open standards and cooperation within the market becomes paramount; however, due to the historically proprietary nature of access control security components, achieving interoperability between different manufacturers’ products has not been easy. It has involved developing specific device drivers or creating workarounds to get readers, panels and peripherals to share information and communicate with access control management platform. ONVIF Profile A provides an interface for its member developers to use when developing access control software and other security products. The profile defines the requirements that govern how one Profile A application can communicate and interact with another, facilitating interoperability for multi-vendor projects. The development of Profile A took two years and the work of many ONVIF member company representatives from all over the world to develop a standard that can take the physical security market into the next decade. The open device driver used in Profile A-conformant access control panels enables the integration of control panels and management software from different manufacturers. This gives customers the ability to make choices on hardware from multiple vendors for access control systems and, more importantly, means there won’t be a future need to rip and replace access control hardware to make a change. Profile A covers credentialing, and from a standardization perspective, has the potential to pave the way for the future of access control. Already there is discussion about cameras acting not only as a reader in identifying a person within an access control system, but to also act as the system’s control panel and the catalyst that triggers the rest of the system to work – activating the door strike, monitoring the request to exit and door position switch, and so on. While some manufacturers have already experimented with this concept, each has undoubtedly used their own approach, with few elements of standardization. Although Profile A has been established as an access control protocol, the future potential exists for it to reside in a camera and carry out the same functionalities. This enables the camera to be used as a multi-purpose device that communicates directly with the door controller to become an integral part of the access control system as well. The Tipping Point Is Now In contrast to the video surveillance market, access control technology has historically been slow to change, in large part because of the high upfront costs to acquire and install a system and the longevity of the equipment – commonly

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