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Vendors Team to Thwart Thieves

Axcess and Sensormatic will offer an access control product that can prevent people from leaving buildings with stolen assets.
Sep 23, 2002Sept. 23, 2002 -- Almost 60 percent of the companies that responded to a recent survey conducted by the Computer Security Institute, a San Francisco-based association of security and network professionals, reported stolen laptops. Even though the computers cost only $2,000 or so, the average loss involved was nearly $90,000.

Axcess, a Dallas-based company that sells RFID security systems, and Sensormatic, a division of Tyco that makes anti-theft and access control products, have teamed up to offer a potential solution to the problem.

Axcess makes readers and smart labels that can track the movement of laptops, computers and other assets as they move through a facility. Sensormatic has a large installed based of access control systems. The two companies have integrated their products so that companies can ensure only authorized people leave with tagged assets, such as laptops.

Here?s how it works. Companies install Axcess readers at exits, and tag assets with Axcess? ActiveTag RFID labels. If they already have Sensormatic badge readers at the exits, they only need to upgrade to Sensormatic?s C-CURE 800/8000 software. Then, they configure the software to match a particular badge ID with a particular laptop ID.

As someone walks towards an exit with a laptop in a bag, the reader wakes up the tag, which begins broadcasting a unique ID. When the person swipes his badge, the door opens if there is a match. The system can be programmed to respond in several ways when there isn?t a match. It can keep the door locked, opened the door but take a video snapshot if the equipment is available, or sound an alarm.

"Essentially, customers can take one of our cards and roll it into their access control system as if it was a personnel proximity card," says Mike Uremovich, Axcess? VP of sales. "They can generate a link that would authorize the free movement of an asset with or without a person."

Axcess sells its own software for tracking people and assets. But by teaming with Sensormatic, one of the leading providers of access control and electronic article surveillance systems, Axcess can leverage Sensormatic?s large customer base and sales force.

Sensormatic has already done the software integration to make it possible to match IDs at the door. The company is now doing the final integration that will enable Axcess readers to be plugged into the panel located at each exit, so it can communicate with the system.

The ActiveTag?s cost $10 to $50 each, depending on their capabilities. Uremovich says laptops are among the most common items tagged, but he says companies are also looking at securing other valuable assets, including binders with valuable documents.
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