Cisco's access line

Thursday, May 1, 2008

LAS VEGAS-Networking giant Cisco took another step into the physical security world here with the announcement of a new line of access control products. The IP-based (naturally) Electronic Access Control system includes both hardware and software components and is built to work with existing door readers, targeting campus environments and office buildings.
The two main components are the Cisco Access Gateway, which connects readers to the platform, and the Cisco Physical Access Manager, which manages the hardware and integrates with other IT systems.
"In general," said Bill Stuntz, general manager of Cisco’s Physical Security Business Unit, "the access control will be sold through the same dealers who are selling the video products now. Once you have security and video moved onto the IP network, you have a built-in reason for customers to build in more bandwidth. It fits in well with what these guys do." Brian Apgar, senior director of engineering at Cisco, noted that this is an "entirely IP product," that supports Mercury panels, is PoE, and comes with "very strong network security built in, with 250,000 credentials that can be encrypted," so that if the network is compromised, people can continue to gain entry. Further, a system can be completely pre-provisioned in advance, he said, and the gateways will discover each other over the network.
Finally, the software is integrated with Cisco's video management software, said Apgar, so, "through its own GUI, it can pull up video associated with any door," and alarm information can be translated back into the video management system as well. ssn