Nobody really knows where myths come from, often they are based on loose facts that become distorted or outdated over time. This is especially prevalent in the security sector where there is a necessary degree of secrecy due to its very nature.
Whilst discretion is useful when it comes to keeping your security protocols guarded, it is not very helpful when it comes to sharing details between the security community and its clients. At TDSi we want our partners and customers to be clear on the benefits (and potential drawbacks) to their security options – so here we present the ‘TDSi Security Myths Busted’ guide which looks to dispel a few common misconceptions.
Like many popular technologies, MIFARE has caught the attention of criminals as much as security operators and users. Inevitably the legitimate security industry is always shadowed by individuals and groups seeking to exploit any weaknesses for their own gain, be it financial rewards, property theft, deception or fraud. To combat this, MIFARE Plus and DESFire have been developed to address such issues. Research suggests that installing/upgrading and using the MIFARE Plus reader technology can cut the threat from cloned cards by half. In terms of cost the MIFARE Plus cards are also similar in price point to their Classic counterparts – so continue to offer great value for money along with tightened security and the flexibility which made the original technology so popular.
There has never been any doubt that having an integrated security system is an advantage – all the various components working together to give a complete picture of any situation. But traditionally this involved buying all the parts (access control, CCTV, alarms etc.) from one supplier to ensure they would work perfectly together. In a world, before universal standards, this probably meant having very deep pockets indeed.
What a difference IP-revolution and Internet of Things have made to physical security solutions! Not only do we manufacturers offer easily integrated systems, we positively encourage them. Long gone are the days when security producers want to tie customers to a specific and bespoke range of systems.
In terms of installation, integrated systems are ideal as well. In many cases, a new system will simply need to be connected to an IP interface to use online connections for its incorporation into an overall security system. This does away with lots of awkward and expensive additional wiring, which can be disruptive to fit and costly to install.
The idea that a human biometric such as a fingerprint can be used to grant secure access is a compelling one – convenient for users and reassuring to operators. However, even powerful modern fingerprint readers can have their limitations. The perfect environment for a fingerprint reader is an office facility. Users generally have clean, undamaged and uncovered hands. However, think about the situation in a manufacturing plant or building site. Workers are far more likely to have cuts or abrasions on their fingers. In a hot or humid facility (such as a bakery or steel works for example) there may be sweat, oil or dirt involved. All of these can interfere with the image of the fingerprint, causing access problems, frustration and potentially delays to staff movement.
TDSi produces a range of readers that have multiple means of granting access, notably PIN and card access as well as fingerprint technology in the same reader. This gives far more scope for authorised users to pick the best identity solution for their circumstances.
Another excellent alternative also uses biometrics technology – facial recognition. It has the advantage over fingerprint readers in that the user does not need to touch it to be granted access. This is also very useful in a highly clean environment (such as a hospital or research laboratory) were contamination is undesirable or even potentially dangerous.
Security and access control systems have been a favourite plot device for many films and books over the years. The likes of James Bond or Mission Impossible would have it that a plucky intruder can find their way into a secure location by using readily available tools – such as powerful handheld devices, fake fingerprints, special contact lenses or a rubber face disguise to fool sophisticated systems.
Naturally, these are all the stuff of fiction. If security systems were so easy to bypass they would prove to be completely inadequate at their job in the real world. The security industry spends all its time and efforts producing systems that can’t be fooled so easily. With biometrics, for example, the number of parameters used to authorise entry is immense.
We shouldn’t rubbish TV and films too much after all these mediums have helped to bring public awareness to the types of systems available and how they can offer a formidable barrier to intruders and criminals. TDSi’s products have appeared in a number of TV programmes, usually in a discreet but sensitive location, protecting people and property.
Busting the myths for better understanding
Whilst security myths can be misleading, the security industry prides its self on dispelling these and giving honest and accurate accounts of what is possible. Be it over-estimating technology or underestimating potential issues, myths are always interesting to hear when you understand the true state of the technology and the industry.
Interestingly, whilst time can turn a truth into a myth (for example when the limitations of a product are overcome by R&D) it can also turn a myth into a truth – today’s sci-fi technology has a real habit of being science fact in a few years and the security industry will feature some of the most exciting developments!