This glossary article defines common terms that you might see as you're working in Kisi, or browsing our Help Centre.
Administrator role (member/user)
Users with this role assigned can manage other users, teams, hardware and integrations of the current place/organization and see events and other users' unlock history.
Alert policies represent a subscription to a filtered view of the event log. When a matching event is recorded, the policies' subscribers will receive an email and/or push notification. During policy configuration, Administrators choose which type of events they are interested in and when they are interested in notifying recipients (e.g. weekends only), as well as the subscribers who should be informed when a matching event is found.
Kisi API helps developers build custom integrations to simplify workflows.
If allowed, the user may access using Kisi's mobile and web apps. The user will be required to sign in to access. If disabled, the user won't be able to use app access regardless of the settings in the user's memberships.
Authenticate with password
Authenticate with password (also known as password flow) is a feature of Kisi Organizations. If enabled, the user will be able to log in with email and password. If the user is in the organizations' IdP directory, SSO login will also be available.
Basic role (member/user)
Users with this role assigned can unlock and see their unlock history.
Cards or key cards are physical tokens that can be used to unlock doors. You can use Kisi Cards or supported third-party cards.
If allowed, the user may access using Kisi's card. If not allowed, the user won't be able to use card access regardless of the settings in the user's memberships.
This refers to the token presented at the time of unlocking the door. There are physical credentials such as the Kisi passes (Kisi Cards, Fobs, Stickers) and digital credentials (the Kisi mobile apps for iOS and Android).
Kisi Controller is the IP-based device responsible for sending the signal of unlocking to the access points. The Kisi Controller Pro is the heart of the system, it is the central hardware unit that enables access to the doors. Each Controller is able to control up to 4 doors.
Kisi management dashboard, accessible via the web portal or mobile apps.
Doors are one of the main physical structures that the Kisi system works with. Each door is wired to one out of four relays on the Kisi Controller. On the admin dashboard, doors need to be associated with their corresponding controller and relay as well as to a reader, so they can be managed properly. The number of doors to be created in the admin dashboard will vary depending on how many controllers the system is providing and if there are other devices such as elevators, gates and turnstiles. The concepts of doors and locks are used interchangeably in Kisi.
Elevator (relay and dispatch)
Most multi-tenant buildings use elevators to transport people and goods to and from various floors, such as garages, lobbies and the floors above. They are part of the access path, and by supporting elevators Kisi can securely cover most access paths in their entirety. There are two types of elevators that Kisi supports:
- Relay based elevator: legacy or simpler elevator that uses buttons inside the elevator car to send the elevator to specified floors
- Dispatch based elevators: offer terminals in the elevator hall on every floor that direct to an elevator based on the specified floor.
Electric strike locks
Electric strikes are comprised of a strike that blocks the door latch. It's installed at the level of a door handle and is by far the most common electric lock you'll find on metal or wooden doors. The main difference between it and a traditional strike door is that, as the name suggests, it's electrified, and can be unlocked with electrical impulses. The impulse will also move the strike rather than the lock latch itself, as a key would do. Electric strikes can be fail-safe (lock is unlocked when the power to it is cut) or fail-secure (lock is locked when power is out).
On top of wiring the electric strike lock to a power supply, it needs to be wired to the access control controller or reader — most basic electric strikes don't have wireless capabilities (by design). The electric strike will either lock or unlock when prompted with an electrical impulse, and the access reader will govern these electrical impulses.
An event is a Kisi related action that occurs within an organization and its resources. A door being unlocked, access being shared to a user, a scheduled unlock starting, a door forced open and other actions will be recorded as events.
The event recording is called Event History (or Event Log) and it will save the member responsible for the event, the event that occurred, and the date and time of it. This Event History is easily accessible from the admin dashboard, which gives the Administrators an audit trail with a highly granular level of detail to allow for tracing security-related events back to their source.
In the admin dashboard, the events page will show the last 100 events for each place. The advanced filters can be used to narrow down those results. The option Event Exports allows obtaining a longer history of events. This will download a .csv file with the last 10,000 events. Once the .csv file has been downloaded, the document can be filtered to search for a member email address, lock, etc.
Doors that can be used to enter the zone (i.e. perimeter doors). This term is used for intrusion detection setup in Kisi.
The floor resource represents a physical floor in a place. They have a name, a number and a description. Floors are a necessary entity for setting up elevator stops.
Recording of a snapshot (taken from a security camera connected to Kisi).
Geofence Restriction uses the GPS (location) of the user's mobile phone to determine proximity to a door. If the Geofencing feature is enabled, the default allowed distance is within 300 meters (or 0.2 miles) from the door. This means that if an employee normally uses the remote unlock button to get into the office every day, there is no risk that they can accidentally unlock the door from their home or in transit. Geofencing ensures that users must be in the vicinity of the building.
Access to doors can be managed through groups. Whoever is in the group, has access to linked doors subject to the group's restrictions. Groups are the same as Teams (term used in Kisi Organizations).
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Any software/app that integrates with Kisi. A full list of the current integrations is available here.
Doors that separate spaces within the same zone. This term is used for intrusion detection setup in Kisi.
Alarm system functionality for detecting unauthorized access and alerting operators. Intrusion Detection functionality is based on the setup of zones with specific access policies that will apply when the zone is armed and will trigger specific events when certain actions take place.
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Kisi Cards are cards provided by Kisi. Each card has a unique token number (case-sensitive) that can be easily assigned to a user. Kisi Cards are available in White or Black. Kisi Cards can be customized with your branding, upon request.
Kisi Standard is a pricing plan for the Kisi software. Learn more about Kisi Standard here.
Kisi Organizations is an enterprise solution that extends Single Sign-On (SSO) and System for Cross-domain Identity Management (SCIM) to your doors and allows you to manage unlimited locations with streamlined billing — all from one dashboard. Learn more about Kisi Organizations here.
Kisi Stickers can be used as passes (usually applied to 3rd party key cards).
Locks represent a physical lock in a place. In Kisi, doors need to be equipped with an electronic lock that can be locked and unlocked through a reader that is connected to a controller. A Kisi user can open the lock by holding the phone, card or fob close to the reader. The concepts of doors and locks are used interchangeably in Kisi.
Manager role (member/user)
The user can manage other users, schedules and see events and other member's unlock history.
Members represent people that make use of the Kisi system. They can be created from the Members tab in the admin dashboard, or when added to a place or group. The only requirement needed is a valid email address. When members are created, Kisi also creates a user profile based on that email address. Members can be added to as many places as necessary.
Export a .CSV file with your members from the Kisi Dashboard. This term is used in Kisi Standard.
Magnetic locks, or maglocks, are comprised of two main parts, a mounting mechanism, and some wires. The two parts are installed on the frame and the door so that their magnetic sides are facing each other. The mounting plate can be installed in case the door frame or door doesn't allow direct mounting. The wires are then connected to the lock to provide electricity to power the magnet and are run either along or through the walls to a dedicated power supply.
They need to be wired to the access controller to know when it's being prompted to open. As magnetic locks are fail-safe, when they are triggered they cut their power to unlock. So when the access control readers send an impulse to the lock, the power will be temporarily cut (the length of time can be programmed), and the door will open.
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Kisi Organizations will have a domain in Kisi that will be used during the sign in process.
The Organization Owner is the only account that has full control over an Organization. As a best practice, we recommend this account to be a generic email address (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org).
Password flow (also known as authenticate with password) is a feature of Kisi Organizations. If enabled, the user will be able to log in with email and password. If the user is in the organizations' IdP directory, SSO login will also be available.
Passes are physical credentials (e.g. Cards/Fobs/Stickers).
Place represents a physical space (e.g. office, building) that uses Kisi and that is provided with one or more devices connected to the Kisi controller. It has a name and an address among other attributes and belongs to the user that created it. Its creator is called the Place Owner, and only the owner has all the rights to the place.
This refers to the creator of the Place in Kisi. There can only be one Place Owner per place. This concept is only applicable to Kisi Standard. In Organizations, all the places are owned by the Organization, which is in turn owned by the Organization Owner.
Primary device restriction
Every Kisi user has a primary device they use to access a space. The primary device restriction allows the user to perform unlocks from one specific device, be it a smartphone or tablet. For example, if an employee normally opens the office door with an iPhone, and then one day decides to log in to Kisi from a Samsung tablet, the unlock will be prohibited. This restriction allows all unlocks to be traced back to one device for a particular user, making audit trails easier to review for administrators and encouraging users to update their primary device when they get a new phone.
Your profile/account in Kisi.
Quick access link
If allowed, the user may access using quick access links included in Kisi's invite emails. The user won't be required to sign in or up to access. If not allowed, the user won't be able to use quick access links regardless of the settings in the user's memberships.
Readers are the IP-based devices responsible for obtaining the information from Kisi passes or mobile phones. Once a user approaches a Kisi pass or mobile to the reader, it transmits the information to the controller through the cloud or the local network. It uses an operating system to decide between cloud or local network as a communication channel, based on what's available and fastest for the user. The Kisi reader offers feedback through a LED light that can be of different colors depending on the result of the unlock attempt. If the user is not authorized, the LED light will blink in red color.
The Reader Restriction uses the Bluetooth chip of the mobile phone (and in the reader) to know if the user is next to the door or not with a precision of approximately 5 meters. If the Kisi Reader Restriction is enabled, the user needs to be within the range of a Kisi Reader to unlock. This means that if employees normally use the remote unlock button to get into the office every day, there is no risk that they can accidentally unlock the door from their home or in transit. It works the same way as Geofencing but with significantly higher accuracy.
To have more control over how and when users can access places, Kisi offers some configurable restrictions that can be applied to a group by location, time, or device. Learn more about restrictions in this article.
You can check the roles and permissions available from this link.
An invitation to a Kisi place or Organization.
Single sign-on (SSO)
Kisi Organizations will be able to set up SSO so that users can sign in with their corporate credentials.
Certain events trigger the camera to take a snapshot of the door where the event occurred. The snapshots can be a series of images or a single snapshot video. Snapshots are automatically saved and associated with the events that trigger them. The events that can trigger a snapshot are: Lock unlocked, Lock opened, Lock force-opened and Lock held open. Snapshots are stored for 90 days in Google Cloud's Cloud Storage service. For more information, please read the Google Cloud Data Encryption documentation.
If enabled, the user won't be able to unlock any doors.
System for Cross-domain Identity Management (SCIM)
SCIM is available in Kisi Organizations and allows provisioning and provisioning of users from the SSO Identity Provider (IdP).
It’s our technology of unlocking an entry point by tapping a smartphone against the Kisi Reader
Teams is the terminology used in Kisi Organizations and represents groups of access control
Time restrictions allow admins to set a specific window for users to access a space. This is particularly useful for spaces that have strict hours, conference room bookings, or even weekend emergencies. For example, the admin can set a group of people to have access to a specific space from 9 AM to 6 PM only. If they attempt to unlock the door outside of those allowed time frames, they will be denied access. This allows admins to be flexible when specific people or teams need access in emergencies or to enforce strict hours.
If the card is not a native Kisi card but is still an NFC card, it can most likely be assigned to work with Kisi (although there are some NFC cards that don't have the necessary encryption to be compatible with the Kisi system). When using a third-party card Kisi only reads the card's UID and does not utilize any cryptographic features. To activate third-party cards, they will need to be scanned and activated by an Android device having an NFC scanner app installed.
Users represent people that make use of the Kisi system (in Kisi Organizations). They can be created from the Users' tab in the admin dashboard, or when added to a place or group. The only requirement needed is a valid email address. When users are created, Kisi also creates a user profile based on that email address. Users can be added to as many places as necessary
Export a .CSV file with your users from the Kisi Dashboard. This term is used in Kisi Organizations.
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Kisi is a wireless lock, also known as a smart lock, and needs two parts to work: the lock and the key. As opposed to a traditional lock-and-key system, the key is not a physical key but a smartphone or a special key fob/card configured explicitly for this purpose which wirelessly performs the authentication needed to automatically unlock the door. Also, it supports automatic locking when the user is on a distance level where the signal transmission is exceeded.
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Zone is a physical security unit, a combination of several doors that should follow the same alarm schedule and would share one alarm siren (optional).