Cliq targets critical infrastructure market

London, UK

Assa Abloy takes care of critical infrastructure with Cliq

According to global leaders Assa Abloy, increasingly, utilities across Europe are turning to Cliq to protect their premises.  Cliq is a mechatronic locking solution engineered to combine the highest standards of electronic and mechanical security. The Cliq range comprises keys, cylinders and padlocks, software and key programming devices.

So much of modern life—from boiling a kettle to national security—relies on the safety of our critical infrastructure. If electricity supply is interrupted, business and the economy grind to a halt. Without safe, uncontaminated drinking water, we cannot cook food or keep clean.

And that infrastructure is increasingly interdependent. A single failure can set off a cascade of consequences. Consider the effects of a major electricity outage on our water supply. Pumps would be inoperable, interrupting the supply of fresh water as well as our ability to process waste; a domino effect.

Potential threats to critical infrastructure are many and varied, from intentional water contamination to the theft of valuable equipment from electricity generation or distribution sites. To a utility company, the cost of shutdowns can be huge and the damage to the reputation of the business can impact on stakeholder value and confidence.

To complicate the security picture, sites associated with utilities tend to be dispersed and remote. They rely on a vast array of contractors and service teams to keep them running. Physical security at these sites is especially difficult, yet equally crucial. Utilities need to guard against sabotage, theft and trespass, while guaranteeing access to those who need it—at any time of day or night, and often at short notice.

Cliq is a mechatronic locking solution that combines the highest standards of electronic and mechanical security. The Cliq range comprises keys, cylinders and padlocks, software and key programming devices.

Each Cliq key is programmable by a system administrator to open only the locks for which its holder has authorisation. Keys have replaceable batteries that power the key, and this energises the cylinder when inserted. Communication between cylinder and key is encrypted to ensure a high level of security. Because locks are wireless, installation time is minimal; onsite maintenance requirements likewise.

“Cliq is a tried-and-tested technology with many thousands of installations around the globe,” says Kevin Hoare, Cliq Business Development Director at Assa Abloy EMEA. “It has already proven its high-level security capabilities in the field, and is very cost effective compared to wired access control solutions.”

The Cliq system is fully scalable. It can be configured to suit smaller installations or mega locking solutions with 50,000-plus locking points spread over a wide geographic area. Cliq secures facilities as diverse as a remote reservoir in Wales, power stations in Finland, and district heating plants in Kiel.

Cliq is well suited to securing these infrastructure sites because it has several advantages over old-fashioned locks. Any Cliq key can be immediately de-authorised if it goes missing, eliminating the risks associated with lost keys that can degrade the security of traditional mechanical locking solutions. In the words of Mats Fagerström, chief security officer at Cliq customer Helsingin Energia: “If someone goes out on a Saturday night and loses the key, it is not a risk to us anymore.”

Administrators can tailor the access rights of every key, so that it opens certain locks in a facility, but not others, or it only grants access rights at certain times. This allows security managers to introduce fine-grained permissions for employees, service crews and contractors.


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