Five Physical Access Control Trends

Each industry sector has distinct security demands, but there are common threads for facility executives.
Each industry sector has distinct security demands, but there are common threads for facility executives.

Physical Access Control: Five Trends To Watch

Five Physical Access Control Trends

By John Fenske

Each market segment faces its own distinct security challenges in 2015, whether it’s regulatory compliance for federal agencies and government ID applications, or budgetary issues in K-12 and higher education, or protecting facilities as well as user privacy in banking and healthcare applications. At the same time, all markets share the same concerns about improving the user experience with solutions that are simple and convenient.FE-WebOnlylogo

As the ISC West security trade show kicks off this week in Las Vegas, NV, here is an overview of five trends in physical access control systems (PACS) security that span all market segments.

Increased innovation fueled by the move to interoperable platforms based on open standards: The industry is well into its transition to access control platforms based on open standards, creating the opportunity for organizations to move beyond static, proprietary access control architectures to more secure, open, and adaptable solutions that support demand for new products and technologies. Innovation will accelerate in an industry that is now free to pursue new capabilities without the fear of being anchored to legacy or obsolete software, devices, protocols, and products.

The adoption of new credential form factors: Today’s solutions meet growing demand for new credential form factors including mobile devices that offer a secure and convenient way to open doors and parking gates. In 2015 and beyond, we will see the transition to a single card or phone that can replace previous mechanical keys and dedicated one-time password (OTP) solutions for physical and logical access control. Using Bluetooth Smart or Near Field Communications (NFC) technology on cards or phones, users will be able to “tap in” to gain access to facilities, VPNs, wireless networks and cloud- and web-based applications, and take advantage of an access control ecosystem that provides a seamless user experience and can flexibly scale and adapt to the organization.

More convenient ways to open doors and gates: Bluetooth Smart short-range connectivity technology is one of the most exciting drivers for the adoption of mobile devices for access control. Combined with gesture technology, it offers the additional user benefit of being able to open doors from a distance by rotating a smartphone while approaching a mobile-enabled reader. This gesture-based technology capability will create new ways to open doors and gates, and will enable additional future applications.

Advances in how to manage identities: As physical access control applications merge with logical access control applications, they will both also merge onto cards and phones, and organizations will be managing multiple ID numbers for multiple uses on multiple devices. This will create the need for more centralized identity management systems that are easy to use and support multiple application identities with different lifecycles, while also ensuring security and privacy for online transactions.

John_FenskeUsing biometrics to help change security from a barrier to a guardrail: The industry will continue moving toward a biometric authentication model that is focused less on technology and more on the user experience. Biometric templates will also move with user IDs onto mobile devices. Meanwhile, credential delivery and management will grow in importance, using cloud-based solutions into which all entities have been biometrically authenticated.

Fenske is vice president of product marketing, identity and access management for HID Global.

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  1. I like the barrier-to-guardrail analogy for biometric access control. As technology advances, I believe access systems will become more personalized and easier to use in the workplace. When compared with physical access control measures, I think biometrics are less prone to error. For example, you can’t misplace your fingerprint like you could a keychain. Biometrics will become a key component of access control in the facilities management industry in the future. Managers that become early adopters of this technology will reap the most benefit in terms of cost-savings.

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