Seek Out These Access Control Credentialing and Market Opportunities
Trusted identity technologies are enabling security integrators to create more intelligent connected experiences for their customers. Get the latest lowdown on access control credentialing and market opportunities.
Trusted identities are emerging as one of the fundamental building blocks for creating environments that more effectively connect an organization’s people, places and things.
Security systems integrators that embrace the power of trusted identities will help their customers redefine the user experience using a combination of Cloud, mobile and IoT technologies.
End users also want more unified credential solutions, and there are numerous workplace services and business processes that can be significantly improved using advanced analytics.
Read on to discover the new emerging world of credentialing advances and opportunities.
A Mobile Tipping Point
Mobile access control is gaining popularity as solutions mature and are integrated into other systems. Until recently, the notion of a credential on a mobile device was a niche for a small segment of the market.
However, their ability to provide greater operational efficiency, enhance the user experience, deliver increased security and integrate with other systems has now positioned mobile access as a strong option for many organizations in the mass market.
Demand will be greatest in the following use cases: opening doors with a smartphone; using a mobile device as an authenticator for applications such as identity verification to protect online banking applications or while accessing a digital network; or carrying an ID such as a driver’s license on a phone.
The more mobile form factor options there are for carrying trusted identities, the better, so that organizations can support the broadest range of use cases. Smart watches and personal biometric devices are the most common wearables for use in the enterprise environment today, and the extended use of wearables for enterprise access solutions continues to be part of the conversation.
These devices are getting smarter and more common with support for a growing number of applications. Other mobile access benefits will become evident, especially as solutions are integrated across whole buildings and campuses.
The technology will prove its ability to enhance user convenience on a large scale, and the shift to verifying identities via mobile phones will also reveal a trend toward digital cohesion, in which everything is interconnected and available on an app — from verifying login to a bank account or VPN, to using a phone as a mobile driver’s license, to verifying the authenticity of a physical credential.
Embracing advanced technology has not been limited to mobile credentials alone; the move away from de facto Wiegand to the Open Supervised Device Protocol (OSDP) standard is also poised to be a major disrupter for access control.
High profile exposure of legacy Wiegand vulnerabilities, coupled with the desire for a more connected experience when managing readers, has driven demand for the OSDP standard.
Although NFC offers an attractive alternative to consider for the future in access control, Bluetooth remains the only ubiquitous communication standard that enables cross-platform support for mobile access today.
Still, organizations investing in infrastructure today are considering readers that support both communication standards to be ready to embrace new experiences as the mobile device industry changes rapidly. Access control reader technology will also adapt to leverage the power of mobile technology and Cloud platforms.
Organizations will use a mobile device to provision readers, inspect installed readers and detect their current configuration, upgrade them to new capabilities and/or revoke access to them.
Growing Cloud Adoption
One of the drivers for Cloud adoption is that Cloud security has expanded significantly. As confidence in these platforms grows, demand is rising to use trusted identity solutions in the Cloud and benefit from its many advantages. Adoption will escalate with increased awareness of the Cloud’s ease of deployment, flexibility, connectivity options and productivity benefits.
Cloud-based platforms will provide the backbone for adding new and emerging technologies while improving how identity solutions are delivered. They also will give organizations greater flexibility to upgrade their security infrastructure, scale it as they grow, improve efficiency and adopt new, lower cost managed service models.
Cloud-based platforms will fuel new solutions that expand choices for organizations to get the most out of their investments. Among the most attractive options are solutions that provide location services for asset tracking so that organizations have more information about how their buildings are used for workplace optimization.
Organizations are adopting technology that expands how building occupants and tenants engage, interact and work in new intelligent workspaces. In addition, such innovations enable facility managers to proactively provide a safer working environment, achieve a smarter building equipment maintenance experience, and comply with myriad local and federal inspection mandates.
Another benefit of the Cloud is that it creates the opportunity for new man-aged service models. As an example, Cloud-based ID card issuance platforms are now available that give users the option for hardware, software and other resources to be leased and their costs bundled into a service offering billed on an annual or monthly installment basis.
The service model not only cuts multiple layers of program costs but also makes it easier for administrators to scale the card office to accommodate future technology capabilities or changing volume demands.
Administrators can opt to have commercial printing bureaus produce large card batches during peak demand periods. In general, Cloud-based services deliver all the benefits of centralized issuance control and visibility along with the option of performing distributed or batch printing, while improving user convenience.
This model is particularly attractive to large healthcare and university campuses. At the university level, campus cards have long enabled users to buy meals, check out library books, open dorm room doors, and more.
But these institutions are seeing the benefits of embracing the Cloud to evolve the way in which campus cards are being issued. Instead of issuing cards using one or more PC workstations, each connected to a nearby printer, universities are making a shift to Cloud-based solutions for a new, remote card issuance experience.
This move is also transforming ID card printers into edge devices within the Internet of Trusted Things (IoTT).
Adding Trust to IoT
More than ever, smartphones carrying trusted IDs are enabling a growing range of other secure, on-the-go smart building management capabilities that connect the world of people with the world of things.
For instance, a new class of security solutions adds trust to NFC tags that can then be affixed to mechanical keys and also positioned at locations throughout a facility so that, as an example, key checkout can be automated and guards on patrol can log their presence at a security checkpoint using Cloud-based authentication.
Integrators can combine this same technology with Commercial Maintenance Management Software (CMMS) solutions to enable secure transactions between fire & safety equipment and online maintenance systems to help simplify fire & safety processes and facilitate compliance to city mandates.
Today, using BLE beacons, Cloud services and current mobile networks has also significantly reduced the infrastructure costs to deploy smart building IoT applications.
BLE-to-WiFi location services provide facility managers with real-time visibility into when a specific area is being used throughout the workday to assist in space planning and overall building utilization — from individual offices and shared workspaces to heavily used conference rooms.
For example, building occupants and visitors can navigate throughout a facility using location services for directional assistance, making it easier to collaborate, locate team members, and instantly find meeting spaces.
IoT-based innovations can also add another level of security by enabling facility managers to assign access to specific secure zones in a room, manufacturing floor, or any area that requires an additional layer of zone-based security. There are many opportunities for systems integrators to help their customers achieve these capabilities across a number of vertical markets and requirements.
For example, healthcare organizations will need real-time location services to optimize workflows in emergency departments and clinical operations and provide wayfinding for patients and visitors navigating the hospital.
Access control systems are also being extended to create more activity-aware environments in industries such as oil & gas, where it is crucial for security teams to receive the precise location of employees during emergency or “man down” situations.
Convenience of Convergence
Another area where systems integrators can deliver value is by offering the convenience of physical and data security that is converged onto a single credential. In much the same way that users are gravitating to mobile solutions, in part, because they like how it interconnects their digital world, so too are enterprises, universities and healthcare institutions embracing converged credentials.
Customers want to do far more with their trusted identity credentials than just open doors. The concept of derived credentials will also help to drive convergence.
Originally a U.S. government-centric concept, these credentials are derived from a physical card, stored in a soft token, and secured using a mobile device’s hardware protection. They, too, will facilitate the use of mobile devices for physical and IT security.
Early adopters in finance, energy, other regulated industries, and international governments will use these solutions for secure access to buildings, email, websites and VPNs.
Convergence will also drive the adoption of unified identity lifecycle management. Physical identity & access management (PIAM) solutions are growing in demand to connect the enterprise’s multiple and disparate physical access control systems (PACS) and IT security systems to other parts of IT ecosystems, such as user directories and HR systems.
They also enable PACS to connect to Cloud-based card issuance systems and wireless locks, as well as with location-based services. This improves efficiency and security by standardizing identity management for employees, contractors, visitors, suppliers, tenants and vendors.
PIAM solutions also provide the bridge between smart buildings and today’s more fluid and flexibly deployed workforce. One of the first examples of the power of converged credentials is in healthcare.
Organizations are using a Cloud-based model to provision IDs and perform authentication for physical and logical access control, and for managing electronic prescriptions for controlled substances (EPCS) systems.
This and other industries will increasingly migrate to systems that pull everything related to identity management into a unified system capable of granting and managing access rights.
New trusted ID solutions will have a dramatic impact on the role of the systems integrators in the future, as more opportunities will make it possible to add more services to their portfolio.
Moving forward, ongoing advancements in security and identity technology will give rise to more intelligent environments that will deliver a comprehensive secure identity experience. Systems integrators will be a crucial link in the value chain to ensuring this experience-driven focus on protecting people and assets in the future.
Brandon Arcement is Director, Product Marketing, Physical Access Control and Mark Robinton is Director, Business Development & Strategic Innovation, Identification Technologies at HID Global.
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