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Millions of hotel rooms at risk as key card hack is discovered

Researchers at a leading cybersecurity company have revealed that millions of hotel rooms around the world have been vulnerable to a hack, after discovering a way of creating a master key that can open doors.

Cybersecurity company F-Secure this week announced that hotel rooms fitted with electronic locks made by Assa Abloy, the world’s largest lock manufacturer, could have been exploited by attackers to access any room.

Hotels with an Assa Abloy locking system include major chains such as Sheraton, Radisson and Hyatt.

How the hack was discovered?

The research began over a decade ago when a member of staff at F-Secure discovered their laptop had been stolen from a hotel room during a security conference. Hotel staff found no sign of forced entry and there was no evidence of unauthorized access to the room through their logs.

So F-Secure’s researchers Tomi Tuominen and Timo Hirvonen decided to investigate themselves.

“We wanted to find out if it’s possible to bypass the electronic lock without leaving a trace,” Timo Hirvonen, Senior Security Consultant at F-Secure, said in a public statement. “Building a secure access control system is very difficult because there are so many things you need to get right.

“Only after we thoroughly understood how it was designed were we able to identify seemingly innocuous shortcomings,” he added. “We creatively combined these shortcomings to come up with a method for creating master keys.”

F-Secure revealed that the hack involves the following steps: find a key card, use a cheap piece of hardware combined with custom-built software to read the card and search for the master key code, and then copy this master key information onto a new or existing card. Within sixty seconds, Tuomin and Hirvonen are able to gain access to a room using this method.

Hotel Security of new generation 

We at BIODIT believe that providing comfort and security to all guests during their stay must be the main service provided by each hotel. For this reason, we have created the world’s first wireless biometric access control system, designed specifically for the hospitality industry. Using our solution, guests should not carry cards or keys that can be easily compromised, forgotten or lost.

You can learn more about our hotel solution here: https://biodit.com/hospitality/

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5 reasons firms are switching to biometric time attendance

Biometric time attendance systems are gaining popularity with businesses all over the world. What potential and application they have? Keep reading.

What are biometric systems?

Biometric time clocks rely on measurements of physical characteristics such as fingerprints, facial shape, iris, or eye shape, or even a vocal sample to log an employee into the timekeeping system and record their attendance. 

The most common type of biometric time tracking systems works with fingerprints. The device scans the fingerprint and checks for a matching entry in the database of that system. The sensor in the BIODIT system detects different characteristics from the pattern of the finger and creates unique code instead of an image of the fingerprint. All users are thus enrolled in the system in the form of a 16-digit code.

After clarifying the nature of the technology, you are probably wondering what are the advantages of using this type of system as opposed to ordinary systems for calculating hours of work?

Reduce time theft

Still, many companies use systems with cards and chips to track working hours. In our work with Bulgarian companies we have come across a lot of cases in which the employees manually write on paper in large attendance books.

The problem with these systems is that very often employees are able to commit “time theft,” or less harshly known as “Buddy punching.” Buddy punching occurs when an employee clocks their friend in for work, even if that friend is running late or isn’t coming in. This person will likely look for reciprocity, so when he is running late, the friend clocks him in. At first glance it might not seem like a big deal, but over 75% of companies in the United States report losing an average of 5% of their revenue due to such practices. 

For example, we have a client with a production base and more than 300 shift employees. After replacing the attendance books with our biometric system, medical and regular leaves rose by a few percent.

Covering up with colleagues can also lead to a decline in the morale of the whole team – think how you would feel if you knew that a colleague was late every day and this stay unnoticed because his friend covers him while you are always there on time and that also goes unnoticed.

But, since every person’s fingerprint is unique, you can rest assured knowing that you have effectively eliminated time theft from your list of worries.

Increases security

Biometric data is unique. One can never change his or her fingerprints, so this type of identification is difficult, if not impossible, to falsify or manipulate. Of course, nothing is 100% foolproof, but biometric systems, especially those that use data encryption, come as close as possible to complete security.

Simplify ‘clocking in’

Clocking in should be easy, and with a biometric time attendance system, it is. There are no passwords to remember and there are no passwords that HR must reset for the chronically forgetful employee. The person’s data is easily recorded, they are marked as present and, depending on the option you choose, their hours will be reported right to your payroll system.

Additionally, employees can simply scan a finger and move on. They don’t have to worry about keeping a card or a key in order to clock in, and employers don’t have to worry about security issues, such as when employees lose their key cards.

Save time

Manual time tracking takes a long time, but since a person’s hours are reported right into the payroll system, timekeeping becomes an automated process. It can take HR and Payroll departments quite a while to process payroll if they must keep going back to correct errors, automating part of the process will save time and energy so you can focus on bigger things.

Improve accuracy

The system software automatically collects data and there is much less room for human error. There is no need to sort through time cards, or manually enter time into a spreadsheet – all the places where errors can hide. Everything is already in place for you. And some systems, like ours, have real-time monitoring. In addition, employees will be more open when they have to leave early or be late without having to manual updates are made.

Should you make the switch to biometric time attendance?

Definitely the answer is yes. Biometric time attendance systems can save your business a lot of time, resources and money. And HERE (https://biodit.com/time-attendance/ ) you can learn more about BIODIT’s preferred solution.

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BIODIT оборудва шоурума на Silverstar

BIODIT инсталира биометрична система за контрол на достъп и отчитане на работното време в шоурума на Silverstar в Бургас. Компанията, която е оторизиран дилър на Mercedes Benz, не е използвала подобни системи преди.

Обратната връзка, която получи BIODIT, е, че служителите изключително бързо са свикнали да използват пръстовия си отпечатък за достъп до работното място. От ръководството са изключително доволни, че имат онлайн достъп в реално време до системата и могат да правят бързи справки за процеса на работа.

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Fingerprint access to guest rooms at Hotel SuneoClub Odessos

SuneoClub Odessos hotel’s guests are enjoying the latest generation of access control systems of BIODIT since the beginning of this summer. The hotel guests are unlocking their rooms only with their finger.

Registration at the reception lasts a few seconds. Moreover, the biometric system is specifically designed to reduce energy consumption.

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BIODIT equips a Silverstar showroom

BIODIT installed biometric access control and time attendance system in Silverstar’s showroom in Burgas. The company, authorized dealer of Mercedes Benz, did not use any access or attendance system before.

Just a month in exploitation, the employees are already used to getting in the building just with their fingerprint. The management are also very pleased to have real-time online access to the system and have all the information just a click away.

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BIODIT installs biometric solutions at TUI Family Life Nevis Resort

BIODIT installs biometric access control system for the employees of TUI Family
Life Nevis Resort. The systems will provide additional level of security in the resort.

From the hotel shares their first impressions that the systems are extremely convenient for use and the
staff does not need to carry a large number of keys and cards. The biometric identification system eliminates any possibility of misuse.

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BIODIT equips Aqua Nevis Hotel with biometric systems

The staff at Aqua Nevis Hotel now use biometric access control system from
BIODIT. The convenience of entering the rooms just with finger comes with the highest level of security
provided by BIODIT’s solutions.

BIODIT’s biometric systems are easily installed in already completed buildings such as the Aqua Nevis
Hotel. 

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Flexprint upgraded its access control with high-tech systems from BIODIT

The flexible packaging manufacturer Flexprint OOD has already switched from an ineffective card system
to BIODIT’s high-tech solutions last year. Now BIODIT equiped Flexprint’s building with more biometric
access control and time attendance systems. This allows the manifacturer to accurately calculate the
working time of all four shifts, while providing security and eliminating the possibility of misuse.
BIODIT installed Conik Access Wall in the firm’s premises, as well as additional biometric systems.

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Copa Hydrosystem upgraded its access control with BIODIT biometric solutions

The manufacturer of parts for hydraulic units Copa Hydrosystem LTD upgraded its existing access control
and time attendance systems from BIODIT with more biometric devises. From Copa Hydrosystem are
very pleased with Conik Access Wall. Now they decided to install more biometric systems at the front of
their building for extra security.

In the past the company did not have had such systems, but the nature of shift work raises this need. A
need that BIODIT’s biometric solutions completely covered.

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BIODIT is the first company to receive a government grant under voucher scheme for listing on the BSE

BIODIT is officially the first Bulgarian company to receive a government grant under the voucher scheme to support SMEs for listing on the Bulgarian Stock Exchange. The voucher amounts to 50 000 Levs covering expenses on the IPO preparation.

The CEO of BIODIT Julian Sofroniev received the voucher from Dr. Boyko Takov, Executive Director of Bulgarian Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Promotion Agency (BSMEPA).

“In Bulgaria we usually criticize the Government, but today we can only hold in high regard this successful initiative of the Ministry of Economy and BSMEPA. I hope that we will witness other initiatives in help of the small and medium business in Bulgaria soon,” says Julian Sofroniev.

“The approval procedure is really fast. It took within two weeks for the first beneficiary BIODIT,” said Dr. Boyko Takov, executive director of the agency.

BIODIT is not only the first beneficiary of the BSMEPA program but also the first Bulgarian startup to be listed on BSE. Currently the company is waiting for approval of the prospectus by the Financial Supervision Commission.

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BIODIT grabbed the attention of Host Expo‘s visitors

The Bulgarian hi-tech company took part in the Host Expo 2019 forum, held in the resort Golden Sands. Visitors’ attention was attracted by the unique wireless access biometric access control system O’Lock®WBLS.

BIODIT’s biometric systems have been successfully inplemented in hotels around the world, and the company expects this to happen soon in the Bulgarian hotels. O’Lock®WBLS provides the highest security for both guests and staff. As the need for keys and maps is dropped, hotels report increasing customer satisfaction as well as lowering in costs.

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BIODIT one step closer to initial public offering on BSE

BIODIT is on its way to become the first startup that went public. The company submitted IPO prospectus in the Financial Supervision Commission on 26th February 2019 г. The IPO is supported by Karoll investment intermediary.

“BIODIT will be a benchmark for the stock exchange in Bulgaria. I am glad that our listing on BSE inspired other companies to take steps towards public offering. I believe that the decision we made is the beginning of the change of BSE, which all Bulgarian investors expect for more than 10 years. We have the desire and the technological readiness to fulfill our obligations as a public company and to provide the highest level of transparency for our investors”, says BIODIT CEO Julian Sofroniev.

BIODIT is also the first company to benefit from the grant on the initiative of the Bulgarian Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Promotion Agency.

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Julian Sofroniev, BIODIT CEO: The Bulgarian companies are not aware of the advantages of BSE-Sofia

Bulgaria is probably the only country in the EU with a 0% capital tax. My observations are that the management of most Bulgarian companies is not aware of the advantages of the public offering in Bulgaria, says BIODIT Executive Director Julian Sofroniev. He spoke about the challenges on the path from private to public company in front of representatives from more than 20 dynamically developing companies, investors, pension funders, lawyers and bankers. The workshop-discussion was the first such event organized by BSE-Sofia on initiative of BIODIT with the active cooperation of one of the leading investment intermediaries – Karoll Financial Group.

There are many companies like BIODIT that are developing dynamically from startup to scale up phase but need access to markets and capital to grow, pointed out Sofroniev. That is how he came to the idea of ​​such a meeting. In Bulgaria and Eastern Europe the big investors and big markets like the United States are missing. We do not have smart money and we cannot follow the path of the Valley companies, but we can follow our own path. The public offering here gives flexibility and can provide the capital needed for companies to continue their grow, says the BIODIT CEO.

According to him, the stock market allows investors who till this moment did not have the tools to invest in a company, to do so and to have equal rights with the big investors and ventures. Sofroniev says the process of filling stocks on BSE-Sofia is not complicated despite the delay caused by problems in the Commercial Register this year. Among the advantages of this step, Sofroniev emphasized on: the capital gains tax exemption and the low rate of 5% dividend tax. BIODIT is expected to be the first company to take advantage of the voucher program to support SMEs listing on the stock market. The BSE has also highlighted the forthcoming start of the stock market growth, which allows the raising up to EUR 1 million without a prospectus.

 

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Biodit is the newest member of Bulgarian Industrial Association

BIODIT was accepted as a member of the Bulgarian Industrial Association during the meeting of the Managing Board on 24 October. The company is one of the seven newly elected members of various sectors of the economy, employing a total of over 15,000 people.

As a company that is operating in Bulgaria, it is important for us to participate and support the development of the business environment as well as the dialogue between the business and the state. The membership in BIA is an opportunity for us to be more active in these spheres, says BIODIT CEO Julian Sofroniev.

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Biodit started a partnership with A1 Bulgaria

The Tech Startup Biodit signed partnership agreement with one of the largest telecommunications companies A1 Bulgaria, part of A1 group. The cooperation is in the field of access control and time attendance. The telecom will offer its customers the biometric solutions of Biodit.

“Our partnership with A1 Bulgaria comes at a key moment – its recent rebranding and expansion of the telecom business in Bulgaria. We are glad to be able to cooperate and our biometric access control systems will be part of the new type of services offered by A1 to end users in our country”, says Biodit CEO Julian Sofroniev.

Biodit’s biometric systems tests at A1 buildings began earlier this year and ended successfully with signing a cooperation agreement between the two companies.

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Biodit installs access control systems at Costa Mar Hotel

The latest generation of access control systems were installed in the Spanish Costa Mar Hotel. Thanks to Biodit‘s biometric technologies, the hotel guests will enjoy the comfort and convenience of unlocking their rooms only with their finger. Registration at the reception lasts a few seconds, which eliminates the annoying carrying of keys and cards.

The systems are energy-efficient and save extra costs from lost and damaged chips and cards as the old system used to work.

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BIODIT equipped Hospital Kanev – Ruse with innovative systems for access control and time attendance

One of the most modern hospitals in Bulgaria UMHAL Kanev Rousse is now equipped with biometric access control and time attendance systems by Biodit.

Access to the various premises is through fingerprint identification, so only authorized people can enter and exit. To calculate fair wages, software is integrated into the system – it automatically records data and calculates the work time.

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BIODIT with biometric solution Petrov Technology EOOD

BIODIT installs access control and time attendance systems in Petrov Technology’s building. The manufactures produce machine parts and machines for light and heavy industry.

“We process about 140 tons of metal every month, we have more than 25 modern machining machines and we export to companies like Bosch Rexroth. That’s why it’s very important to know who goes in and out of our production buildings”, representative from the company said.

The BIODIT access control and time attendance system allows authorized employees to enter the building and the various rooms in seconds with innovative fingerprint recognition.

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