Marijn Van der Wal, DEN: "we’ve noticed that there has been a rise in petty crimes since the pandemic started"

Following the rise of crimes committed in real life and cyberspace, technological innovations are now widely used both for virtual and physical security.

It's quite common to safeguard your enterprise or home network with sophisticated tools – think an antivirus or a VPN. Now, people can also protect their homes and offices from real-life attackers with the help of technology.

We've asked the CEO at DEN Smart Home, Marijn Van der Wal, to provide insights about smart locks and other security tools used to effectively protect spaces.

Tell us about your story. What has the development of DEN looked like?

Several years ago, I began serving as the CEO of Ankerslot, my family business in The Netherlands. Ankerslot is a 75-year-old manufacturer of the highest quality European access control products and enjoys a reputation for state-of-the-art craftsmanship adhering to the most uncompromising standards with customers across Europe. I had the vision to create an access control product that was innovative with so-called smart capabilities, and the award-winning DEN SmartStrike™ was born.

Can you introduce us to your DEN SmartStrike solution? What are its key features?

One of my favorite features is that the DEN SmartStrike is hidden. It gets installed in the door frame, and this allows the homeowner the freedom of having a beautiful door with the benefits of a smart lock. Our customers love the easy inventory management aspect. Its invisible nature eliminates the need to stock various colors and hardware styles.

I’m also proud that it has Z-Wave and BLE compatibility, which means it can communicate with other smart devices in the home from different brands. This makes it an easy choice to have in your home. Another important aspect is how end customers experience DEN; our apps (iOS and Android) are intuitive, fast, and create a delightful customer experience. Customers love that they get all the features and convenience of a smart lock with the DEN SmartStrike. Last but not least, the SmartStrike is sturdy. It is made completely of steel and expertly milled with only four moving parts.

How did the pandemic affect your field of work? Have you noticed any new flaws or gaps arise in your industry?

Like everyone, supply chain pains have affected us, but we’ve persevered by securing the highest quality materials and manufacturing while keeping our pricing competitive.

Also, we’ve noticed that there has been a rise in petty crimes since the pandemic started. This creates situations where good strong access control is even more important.

What are the most common ways in which threat actors attempt to bypass access control measures?

Scanning, man-in-the-middle attacks, and of course, simple crowbars and bricks are all methods of overcoming access control systems. All of these methods can be easily mitigated with a combination of robust access control and best security practices.

What can average individuals do to protect themselves from these threats? What details should everyone be vigilant about?

Strong passwords that are routinely changed, credentials that are regularly rotated, and verification of new people being placed on the network or given access to the building.

Which physical security measures are crucial for organizations to implement and maintain?

Strong locks with remote management, reinforced doors, and well-marked egress are all crucial elements.

What other aspects of our daily lives do you hope to see improved with technology in the near future?

As artificial intelligence improves, I hope to see improvements in analytics, to make better decisions in our controls and automation systems; better alerts, and real actionable data from sensors instead of just reactionary events. This will create more seamless experiences with control and access systems.

Share with us, what’s next for DEN?

We have an exciting and aggressive roadmap that includes taking advantage of the latest technologies from Z-Wave chips to Matter (when it comes to fruition). I can’t wait for you to see what the future holds. You’ll have to wait and see!