‘It’s obvious that a prominent bank like BNP Paribas has to take processes like security extremely seriously,’ said Alan Ford, Security Manager at BNP Paribas. Spread over several office buildings, more than 4000 staff make daily use of the AEOS Security Management Platform to enter the restricted areas for which only they have been authorised. BNP Paribas needs be certain that they can rely on their access control system. Even though their previous Nedap WinXS system did just that, in 2011 they chose to migrate to Nedap AEOS as WinXS had come close to the end of its development cycle.
"We needed to replace our existing access control system, and we didn't want to compromise our security for a minute."
BNP Paribas’ Security Management team had worked with their previous WinXS system for more than 13 years. It was so familiar that Security Manager Alan Ford said, ‘It was like riding a bike.’ For this reason the decision to make a transition to a new security management platform wasn’t an easy one. However AEOS had been tried and tested in the market and offered even higher security features and easier management, so it was an obvious candidate. This, combined with a safe, hassle-free, seamless migration pathway coordinated by Nedap and its certified Business Partner, made the choice easier.
Security stress test.
To make sure that AEOS would achieve the same level of security as WinXS, the security platform was tested thoroughly. Alan Ford, ‘Before implementing AEOS, we asked an independent IT company to try to break into our IT systems. They used a little device with which they normally could ‘clone’ access cards without actually touching them. They had to admit that the AEOS encryption was so advanced, they didn’t have the technology to hack into the system. This is what we wanted to hear. It may not have been our main reason for selecting AEOS, but it certainly gave us the reassurance that AEOS would boost our security to a higher level.’
“As a test, we asked an independant IT company to break into our IT systems. They had to admit that the AEOS encryption was so advanced that they didn’t succeed.”
Customised access control.
In addition to security itself, BNP Paribas has to take the security management seriously, with over 4000 people entering and leaving their buildings daily. AEOS is in use at both the head office and its nearby locations for access security for staff, flex-workers, catering staff, contractors and cleaners.
Given the large numbers and different types and levels of staff, ease of management and flexibility are two essential requirements for those managing the security platform. AEOS can be set up to produce any form of pass for individuals or groups based on location, security level, clock time and duration. For example, at BNP Paribas, cleaners only access the building after working hours, so their passes have restricted time and area access. Contractors work for fixed periods, and need to be visually identified; they are given different passes and their access is automatically blocked on the day their contract is finished. Employees need to be able to access their offices, the restaurant, the gym and specific rooms or departments; this can be set up for a specific role or group. If a pass is lost or mislaid, it can be blocked immediately and a new pass quickly generated. All these tasks are centrally managed at BNP Paribas, reducing the need for specialised AEOS management users at remote locations.
Unobtrusive, clever security.
Another important requirement for BNP Paribas was that, although security has to be high, it mustn’t be too obtrusive, impeding staff movements or visitor comfort. Even though the speed gates and security officers at the reception desk make it obvious that visitors are entering a high secure area, AEOS meets these demands by operating easy and efficiently. The building’s design glass doors are fitted with elegant steel door handles. Cleverly and unobtrusively these handles contain a long distance card reader so that staff and guests never notice that they are entering a high security area.
Effective, intuitive management.
Efficiency of access control is further improved by AEOS’ extremely intuitive user interface. This not only saves time, it takes the stress out of managing access passes for large numbers of diverse user needs. ‘This makes it possible to get people into the building quicker, giving them more time to make money’, Alan Ford noted. ‘Besides, having a system that is really easy to pick up and really quick to use also saves a lot of time for the security management team,. So, for what we need to do, it’s a perfect system’, Gitka Randackova, controlling operative, added.
Saving time and money.
From 2014 on, BNP Paribas will start using their new offices on the other side of the street, where AEOS has also been implemented. ‘Here again we will use AEOS for access control. Implementing AEOS in the new building was an easy decision as we have already invested in AEOS. It was logical to stick to the same platform as we’re satisfied with its capabilities. We’re happy in the knowledge that we’ll be able to expand our use of the system in the future – both in user numbers as well as in functionality. Besides, when implementing AEOS across the road, we’ll still be able to have one central administration for all locations. This saves time and manpower, decreasing investments on several levels.’
Towards a high secure future.
BNP Paribas are more than happy with AEOS, its current ease of use and flexibility for access control as well as the inbuilt opportunities it offers for expanding use and improving security to an even higher level. They know that their access control is in secure hands, now and in the future.