Wireless access to remote sites

October 2013 Access Control & Identity Management

The Supra TRACcess system, available from Transaction Control Technologies (TCT), makes it possible to manage access control in sensitive widespread areas. The wireless system reduces the risks and expenses associated with managing physical keys.

Malcolm Thomas, MD at TCT
Malcolm Thomas, MD at TCT

Malcolm Thomas, MD at TCT, explained that key custodians would be issued with a pager-sized keypad which contains the custodian’s credentials with multiple layers of security built in. “PIN codes are issued via SMS for either daily use or as a once-off PIN for limited use. In essence, custodians will use this keypad as their key to any number of remote sites.”

Keyholder permissions are managed by administrators from the TRACcess Manager software. This means that administrators can grant and revoke keyholder and site permissions centrally, from any secure Internet connection.

Once the PIN is acquired, it is entered into the TRACkey, which is subsequently clipped into the bezel of the locking device to activate or deactivate the lock. The system transmits encrypted information for all communications. “The system is very versatile and can be used for safe/vault locks, door locks, padlocks and even to lock manhole covers. Anything that normally requires a lock and key, can in fact make use of the TRACcess system,” said Thomas.

Thomas pointed out that it is possible to perform a full audit trail on both the key(pad) and the lock. “You simply upload data by placing the key in the bezel of the lock on site or information can be extracted from the TRACkey in a centralised control room. The docking of the key in the programming base at the end of a shift or a defined period of time automatically uploads all transactions which allows management to generate reports on the user’s activities.” The latest developments in TRACcess adopt display keys and e-keys with significantly enhanced features with e-keys (typically a smartphone) instantly updating all movements/audit trail to the central system.

The high-end TRACcess system is popular with the banking sector. “There are over 12 000 ATMs throughout South Africa equipped with TRACcess. The levels of security that the system provides are unsurpassed in the industry,” said Thomas.

Other applications include the telecommunications industry. “In this instance, where for example a number of cellular providers share a common high point, general access could be available at the main gate, while the individual proprietary cabinets could be secured with TRACcess. Smaller applications with low quantities can use the bureau service, thereby removing the need for an owned central system,” he added.

The system is manufactured according to military specifications, making it suitable for use in temperature ranges of -40 up to +80°C, with the further ability to withstand humidity and water. These factors make it the ideal unit to use in even the most arduous outdoor conditions.

A duress feature is built into the system, whereby the user will enter a code whereby the system will automatically slow the unlocking process down to allow a reaction unit to reach site. Alternatively, the system will not issue a code at all. Advantages of this system include the fact that no cabling or power supply is required, since power is provided by the key, making this ideal for even remote and widespread sites. Risk is substantially reduced since keys are useless if stolen. “This brings up another important selling point. With traditional locking systems, great expense is incurred in replacing keys that have been lost or stolen from custodians. Because the TRACcess key cannot be used without the encrypted 11-digit code, it is not attractive to criminals. The TRACcess system is a risk-free augmentation to existing access systems and permits access control to be cost effectively implemented where it was not possible or feasible to do so conventionally,” Thomas concluded.

For more information contact Darren Thomas, Transaction Control Technologies (TCT), +27 (0)11 888 1210, darren@tct.co.za


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