New Gallagher software feature enables COVID-19 contact tracing

Innovative report identifies onsite movement of specific individuals
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Tuesday, June 9, 2020

RIVERSIDE, Mo.—Gallagher, a global security technology manufacturer, recently developed the innovative Proximity and Contact Tracing Report that utilizes access control and draws on Gallagher Command Centre’s reporting capability. 

“At Gallagher, we consider it essential to focus our research, design and development teams on the most pressing needs in cyber and physical security,” Rachel Kelly, chief product officer of Enterprise Solutions at Gallagher, said in the announcement. “Currently, supporting COVID-19 elimination is a huge priority. In a health crisis like this, accurate and timely information is paramount, [and] that is what this new software feature will give to businesses.”

All about the new tracing report

This tool enables end users to quickly and accurately identify areas or zones where an employee with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, or any illness, has been on site. It is also designed to identify other employees who have been in affected areas or zones during a specific period, as they would be at a greater risk for coming into contact with an illness.

“If a person was identified as having a contagious illness, such as COVID-19, the operator can enter specific information — including the origin cardholder [the person identified as being a health risk] and the dates where there was a risk of exposure — into the utility to quickly and easily produce report listing all other cardholders who shared an area with the contagious cardholder,” Scott Elliott, Gallagher’s vice president for the Americas, explained to Security Systems News.

Once an area or zone is identified, action must be taken to ensure safety for all. This new report empowers businesses to make the best decisions possible backed by data. 

“The Proximity and Contact Tracing Report provides organizations with the data they need to proactively inform ‘exposed’ cardholders of the risk, allowing them to take action, seek testing and minimize spread of the virus [referring to COVID-19],” Elliott said. “For each cardholder, the report provides information on the shared access zone, the layer of contact — such as whether they were likely to have been in direct contact or indirect via another cardholder —and the length of time the cardholders were in the same area.” 

Based on shared access zone data, greater insight is provided into the risk to each cardholder and can help shape the level of action necessary to mitigate the health risk. 

“The report can also identify those cardholders who did not share an area with the infected cardholder, therefore ruling out exposure concerns and allowing those employees to continue to operate safely,” added Elliott. 

A standard feature offered in Gallagher Command Centre is Broadcast Notifications, enabling security personnel to communicate simple and quickly with multiple people. After all, when a security incident occurs, time is of the essence along with clear, simple communicated notices, warnings and instructions. 

“In a situation where employees were identified as being at risk of exposure to a virus,” Elliott said, “Broadcast Notifications could be used to send an email, SMS message or notification via Gallagher’s Mobile Connect App to inform them [employees] of the risk or ask them to report to a manager.” 

Cybersecurity built-in from the get-go

Certainly, as cyber and physical security continue to merge, so do threats of system breaches and gaining access to personal identifiable information (PII). Gallagher understands potential reputational damage, disruptions and data loss that cyber threats pose to organizations, therefore, implementing security strategies and actions during development of the new Proximity and Contact Tracing Report.

“We have a strong focus on the security of security, with full ownership over the entire manufacturing and development processes, and a security review program that includes internal and external penetration testing to ensure systems are hardened and secure,” emphasized Elliott. “The review program covers Gallagher’s software code, databases, firmware and hardware, mitigating risk to ensure personally identifiable information is not compromised.”

What else is going on at Gallagher 

Even during a crisis such as the current pandemic, security companies continue to innovate and produce solutions the not only resonate with end users and integrators, but provide value, which is necessary to a successful deployment and continuation of use of any product or service.

“Now, more than ever, it’s vital for businesses to be innovative and agile,” said Kelly. “We’re incredibly proud of the work our teams are doing during this crisis.”

Elliott told SSN that Gallagher is working on a number of exciting new developments, referencing their mobile credential and visitor management system that will soon be able to issue mobile credentials to visitors.

“We’re extending our mobile credential solution to include a Digital ID, basically transferring the Photo ID normally displayed on a physical card into the digital world,” mentioned Elliott. “Mobile credential holders can display their mobile app to verify their identity or access other systems, like photocopiers, using a barcode display on the ID. The digital card can be issued or revoked remotely, is delivered automatically to the phone and is always live.” 

Key takeaways

  1. Make decisions based on data.
  2. Design products and services that add value and purpose to end users.
  3. Focus on the security of security. 
  4. Create and use a robust cybersecurity testing program.
  5. Continue to innovate and create solutions that add value. 
  6. Be agile.