electronic access control

CPTED Part 3: Territorial Reinforcement and Maintenance

By Kevin Whaley, CPP, Sr. Security Consultant at Kenton Brothers

Welcome to Part 3 of our discussion about Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED).

In Part 1, I introduced the concept of CPTED and the importance of ensuring CPTED principles are considered when developing or enhancing your security program. In Part 2, we dove into greater detail on the concepts of Natural Surveillance & Natural Access Control. In Part 3 of the series, we will be looking at Territorial Reinforcement and Maintenance.

As a quick recap: in the first part, we touched on the four key overlapping concepts of CPTED which include:
  1. Natural Surveillance
  2. Natural Access Control
  3. Territorial Reinforcement
  4. Maintenance
In the second installment, we went into greater detail about the in’s & out’s of Natural Surveillance & Natural Access Control such as;
  • Natural Surveillance – the placement of physical features, activities and people in a way that maximized visibility from the surrounding environment.
    • WHY? It increases the threat of apprehension by taking steps to increase the perception that people can be seen.
  • Natural Access Control – Natural access control means controlling access to a site. People are physically guided through a space by the strategic design of streets, sidewalks, building entrances, and landscaping.
    • Clearly defines entryways and guides personnel to specific entrances that are well lit and overlooked by surrounding areas.
Just as a reminder, the overall goal in the successful implementation a CPTED plan of action, we must understand that all human space:
  • Has some designated purpose.
  • Has social, cultural, legal, or physical definitions (such as expectations or regulations) that prescribe the desired and acceptable behaviors.
  • Is designed to support and control the desired and acceptable behaviors.
With that understanding in mind, our approach should focus on:
  • Manipulating the physical environment to produce behavior effects that reduce the fear and incidence of certain types of criminal acts;
  • Understanding and modifying people’s behavior in relation to their physical environment
  • Redesigning space or using it differently to encourage desirable behaviors and discourage illegitimate activities; and
  • Reducing the conflicts between incompatible building users and building uses, with the goal of eliminating “no person’s land” that no one takes ownership of.

There are various controls that can be implemented that can supplement or support the approaches listed above.

CPTED Part 3: Territorial Reinforcement and Maintenance

Territorial Reinforcement and Maintenance of your CPTED program.

Territorial Reinforcement:

Territorial reinforcement involves establishing a sense of ownership and belonging in a specific space, which can be achieved through various design elements and strategies. When a space appears to be clearly defined and “owned” by a particular group or individual, it may discourage potential criminals by making them feel like trespassers or intruders and that the potential for detection is high.

Importance in CPTED: By implementing territorial reinforcement, CPTED aims to deter criminal activity by promoting the perception of active ownership and surveillance. A well-defined and cared-for area signals to potential offenders that their presence is likely to be noticed and that there is a higher risk of detection and apprehension. This may lead to a decrease in the opportunities for criminal acts to occur, as criminals tend to avoid spaces where they feel more vulnerable and exposed.

Examples of Territorial Reinforcement:
  1. Clear boundaries and property lines demarcated with fences, hedges, or other physical barriers.
  2. Well-maintained landscaping and exterior areas, indicating active use and care.
  3. Signage and symbols that represent community ownership or surveillance, such as neighborhood watch signs.
CPTED Part 3: Territorial Reinforcement and MaintenanceThese examples of territorial reinforcement can (and should be) enhanced with other physical security measures including but not limited to:
  1. Surveillance cameras
  2. Speakers with pre-recorded messages stating that the person is being watched or that authorities have been called.
  3. Sufficient illumination
  4. Security officers
  5. Access Controls
  6. Active/Passive intrusion sensors

However, no matter how advanced or intricate your CPTED program is, it can deteriorate and become obsolete without proper care and maintenance.

CPTED Maintenance:

CPTED maintenance involves sustaining a sense of ownership and control over a space through ongoing upkeep and community involvement. Neglected or poorly maintained areas can attract criminal activity as they signal a lack of guardianship and a reduced risk of detection.

Importance in CPTED: Regular maintenance of public and private spaces is critical to the success of CPTED. Well-maintained environments foster a sense of pride, ownership, and responsibility among community members. It reinforces the idea that residents are actively invested in their surroundings and are vigilant against criminal behavior. This collective effort makes it less attractive for criminals to target such areas, as they are more likely to be noticed and reported by the community.

Examples of Territorial Maintenance:
  • Prompt repair of broken windows, damaged fences, or graffiti.
  • Adequate lighting to ensure visibility and reduce hiding spots.
  • Community engagement and participation in the upkeep of shared spaces.

CPTED Part 3: Territorial Reinforcement and Maintenance


The image to the right is an example of POOR CPTED maintenance. As you can see, the vegetation is growing through the fence line, damaging it significantly and there are various areas where intruders have cut and recut through the fence line. The lack of prompt repair, landscaping maintenance, and lack of illumination, make this industrial facility a tempting target.

In conclusion, territorial reinforcement and maintenance are essential components of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design. By creating a sense of ownership and responsibility within a community and ensuring that spaces are well-cared for, CPTED aims to discourage criminal activity and promote a safer environment for residents and visitors alike. These proactive measures empower communities to take control of their surroundings and play an active role in crime prevention.

I hope you will watch out for the final installment where we will review the concepts we’ve discussed and how they all can be tied together.

Have more questions about CPTED or would like an assessment? Give us a call at 816-842-3700 and our board certified security professionals will get you taken care of!

Chain of Custody in Commercial Security

Chain of CustodyBy Ryan Kaullen, Field Services Manager at Kenton Brothers

Many of you know that our goal is to protect people, property, and possessions. Something that comes up related to this goal is Chain of Custody.

You may be wondering what Kenton Brothers has to do with Chain of Custody and how we would be involved. Unfortunately, part of the work we do in the commercial security industry is capturing evidence. This evidence comes in many forms. Evidence may include video surveillance recordings, security system audit trails and more. We capture this information to help protect companies from theft, fraud, and work place incidents. There are plenty of scenarios that result in law enforcement being involved.

What is Chain of Custody?

Chain of Custody is the documentation of chronological events related to an incident. Protection of how the evidence is handled, who handles it and more matters. The idea is that law enforcement needs to be able to review and use video and other forms of documentation as evidence in a trial or hearing.

A Recent Example for a Banking Client

Chain of CustodyWe recently received a Chain of Custody request from one of our banking clients. They had an event that they deemed legally significant and requested our help in documenting what had happened. They needed our help to get the video segments exported properly. They wanted footage from all of the cameras at one of their locations over the past 30 days. (That’s a good amount of video data!)

Our first step was to download the footage locally to external hard drives. The video data had to have password encryption. And the video footage had to be time stamped. We also had to fill out Chain of Custody paperwork.

On top of those requirements, the equipment and external drives couldn’t be left unsecured while we were downloading the video segments. We also had to be in an access-controlled room for audit purposes. It was crucial that we followed every step correctly to make sure their case against the accused is rock solid. We had to make sure the evidence we helped provide would not get thrown out due to Chain of Custody problems.

Once the video had been downloaded onto the drives, our technician had to hand deliver the hard drives to the bank’s lawyer and provide the Chain of Custody paperwork.

We Take Chain of Custody Seriously

Chain of CustodyChain of Custody is something Kenton Brothers takes extremely seriously for many reasons. One, we want to make sure we are providing our customers with a level of service and reliability they can count on. We also want to make sure law enforcement has what they need to support or refute claims. This is also a great example of how the commercial security systems we sell and support do what they’re supposed to do.

The reality is that you hope you never have to use footage, audits, etc. against someone working for you or coming in to your place of business. But when something does happen, you want to make sure you have the right systems in place to protect the people, property, and possessions of those who work there.

To learn more about how Kenton Brothers Systems for Security can protect you and your business, please give us a call.

Don’t let a secret tunnel topple your castle. OSDP encryption is crucial to your commercial security.

By Neal Bellamy, IT Director at Kenton Brothers

Open Supervised Device Protocol - OSDPAs in all security, it only takes one weak link to bring the whole castle down. You can have the best moat, the best turrets, and the best drawbridge. But if there was a secret, unguarded passage and the enemy discovered it, it could certainly lead to your demise. In the commercial access control world, the Weigand Protocol is that un-guarded secret passage.

The Weigand Protocol

The Weigand protocol has been used since the 1980s and is named after the Weigand Effect. The Weigand protocol is used to detect the 1’s and 0’s sent from a commercial security reader to the access control panel. (To be clear, there are two separate transmissions that happen when you present a card to a reader.)

The first communication is from the card to the reader itself. This transmission can be protected by the card technology being used. Both the card and the reader have to have the same technology to be compatible. iClass®, Mifare®, and Felica® are examples of card technology where the transmission is encrypted between the card and reader. Proximity is another type of card technology, but the transmission is not encrypted

The second transmission is from the reader to the door controller. With very few exceptions, the Weigand protocol has been the method to support this transmission. If you have an encrypted card technology (and you should) it’s like encoding a message with the Enigma machine, then translating back to plain German and sending the un-encrypted message on horseback to its next location. If the courier gets intercepted while the message is unencrypted… all of that amazing security of the message has been wasted. If someone could change the message without you knowing, you might even make the wrong decision. You might think this is CIA/MI5 material, but it is way more accessible than you think.

Enter the $25 Weigand interface.

Weigand InterfaceIf you look online, you can find a board that can be installed between a reader and control panel that will intercept and log every access card being used. The board is smaller than a poker chip and can be installed behind a reader pretty easily. Once installed, it is powered by the door controller and is completely invisible to the reader and access control system. The attacker can leave it in place for a few days or a few weeks, while it collects every card read. Then, when they are ready, they can retrieve the list of cards from the built-in Wi-Fi interface. If the attacker only needs access to get into that single door, they can even “replay” the card number from the Weigand interface back to the door controller, probably granting access. If they need access to multiple doors, they could use the information to recreate identical cards to the ones you are using.

Placing one of these Weigand interfaces at the front door of a facility could be devastating for your building security.

OSDP = Open Supervised Device Protocol

There is hope. The answer is to also encrypt communication from the reader to the panel.

Open Supervised Device Protocol (OSDP) aims to do this and more. OSDP has been an international standard since 2020 and is all about encrypted communications. It also adds bi-directional communication with readers (know when readers are offline/disconnected), allowing more than one reader on a port, etc. Over the last couple of years, board and reader manufacturers have been implementing OSDP into access control hardware. While not every manufacturer or model supports OSDP, support is growing. For most systems, OSDP can be added on a door-by-door basis. You can convert high-profile doors to OSDP while waiting to upgrade low-risk doors if your budget doesn’t support an all-or-nothing approach.

Stronger DefenseI need to mention a side note here for Gallagher. When I first encountered Gallagher security products in 2010, they were already using their HBUS technology for their readers. While Gallagher supports OSDP, the HBUS technology provides very similar benefits as OSDP like encryption, bi-directional communication, and multiple readers on a port… but HBUS has been doing it for much longer. An additional benefit with Gallagher HBUS and readers is being able to create your own card encryption key easily. This means that no other organization in the world will have a card that can be read on your Gallagher system. This is not a requirement for Gallagher, but it is super simple to do and is part of our standard procedures when installing a new Gallagher system.

Transmitting card numbers from the reader to your access control panels might be the chink in your access control’s armor. As part of our security standard, KB will make sure you are using encrypted communication from the card all the way to the access control system.

If you need help evaluating the next steps in your access control setup or how to get started on the right foot, let us know! Just give us a call and we will be happy to help.

Integrating Facial Recognition into Access Control Physical Security, Increasing Security and Convenience!

By David Strickland, Vice President of Kenton Brothers

“Innovate or Die”

Facial RecognitionWhen walking through Kenton Brothers Systems for Security, you will see this phrase prominently displayed on the walls throughout our building. Innovation is one of our core values and it’s a big reason we continue to provide remarkable physical security solutions for our customers… going on 126 years.

The world is very different than it was 125 years ago, and so are the solutions we provide to mitigate today’s security risks. The need for robust access control measures to safeguard sensitive areas is more critical than ever. As the security industry innovates, traditional methods like mechanical locks, keycards and PINs are gradually being replaced by cutting-edge biometric technologies. Among these, facial recognition stands out as a revolutionary tool, offering enhanced security and convenience in commercial access control physical security.

This blog explores the role of facial recognition as a biometric credential in access control. Here are five ways we think it will have a big impact.

1. Enhanced Security through Uniqueness:

Facial recognition technology capitalizes on the uniqueness of each individual’s facial features. Unlike passwords or keycards, which can be lost, stolen, or shared, faces are inherently unique, making them an ideal biometric credential. By registering authorized personnel in the system, access control devices can accurately match live facial images with the stored templates, ensuring that only authorized individuals gain entry.

2. Seamless and Contactless Authentication:

One of the standout advantages of facial recognition in access control is its contactless nature. Users no longer need to physically interact with devices or carry identification cards. Authentication is as simple as glancing at a camera, making it more convenient and hygienic—particularly in a post-pandemic world where reducing physical contact is thought to be essential.

3. Rapid and Real-Time Identification:

Facial RecognitionFacial recognition technology operates at impressive speeds, providing real-time identification results. This capability is especially valuable in high-traffic areas like airports, offices, and educational institutions, where quick and efficient access control is necessary. The system can process multiple faces simultaneously, reducing bottlenecks and ensuring smooth entry flows.

4. Integration with Existing Systems:

Facial recognition can seamlessly integrate with existing access control infrastructure. Many modern access control systems are designed with open architecture, allowing easy integration with biometric devices. By retrofitting facial recognition solutions into their current systems, organizations can upgrade security measures without a complete overhaul.

5. Multifactor Authentication with one “credential”:

The fusion of facial recognition with other biometric security measures, such as fingerprint or iris recognition, could create biometric systems that offer even higher security levels and resistance to spoofing attempts.  Multifactor authentication all within one “credential” – the human body!

So what about the other side of the coin… Can facial recognition be spoofed?

Yes, facial recognition can be defeated if the installation and calibration processes aren’t followed correctly. One innovation in the commercial security world is helping along that front. For instance, some systems such as  IDEMIA use liveness detection, which ensures that the face presented for authentication is a live, three-dimensional image rather than a photograph. This feature guards against spoofing attempts, where adversaries try to trick the system with static images.

The future of facial recognition in access control physical security looks very promising. Advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms will likely improve the accuracy and efficiency of these systems. Additionally, including 3D facial recognition technology could further improve security by adding an extra layer of depth and precision to the identification process.

We believe Facial Recognition as a biometric credential in access control physical security represents a remarkable leap forward in safety and convenience. With enhanced security features, contactless authentication, and rapid identification capabilities, facial recognition technology is reshaping access control best practices.

Want to learn more? Let’s get together and discuss how utilizing this technology can increase your commercial physical security while increasing convenience: two things that are traditionally in conflict!


Video: Planning and Implementing Elevator Security

By Erik Andress, Sales Management Professional at Kenton Brothers

In today’s video we’re discussing elevators. In particular, how to secure them with cameras and access control. Elevators can be tricky… They require a lot of planning and coordination with the elevator company. We’ll get into some of those details today and what you need to know!

Step one is by far the most important stage and that’s planning.

Securing an elevator requires collaboration between the elevator company the security integrator as well as the client. The client lets the security innovator know how they want the elevator to function and behave. The security integrator works with the elevator company to make that possible.

Let’s use a an example: Where do you want the card reader mounted? Is it on the outside of the elevator denying access altogether or is it on the inside of the cab denying access just to certain floors? Or both? You may want to deny access to the elevator because it’s not for the public. You may also want to deny access to certain floors because it is a secure facility.

There are details we have to understand. Is there already traveling cable in the elevator? Is there space for us to install our equipment? Where is the control panel for the elevator, and where should our control panel go for access control? It can get complicated quickly.

Step two is integration.

We work with a professional elevator technician to make sure the proper cables are in place and integrate the card reader into the elevator’s controls.

Step three is configuration.

Now that the systems are integrated, we need to make sure that we go back to the client’s expectations of how they wanted the elevator to function. We need to make sure that our configuration is lining up with exactly what they asked for.

Step four is to test and calibrate.

When you put security inside of an elevator, you’re introducing a lot of moving pieces. With access control or commercial video surveillance, we need to make sure that we spend time testing the system. We need to make sure the camera’s field of views are dialed in correctly.

The final step is training.

We need to make sure that the admins and users of the system understands exactly how the system works and how changes can be made.

If you need help securing the elevators in your company buildings, we can help. Just give us a call!