Access Control Goes Mobile

We live in a mobile world. People use their smartphones for banking, buying groceries or requesting a ride share pickup. Why not also use these devices to enter places of employment or to gain access to a workstation? The time has come for plastic cards to give way to mobile credentials acting as a virtual key.

The process has begun.

A leading market research company forecasts the download of mobile credentials will increase at a compound annual growth rate exceeding 100% from the base year of 2017 to 2022. Within three years, 20% of the current installed base of access control readers will be mobile capable. The technology will begin to penetrate small to medium size (SMB) businesses.

The Technology

So how does it work? Employees and/or vendors download a smartphone app enabling the phone’s Bluetooth technology to communicate with door readers. As with cards, individual restrictions can be placed on mobile keys limiting access by location, date and time.

Facility visitors can receive an email with a link to the app. By downloading it, they add a mobile credential that enables them to bypass the front desk upon arrival and immediately access approved doors and workstations.

Security

Mobile credentials heighten security. A user must have possession of a smartphone with the downloaded credential. The phones themselves require entry codes to open. Many add a biometric verification. Also, the cost of the phones and the personal data they contain make it unlikely a person will loan them to another employee. If a phone is lost or stolen, the credential can be immediately deactivated.

A smartphone’s built-in GPS technology enables facility managers, within appropriate privacy safeguards, to know where each device – and owner – are located. Mobile credentials represent a huge security upgrade over the still widely used and often hacked proximity access control protocol.

Mobile credentialing may also be part of a multi-factor authentication process when used with a PIN or biometric scan at doors to critical areas such as labs, data centers and executive offices.

Costs

The costs of smartphone-based credentials are predictable. An organization pays only for the credentials its needs, reducing or eliminating costs related to traditional access control such as the procurement and storage of plastic badges, printers and ink. Imagine the annual costs to a large university which must print thousands of new badges for incoming students.

There’s no need to purchase new phones, as most employees will prefer to use their own devices. However, there will be a need to replace or enhance existing readers in order to accommodate mobile keys. Hybrid readers capable of supporting both traditional and mobile credentials are available. Also, add-on readers can be hidden in walls and ceilings to bring Bluetooth technology to most locations. Either of these choices enable a planned, phased migration to mobile technology.

How Soon?

The technology required for mobile credentialing is proven and readily available. However, the sheer number of existing legacy card-based systems will take years to fully replace. But user’s increasing comfort level with the technology ensures organizations of all sizes will look to mobile credentialing as a meansof driving efficiencies while increasing security and convenience in access control.

Contact us for more information about starting a mobile credentialing plan for your organization.

(Chris Krajewski is general manager of Ojo Technology’s Central Valley-Sacramento operations.)

Ojo Technology Named a Top Woman – Owned Business in the Bay Area

The San Francisco Business Times has named us one of the top woman-owned businesses in the Bay Area. The list of 100 businesses includes privately held companies that are 51% or more women-owned and headquartered in the Bay Area, which is defined as Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo counties.

Our founder and CEO, Angie Wong, attended a VIP reception on October 2, 2019 at the St. Regis Hotel in San Francisco where the list was announced. The invitation-only event was held to honor the women business leaders. Ojo was number 46 on the list. The ranking was based on revenue and the number of Bay Area employees.

Born in Hong Kong, Angie completed high school and university in Canada and received her MBA from San Jose State University. In 1994 she started a company called Network Designs and formed Ojo Technology in 2003. Since then, Ojo has grown with offices in Fremont, San Francisco and Stockton.

In 2018 the company was named one of the 50th fastest growing security integrators in the country by Security Business magazine. It is also listed as a top 50 security systems integrator by SDM magazine.

Our Central Valley Office is Expanding

Our Central Valley office is growing. Located in Stockton, the office serves Stockton, Sacramento and the surrounding area to provide integrated security systems and managed services for government and commercial organizations.

The office, headed by general manager Chris Krajewski, is adding people and resources to handle the region’s rapid growth.

“This area is booming and as businesses move in and the infrastructure expands there is a real need for quality security integration services,” Krajewski said. “We have the expertise and experience to step in and provide those needed Integrated systems and service.”

Ojo Technology’s Central Valley office opened in July 2015 and (currently it has five employees) and is growing. It was a natural expansion of the company’s headquarter office in Fremont, Calif.

“We have been able to take the experience we’ve gained working in the Bay Area for the last 16 years and use it to grow into new markets,” said Angie Wong, president and founder of Ojo Technology. “We’re happy to be a part of the Central Valley community. Having a team in the area helps us respond more quickly and keep labor costs down for our customers.”

The Central Valley office designs, installs and maintains integrated access control, video and intercom systems for a wide variety of organizations including the Stockton Unified School District, Galt Joint Union High School and Modesto City Schools. It has worked with transportation districts including the San Joaquin Regional Transit District and San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission. Other customers include the Truckee Donner Public Utility District (TDPUD) and the Sacramento Public Library. It also has been providing managed services supporting security systems and IT network security for both government and commercial sectors such as the City of Stockton, Mercedes College, etc.

“We see a tremendous opportunity in the area and we have aggressive plans to reach out to more commercial and government organizations,” Wong said.

Look for more information on our expansion plans soon.

Ojo Technology Named One of the Top Security Integrators in the U.S.

We’ve been named by SDM magazine as one of North America’s top 100 security integrators. In the publication’s annual listing Ojo came in the top 50 at number 41. Earlier this year we were named number 16 on the list of fastest-growing integrators in the U.S. by Security Business magazine (formerly Security Dealer & Integration).

According to SDM, “The 2019 Top Systems Integrators Report ranks security integrator companies by their North American systems integration revenue, which includes solutions such as design, project management, product, installation, programming, start-upand training sold directly to an end-user customer or through a tier of contractors.”

Our growth has been due to a few things including a strong economy and solid growth in our service area. We also have developed expertise in several high-growth markets including education, transportation, government and commercial. Customers come to us because we know their businesses and we have extensive experience working in their industries. Our deep IT and security background allow us to work collaboratively with the key departments in our clients’ organizations, such as IT, HR, facilities and security.

We also must recognize the Ojo Technology team. Our staff has been key to our growth and success. Everyone here strives to be the best and provide our customers with excellent service. We’re ready to keep striving and continuing our growth.

Ojo Technology Named One of the Fastest Growing Integrators

We’re very proud to have been named one of the 50 fastest-growing security industry integrators by Security Business magazine. Known as the “Fast50,” the annual ranking is open to all North American security integrators. Companies are recognized and ranked based on percentage and revenue growth – with their overall ranking balancing the two using a simple but effective algorithm.

This year, Ojo Technology was listed as the 19th fastest growing integrator putting us in the top 20. The rankings were unveiled last month at ISC West in Las Vegas. Paul Rothman, editor of Security Business, announced the winners at Security Industry Association’s Center Stage on the exhibition floor. Our president and founder, Angie Wong, was there for the unveiling of the list.

Making it into the top 20 is a testament to the hard work the Ojo team puts into knowing its products, how they work together and how to integrate them into effective and resilient systems.
“I’m really proud of our team,” said Angie. “They are always willing to go the extra mile to make sure they do a quality job and provide our customers with superior service.”

Expect to hear more from us as we continue on the fast track.

ISC West 2019

It’s considered the largest converged security industry trade show in the United States. Sponsored by the Security Industry Association (SIA), it’s the International Security Conference and Expo, also known as ISC West – and it’s just around the corner. The educational portion of the conference runs from April 9 – 11 and the exhibits are open from April 10-12. It all happens at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas.

This year’s show is expected to have more than 1,000 exhibitors with 30,000 security professionals in attendance. This is where you will find the latest in security products and technology all in one place. Expect to see everything from access control, cameras and biometrics to drones and robots.

It’s a fascinating show, but it’s also a lot to take in at one time. It can get overwhelming. We have a few suggestions on navigating the exhibit hall.

Do your homework – Do as much research as you can during prior to the show. Read the security publications to see what they are previewing and study the list of exhibitors.

Get organized – Once you know the companies and booths you want to visit study the exhibit floor map. Make it easier on yourself by planning out a route through the hall that will save you time and energy. ISC West also offers a free app that you can download to help keep you organized.

Tag along with an integrator–Another way to make the most of the show is to tag along with an integrator like Ojo. Some of our team will be at the show. If you’d like to meet with us or get some more insights about the show contact us.

Wear comfortable shoes – We’re only semi-joking. With so much to see in so many booths, along with all of the standing you’ll be doing, you’re going to need to keep your feet happy. This is not the time to break in new shoes or go for the four-inch fashion heels. Save those for another time.

 

ISC West 2019 exhibit floor hours

Wednesday, April 10:     10:00am – 5:00pm

Thursday, April 11:          10:00am – 5:00pm

Friday, April 12:                10:00am – 3:00pm

Have a great show and we hope to see you there!

CASBO 2019 Annual Conference & California School Business Expo

We’re gearing up for CASBO 2019 Annual Conference & California School Business Expo. CASO stands for the California Association of School Business Officials. The 90-year-old association has more than 24,000 members. It’s dedicated to providing training, promoting business best practices and creating opportunities for professional collaboration. Each year CASBO organizes a conference and expo providing school business professionals with continued learning and networking opportunities.

This year the event will be held April 15-18 at the San Diego Convention Center. And the Ojo Technology team will also be on hand. We’ll be in booth #938 talking about the latest in school security and safety solutions. We’ll be discussing how we have worked with school districts throughout Northern California on access control, video security and more.

Security and safety have become top-of-mind issues for schools everywhere. Working with security integrators who know schools and their special needs is critical. At Ojo Technology, we have work with Berkeley USD, Antioch USD, Santa Clara USD, Oakland USD, South San Francisco USD, Sequoia (San Mateo County) Union High School District, Stockton USD, Tamalpais USD, Ft. Bragg USD, Monterey Peninsula USD and many more. Stop by and see us at CSBO. We’ll be happy to share our experience and expertise.

Ojo Technology Gets Diamond IPI Award for Airport Project

We have some pretty exciting news. Our team won an award for our work at the Mineta San Jose International Airport. The award was presented by the International Partnering Institute at its 9th Annual Partnering Awards Ceremony. Each year, the IPI recognizes projects and individuals who best exemplify the principles of partnering in the construction industry.

We won the diamond award (the highest award presented) in the category Civil Construction Projects: Under $25 million for the work we did on the airport’s Security Perimeter Technology Project. We were part of a team that saved more than $400,000 by updating conduit and fiber route designs in the field and worked with engineers to reconcile the design. The team updated nearly 40 percent of the design in the field, responded to over 40 RFIs and negotiated roughly $1.5 million of change order work without a claim.

The IPI also recognized us for maintaining excellent collaboration in spite of the turnover in both contractor and key owner leadership positions. The award also cited the team for developing a new stakeholder process based on IPI best practices that delivered the project on time through California’s wettest winter in 50 years with zero claims and no OSHA recordables.

Here’s more information on the project:

Civil Construction Projects: Under $25 million
Mineta San Jose International Airport Security Perimeter Technology Project
Prime Contractor:               Central Sierra Electric
Designer:                              Gensler
Designer (Engineering):     WSP
Subcontractor:                    Ojo Technology
Partnering Facilitator:        OrgMetrics LLC

Mark Your Calendars for the Ojo Technology Annual Golf Tournament

It’s that time of year again when we start planning for our annual golf tournament. This year it will be held on Monday, October 1, 2018 at the Sequoyah Country Club in Oakland, Calif. It’s a nice time for us to show our appreciation and reconnect with our customers and partners by spending a relaxing day playing golf on a beautiful course.

Registration starts at 10 a.m. with tee time at 11:15 a.m. If you can’t spend the entire day with us you are always welcomed to join us for dinner at 5 p.m. We will play a scramble format, there will be a box lunch and we’ll have raffles and contest throughout the day.

Last year’s tournament was a great success and you can see some of the photos from that day on our Facebook and Instagram pages. We are looking forward to another great day this year.

Invitations and flyers should be sent out over the next couple of months. RSVP to Marcie Clark in our office. She can be reached at Marcie.Clark@OjoTech.com or 510-257-1813.

Customer Warning: Meltdown & Spectre

Ojo Technology cautions security systems customers when trying to remedy recently identified CPU vulnerabilities. The Meltdown and Spectre CPU bugs allows hackers to steal information from the memory of other programs. Intel Desktop and Server CPUs are at the greatest risk. Current remedies are limited to OS and application patches and BIOS upgrades for hardware. But, applying these fixes can cause performance degradation resulting in unresponsive systems and the loss of video recording capabilities.

Intel and Microsoft advise adopting the bug fixes only after a thorough vetting in an offline/non-production environment.

At Ojo Technology, we now recommend avoiding the currently available fixes. We believe the risk outweighs the benefits. We recommend continuing the standard precautions for security system components – limiting physical and remote access, strict password polices, firewall and anti-virus maintenance, logging, etc.

For additional information, numerous sites have posted on this issue, here’s a useful one: https://blog.barkly.com/meltdown-spectre-bugs-explained.