April Edition 2021
Securing the spaces Americans enjoy daily is vitally important in order to maintain the orderly flow of urban life for business, government and living. Be it residential, enterprise, or business, a public organization needs a well-defined security protocol – but the challenge is how to enforce it in a way that enhances the user experience rather than inhibiting or constraining it’s function. Kastle Systems is a company that provides total protection for your property but is equally concerned with elevating the convenience of its use. From AI-enabled smart video surveillance systems to Bluetooth credentials that open a door with your smartphone automatically, their security solutions are as cutting-edge as they are delightful to use. We had a conversation with the CEO of Kastle Systems, who describes more about the company and its solutions.
Q. Tell us about the history of Kastle Systems and why was this business arena chosen?
Kastle Systems launched operations in 1972 to provide a more effective, efficient, and convenient approach to securing commercial properties. The idea for Kastle grew out of a need expressed by commercial real estate owners in the DC area for an outsourcing solution for the management of their security issues to a vendor with real security expertise, so they focus on running their core business. Initially, we just focused on servicing this commercial real estate community and its tenants. We have expanded over time to additional verticals like residential multifamily, enterprise businesses, education, construction, and more. We have also expanded to offices across the United States.
Q. Tell us about KastlePresence® being the safest mobile security platform.
KastlePresence gives users a mobile access credential that resides on their smartphones in an app, providing effortless convenience for an authorized building occupant to maneuver throughout the spaces where they have access rights without ever taking their phone out of their pocket or purse.
The app emits a Bluetooth signal that is uniquely encrypted each time it is emitted, making it virtually impossible to copy and hack, unlike the current standard proximity access card with a consistent RFID signal, which can be easily copied. It’s so secure that the system meets government-specified security performance (FIPS, Soc II, and GDPR compliant). Additionally, a smartphone is much less likely to be lost or shared, so falling into the wrong hands is not a concern as it is with other key cards or fobs.
KastlePresence also provides robust administrative control for managing physical access security. Because it’s cloud-based, the platform is remote from the onsite network, removing the threat of cyber attack from the system while also providing administrators the ability to manage user access rights and door schedules from anywhere, anytime should an emergency arise. The access user roster integrates directly with a client’s active user directory; an administrator can easily and instantly add or revoke access rights for any individual identity to any location, providing greater control over onsite safety.
Q. Kastle Mobile SDK integrates with third-party occupant experience mobile apps. How secure is using this platform?
Our Mobile SDK is not only a highly secure integration with occupant experience apps, but it’s an absolute necessity to offer in today’s real estate market where tenants demand a richer experience and these occupant apps enable CRE and MultiFamily operators to provide a consolidated, lifestyle enhancing amenity to their users. It’s a tangible differentiating feature in a highly competitive market.
While the SDK enables third-party experience apps to configure our access application to integrate with their “menu” of functions, the core access operation is still a separate cloud-based entity that operates independently from the other aggregated services. The access function has all the same security protocols as KastlePresence, with control of access privileges residing at the administrative level synchronized directly with the active user directory at the central authoritative source.
For Kastle, we want our clients to deliver our superior access control operation to their tenants in whichever platform they choose, whether it’s an app they build themselves, a 3rd party-developed app, or just to use our KastlePresence function on a stand-alone basis. We want to deliver our functionality in whichever front-end user experience they prefer, but make sure the backend security infrastructure is the same.
Q. Kindly Detail us about Mobile Security Platform as a Service.
Security-as-a-service is not mobile-specific. Instead, it is our business model regardless of the form of access delivery that a client chooses. It references the way we “serve” security to clients. Kastle is an integrated security system that performs an ongoing, customized service operation to protect our clients’ business on a continuous long-term basis more cost-effectively than they can on their own – sort of like outsourced security.
We don’t just sell hardware or software to clients to install, monitor, or maintain themselves. Security is only as effective as the systems and people keeping watch. But, the question remains, why should the average business invest in hiring their own expensive professional security staff or buy and maintain an advanced security technology themselves when it’s not their expertise or purpose? Especially in today’s world where security advancements (and risks and exposures) are changing by the day and it’s more difficult than ever to keep up with these challenges when you don’t have the dedicated people and focus to do it.
While we sell clients the hardware and software for their security system, we also design the system to fit the client needs, and then we install and run the system with continuous live security monitoring, software updates, maintenance, and repair with dedicated customer service on-call round-the-clock. Additionally, we also carry out the administration of the system for clients, serving as an extension of their team, which is becoming more important in an economy and industry where players are being asked to do more with less. That is the security-as-a-service that we deliver.
Q. How has KastleSafeSpaces been helpful during the pandemic? What changes did it bring?
KastleSafeSpaces is a framework built around access control technology and data that has helped businesses make concrete plans for a return to the workplace by implementing and enforcing health and wellness safeguards that begin to build confidence in workers that it’s safe.
We have integrated health screening protocols such as daily health attestation and body temperature monitoring ties to our physical access control technology to create a closed-loop system to make it easy to administer testing and enforce compliance with highly accurate reporting as is required by some localities. Regular test results are implemented instantly into physical access rights at the credential level for individuals on a daily basis. It can be administered daily to each individual user via our smartphone-based access control app, KastlePresence.
It fully integrates the occupant identity directory with the security access control system to deny workplace access to people presenting with symptoms or known to be infected and can simultaneously inform HR departments of their employee’s health status so they can take apporpriate safety measures. Further, it also facilitates tracking individuals who later learn they were infected with COVID-19 as well as those who have come in contact with them.
Q. What is your customer base? How loyal are they?
Our customer base is comprised of 40,000 organizations across the nation. These are mostly composed of commercial property operators (office buildings), tenant offices within office buildings, multifamily properties (apartments and condominiums), institutional/government facilities, and some educational facilities. We take pride in the fact that our average customer stays with us for over a decade, so they are generally very loyal.
Meet the CEO
Haniel J Lynn is the CEO of Kastle systems. He joined the company in 2018 with more than 25 years of global operating and executive management experience growing and scaling enterprises from startup to $1billion. He has the unique ability to oscillate between high-level vision and tactical execution while inspiring a culture of teamwork.
He has spent 16 years at CEB (now Gartner) and served as Group President of its Best Practices & Decision Support business and member of its executive leadership team responsible for product strategy, direction, and operating a $600m business globally.