Apps Business security

Access control meets www – and it's not what you think

When I began this blog I intended to cover subjects that I felt would be of general interest to users of business communications services in the UK – Timico customers generally. I didn’t think that this would for one moment include the topic of door entry systems. It does.

Some time ago we began a relationship with a company called Paxton Access. This was because we needed a security system for our new purpose built Headquarters building in Newark (Notts – not New Joisey for the benefit of international readers). Since then we have started installing it as part of an integrated package for customers.

Door locks have moved on a long way. This system comes with a Software Development Kit. I’m not suggesting that this is something particularly useful for general business customers who won’t know one end of a SDK from the other. However the rich engineering talent we have at Timico has been able to put it to good use.

We now have an intranet page that provides access to the door entry system. One click on the web interface and the door can be opened. Is this a security risk? We don’t think so. Access to the web page is controlled via Active Directory authentication and is tied down to specific individuals. This can apply to any door at any of the Timico UK locations and can be tied in with camera visuals so that the person allowing entry can see who they are letting in.

The same door can be opened by anyone holding a registered keyfob or, using the intercom, via any telephone handset on the Newark Nortel PBX. This functionality could be extended to opening by sms pin number from registered mobile handsets, or via command line interface from non Windows PCs as is the case in our Ipswich NOC where the engineers have the traditional geek’s abhorrence of all things Microsoft.  

There is more. This system can be used to set the alarm and turn off all the lights when the last person leaves the building. This is serious use of web technology for mundane but important business needs. 

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