Glossary of Terms and Acronyms
|This glossary will help you understand the terms and acronyms that are relevant to the electronic security industry as it converges with the world of IT. Help us to make this a useful resource. If you would like to add a term or an acronym, please contact us and we will add it to the list.
3X Arming - A methodology for triggering a signal to an alarm panel causing the alarm panel to arm. In aPod II it is triggered by presenting a card to a reader three times in quick succession.
Access Card - An access card that is used to identify a card holder to an access control system using the card reader. The access card is usually the same size as a common credit card. Access cards are available as separate items for order with an aPod II system.
Access Token (Token) - A generic reference to an access card, keytag, keyfob or badge.
Administrator - A user of the system who has the authority and responsibility for managing the access control system. In the case of the aPod II, all administrative functions are performed using a browser. The primary administrative task involves adding and deleting users and assigning access permissions, in other words, deciding who can unlock which doors and a what times.
Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) - An encryption methodology using secret keys to protect communication. The key must be known to both parties. The key lengths can be 128, 192 or 256 bits in length.
American Bankers Association (ABA) - ABA4 and ABA6 are standards developed by the American Bankers Association for encoding magstripe cards using characters that are either 4 bit numeric and control characters or 6 bit alphanumeric and control characters. The aPod II can use cards having both encoding methodologies.
Anti-Passback - A methodology used to reduce the chances of a single card being used by different individuals. There are two major modes of operation, timed and logical. The time mode prevents the card from being used again for a particular period. When the anti-passback feature is enabled with the aPod II, a two minute time period is used. The logical mode of operation tracks a user through the building making sure that they have left the area before entering at the door again. Logical anti-passback requires exit readers as well as entrance readers and users must remember to badge their cards when entering and leaving must go through the door one at a time. Violations may either be recorded or enforced, where the user is locked out. The aPod II provides timed anti-passback with either recorded or enforced options.
Audit Log - A real-time recording of configuration changes made by administrators.
Auto-IP - The default methodology used to automatically configure a fixed IP address for the aPod II Primary Controller.
Backup - A methodology to backup the configuration of the system. Backups are usually done to a hard drive and then restored should the system fail. When aPod is used in a multi-door environment, backups can be performed from Secondary controllers as well.
Badge - Usually synonymous with an access card, but getting its name due to a badge or photo printed on the card.
Biennial - Occurring every two years. Can occur on either odd or even years. Used when setting parameters for holidays/dates.
Biometrics - Methodologies used for uniquely recognizing individuals using their biometric characteristics. Used in highly secure environments. Common techniques include thumb prints, facial recognition and retinal scans.
Browser - The browser is the user interface used to communicate over the Internet. The most common browsers are Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer and Safari.
Browser User Inerface (BUI) - The user interface provided by your browser. Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer and Safari are the major browsers. aPod II is compatible with the latest versions of these browsers.
Bypass - The ability to stop the operation of an input point of a door. In aPod this may be done for a specified period, with 1 hour being the minimum.
Card plus PIN - An access control mode where both a card must be presented to a access control reader, followed by a PIN entry before the system would grant access. Using a PIN, in addition to a card, provides a higher degree of security.
Card Format - The definition of the format of the card which may include whether it is Wiegand or Magstripe, the number of bits or characters it contains, where the identifier is located, the identifiers length, the site code's location and length and various other parameters for error detection within the format. aPod II allows up to 10 different card formats.
Card Holder - Refers to a person who owns and carries an access token with pre-defined permissions for unlocking certain doors at certain times.
Cat5e Cable - This is a cable that carries data signals from computer to switch or router. The cables are unshielded but use twisted pairs of conductors to provide noise immunity. There are 8 conductors in a Cat5e cable, or 4 data pairs. Only 2 pairs are used for data. The 2 additional pairs or all 4 pairs are used for PoE; consequently aPod II uses all Cat5e conductors. Cat5e has been superseded by Cat6 which provides higher data rates. The aPod requires Cat5e but will also work with Cat6.
Cat6 Cable - Cat6 provides better noise immunity than Cat5e cables and is used in electrically noisy environments. It also has better insulation. It may be used instead of Cat5e.
Cloud Computing - Generally relating to application software and data services available through a browser. Again totally dependent on Internet availability.
Credential - A requirement used to identify oneself to the access control system. Usually the access card but could also refer to the PIN as well as the authority the user has in the system.
Domain Name System (DNS) - A methodology for translating a name into an IP Address. Computers can therefore be referred to by name instead of address.
Door Forced Processing - A methodology to detect when the door is opened without authorization. It provides for a more secure environment and only requires the additional input of a door contact.
Door Held Processing - The ability to warn when a door is opened for too long a period. It generally first warns the user after which it can trigger an alarm. Itcabn be used to prevent a door from being propped open. It provides for a more secure environment and only requires the additional input of a door contact.
Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) - This is the protocol used to dynamically assign IP addresses to computers, generally on local networks. Using a fixed address is called static IP. aPod II can use both DHCP and static IP.
Electric Strike (Strike) - An electrical device used by access control system to unlock doors. It is usually mounted in a door frame next to the door handle. aPod can supply up to 400mA to power strikes.
Embedded HTTP Server - An HTTP server is the software that is responsible for servicing requests of a browser. It is embedded when the software resides in dedicated hardware like a router or an access control device. aPod has an embedded HTTP server.
Embedded Operating System (EOS) - A type of operating system that is customized to run on a dedicated hardware like a router or an access control device. Examples are QNX and MQX although some general operating systems like Linux, albeit in a customized form, will also be used in an embedded environment. Also known as an RTOS or a real-time operating system. aPod II uses the MQX embedded operating system.
End of Line Resistor (EOL) - A methodology to provide supervision for input circuits. aPod II allows EOL resistor values of 1K Ω, 2K2 Ω and 5K6 Ω.
Enroll - A methodology whereby the system looks for the identifier of a new entity and then automatically configures it into the system. aPod II can enroll both user's cards and Secondary controllers.
Entry Time - Also known as unlock time, it is the duration that a door remains unlocked after a valid access card has been presented. Additional time may be attached to users with disabilities.
Ethernet - The ethernet standard, IEEE 802.3 is the most common methodology used by computers in local area networks to communicate. aPod II uses ethernet at the 100 mega bit per second speed.
Event Log - A real-time log of events in the system that can include door access, alarms and system overrides. aPod II provides up to 100,0000 events before he oldest event is overwritten.
Extended Hours - A door schedule may be designated as after hours, extended hours, regular hours or unlocked and it isused to determine the permissions required for a user to access a door.
Facility Code - A facility code, also known as a site code, is encoded on a card and forms part of the card format. The system must match the facility code before a card is recognized. With aPod II card formats, up to four facility codes are allowed on a single format. aPod II uses the site code terminology.
Fail Safe - System behaviors that arises during a failure. An example is to allow an exit door to open in case of a fire. The opposite of fail secure.
Fail Secure - System behaviors that arises during a failure. An example is to lock a door when the system fails. The opposite of fail safe.
Fire Unlock - An input to the system, usually from a fire panel, that unlocks all doors in case of a fire emergency.
Free Egress - This is activated by a "Door Contact Bypass" input point that allows a door to be manually opened without triggering an alarm. This is only relevant if door forced processing is enabled.
Gateway - Also known as a router, a device that allows local area networked computers to communicate with other devices on the Internet.
Holidays - Also known as public or statuary holidays and are usually programmed by date. They are used to modify scheduled door operations. aPod II provides an elegant methodology for programming dates that does not require re-entry every year. aPod II also selects holidays based on the locale.
Hub - An older device used as a central device in a local area network allowing computers to communicate with each other. It has generally been replaced by switches that provide a higher efficiency.
Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) - An encoding format understood by browsers. Used as a format for aPod II reports that can be displayed by browsers. aPod II can produce reports in either HTML or TSV formats.
Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) - The communications protocol used by a browser to get web pages as well a other types of information like pictures. It also is used to send information from the browser to the server.
Identifier - Also referred to as a Card ID and defines the number associated with the card.
Information Technology (IT) - A broad term for computers, relating to hardware, supporting hardware, peripherals (e.g. printers), hard drives, operating systems, databases, application software and communications (e.g. Internet).
Interlock - A methodology that prevents a door from being unlocked unless another door is locked. Used in secure environments.
Internet Protocol (IP) - Sometimes incorrectly referred to as TCP/IP, this is the communications protocol that is used by the Internet. Version 4, limited to 32-bit address, or over 4 billion possibilities, is currently used but version 6 is starting to gain traction, with 128-bit addresses. aPod II uses version 4.
IP Access Controllers - An access controller that communicates directly on an ethernet cable using the Internet protocol. It takes advantage of the installed network infrastructure. Older access control equipment uses Rs485 and has alternate wiring requirements. RS485 cannot use the existing network infrastructure. aPod II is an example of on IP Access Controller and can therefore use the existing network infrastructure.
IP Address - A numerical designation to a device that can uniquely identify it on an Internet network. These addresses can either be assigned statically or dynamically (DHCP).
Keyfob - An access token packaged in a more compact format appropriate to attaching to a key ring. Keyfobs are available for order as separate items with an aPod II system.
Keypad - Part of a card reader and is used to enter a PIN. Card readers come with or without keypads. Obviously, to enter a PIN requires a card reader with a keypad.
Keytag - An access card packaged in a more compact format. It is also known as a keyfob.
Lock - The ability to override the scheduled door operation. Typically if a door is unlocked, an administrator may lock the door using the override. Usually done for a particular duration. Users may still use their cards to gain access through the door.
Lockout - The ability to override the scheduled door operation. Typically if a door is unlocked, an administrator may lock the door using the override. Usually done for a particular duration. Users may still use their cards to gain access through the door.
Magnetic Locks (Maglock) - A maglock is a device that uses an electromagnet to lock a door. When power is interrupted, it disengages the lock. It is an example of a fail safe mechanism. Electromagnets are usually high current devices and cannot be directly powered by aPod II. More modern maglock type of devices have replaced the electromagnet with retractable bolts and are much lighter on current. These new devices can be supplied directly by aPod II.
Magnetic Stripe Interface (Magstripe) - A two wire interface to connect a card reader with an door access controller. One wire provides data while the other line clocks the data. aPod II is compatible with magstripe signaling readers in both the ABA4 and ABA6 standards.
MiFare - A smart card technology provided by NXP, a spinoff from Phillips Semiconductor.
Network Time Protocol (NTP) - The protocol used by a time server to request and receive the time.
Normally Closed (N.C.) - An input point circuit type that in normal operation is closed.
Normally Open (N.O.) - An input point circuit type that in normal operation is open circuit.
Passive Infrared Detector (PIR) - A device that is used to detect the presence of a person. It detects the infrared signature of that person. It can be used to trigger either an alarm or to trigger a door exit request. See "Free Egress" or "Door Contact Bypass".
Peer to Peer (P2P) - Here computers can communicate directly with each other, as opposed to communicating via a server. The server methodology is referred to as Client-Server. Generally an either-or situation, some environments would used both peer-to-peer and client-server communications.
Pending Enry - A methodology whereby a door, which was scheduled to unlock, remains locked until a valid entry is granted. Used to prevent an automatic unlock of the system if valid card holders are not yet present.
Perpetual Holiday Calendar - Here holidays are defined by a fix set of rules that doesn't require different setting for every new year. Basically set up once and forget about it.
Personal Identification Number (PIN) - A secret numeric password used in security and banking environments. aPod II allows between 4 and 9 numerals.
Plenum Space - An enclosed space within a building used for airflow. An example is a dropped ceiling.
Power over Ethernet (PoE) - This is a technology that is used to provide power to devices over the network infrastructure. The power is usually provided by a PoE switch or by a PoE injector.
Power Up - When a system starts after power has been applied. With aPod II, power is applied via PoE.
Proximity Card - This is a generic name for contactless cards used in access control and banking environments. Cards generally use either 125KHz or 13.56MHz frequencies. The card reader available with aPod II uses 125KHz.
Public Key Certificate - Also referred to as a digital certificate, it is an electronic signature that is used to validate authenticity.
Quadrennial - Occurring every four years. Used when setting parameters for holidays/dates.
Reboot - When the system restarts. This could be because of a restore or a firmware update.
Regular Hours - A door schedule may be designated as after hours, extended hours, regular hours or unlocked and it isused to determine the permissions required for a user to access a door.
Request to Exit (RTE, or REX) - Usually done from the interior side of the door by either a button or an exit reader. A button is more common. This is needed to enable door forced processing which is a rather simple way of increasing the security of a door.
Restore - See backup. This restores the system to a previously known state. Only needed if the Primary Controller fails or is deliberately compromised.
Router - Also known as a gateway, a device that allows local area networked computers to communicate with other devices on the Internet.
Schedule - A methodology for allocating various door modes of operation dependent on time. Can be entered as a table or graphically. aPod II provides a graphical methodology which is easier to visualize.
Secure Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTPS) - A secure version of HTTP. It uses SSL to provide the security for regular HTTP.
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) - A set of cryptographic protocols that together form a secure communications link, usually across the Internet. Used generally for email and secure browser communications.
Shift - A methodology for limiting certain users to accessing the system matching their assigned shift work. In aPod II, the entry methodology is similar to that of a schedule and is done graphically.
Shutdown - A methodology of limiting current supplied by aPod II to powered peripherals. If a peripheral draws too much current, the power supplied to that peripheral is removed so as to reduce possible damage. Care must still be taken to wire systems correctly and safely.
Site Code - A site code, also known as a facility code, is encoded on a card and forms part of the card format. The system must match the site code before a card is recognized. With aPod II card formats, up to four site codes are allowed on a single format.
Smart Card - Similar to the proximity card but providing additional security. They generally operate using 13.56MHz.
Software as a Service (SaaS) - Application software provided by a hosting company that resides on their computer servers, accessed via the Internet. There is usually a charge associated with this service. It is totally dependent on Internet availability.
Subnet Mask - It is the methodology used by Internet devices to figure out whether the destination IP address is locally available or outside of the subnet range. If it is outside of the subnet range, the information is passed on to the router.
Switch - A device that allows local area networked computers to communicate with each other. It has intelligence in that it can dynamically select where data is sent reducing network congestion. It replaces the older hub technology. Computers connect to the switch using either Cat5e or Cat6 cables. Small networks usually use the switch built into the router but larger networks can have multiple switches.
Tab Separated Values (TSV) - A report format that is understood by spreadsheet applications. It is produced as a file for download. aPod II can produce reports in either HTML or TSV formats.
Time Server - An Internet service that provides for accurate time. aPod II has many common time servers prgrammed in it that it automatically tries to contact. In corporate environments, an alternate time server may be specified.
Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) - An Internet communications protocol that provides a reliable and ordered methodology of data delivery. HTTP is an example of a protocol that uses TCP. aPod II uses both TCP and UDP.
Uniform Resource Locator (URL) - Used to specify a resource in a browser and the protocol needed to access it. To access aPod II one could use "http://apod.local/".
Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) - This is an electrical appliance that provides power as a backup to mains power, in the case of failure. Power can be provided from minutes to hours depending on the UPS unit and the devices that it supplies.
Unique ID - Also referred to as a user ID, it is a number assigned to a user. Currently aPod II only uses unique ID's internally and they are assigned automatically.
Unlock - The ability to override the scheduled door operation. Typically if a door is locked, an administrator may unlock the door using the override. Done for a particular duration.
Unlock Time - Also known as entry time, it is the duration that a door remains unlocked after a valid access card has been presented. Additional time may be attached to users with disabilities.
User - Also known as a card holder, it is a collection of credentials that include the user's name, card ID, validation, PIN and other options.
User Datagram Protocol (UDP) - This is a simpler Internet communications methodology that doesn't provide the same reliability and ordered delivery that TCP does. The messages that it sends are referred to as datagrams. It is up to the application software to provide data integrity and ordered delivery. Voice over IP is an example of a protocol that uses UDP. aPod II uses both TCP and UDP.
User Group - Also known as a door group and used in systems with several doors and many users, permissions can be simplified by providing groups of users identical permissions and specifying those permissions in a User Group. A user group lists all doors and the permissions granted to each door.
User ID - Also referred to as a unique ID, it is a number assigned to a user. Currently aPod II only uses user ID's internally and they are assigned automatically.
Validation - A methodology for limiting the user to particular time period which can range from minutes to years.
Wiegand - A two wire interface to connect a card reader with a door access controller. One wire provides data 0 signals while the other provides data 1 signals. aPod II is compatible with both traditional Wiegand signaling readers as well as readers using ABA4 and ABA6 encoding over Wiegand signals.
Zeroconf - A methodology to automatically provide an IP address where no DHCP server exists. The IP address is in the 169.254.x.x range.