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Blackberry helps Lenel lock down factories

Security supplier Lenel is using a Blackberry application to help protect the property and physical assets of firms such as Research in Motion, Cisco and HP, delegates at RIM's WES user conference heard this week.

Lenel looks after identity management, access control and protection of offices, factories and other assets. The application provides security directors, area managers and security guards with alerts to alarms and role-appropriate responses, which could include locking doors remotely and real-time acknowledgement of action taken.

"Many of our clients have thousands of devices and facilities to keep secure. These are mission-critical to our clients, but they can become very cumbersome to manage," said Justin Dagan, Lenel's lead customer development engineer.

"The aim is to connect the people and the information that matter," he said.

The usual security communication tools, such as radio and pagers, were deficient in one or more ways, particularly in two-way communications and associating the incident with responses, he said. This was why Lenel turned to Blackberry to integrate alarm information with response information.

For example, an attempted unauthorised entry to a secure room prompted an alert that showed a photo of the person who tried to enter the room and the reason for the alarm (invalid badge) together with the time and dated stamp of the alarm.

"It could be that the person was a new hire and was lost, but it's worth security taking a look," he said.

What people can see on their Blackberry depends on their role. Thus a security director would have access to all information, but a security guard would see only what he or she needs to respond appropriately to an incident, he said.

This allowed firms to use pool phones that could be programmed as people signed them out.

The next step was to integrate surveillance monitoring systems with the Blackberry system, Dagan said.


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