Security Integrators: Don’t Wait to Take Advantage of Access Control Advances

Discover what’s behind the buzz about remote access, NFC, managed serves, biometrics and more.

IT’S NO SURPRISE to integrators that implementing an access control system is an important step in deploying a cohesive security system for a customer, many times serving as the foundation for integrating other business-critical security technologies. However, as access control technology evolves, it is increasingly important for security integrators to be aware of the latest offerings and how they best serve the wide range of unique customer needs.

Overall, today’s end users are focused on deploying systems that are easy to use and integrate seamlessly with technology that is a part of their everyday lives, like smartphones, smart TVs and 24/7 access to the Internet. With an eye toward increased return on investment (ROI), improved operations and access to actionable business intelligence, end users expect security integrators will deliver outside expertise to deploy an access control system that does more than secure their facilities.

Accessing Access Anytime, Anywhere

The ability to control security access at any time, from anywhere is demanded by today’s end user. They are accustomed to 24/7 access to data, information and services, and when it comes to access control their expectations are no different.

End users want to remotely manage an access control solution from any Web- enabled device. This includes the ability to grant temporary access to sensitive areas of the business, adjust user credentials, review access data and reports, and receive alerts when a breach or unauthorized entry occurs.

Are We Close With NFC?

Near-field communication (NFC) is a hot topic in conversations about the latest access control innovations. The biggest benefits from this technology can be seen in commercial deployments, enabling security teams to seamlessly manage credentials and activity in real-time. These include instant delivery of the appropriate level of access credentials to visitors and employees, or in the case of a missing or stolen device immediately deactivating access, enabling a more precise method of tracking personnel activity to monitor and mitigate against insider threats.

RELATED: 10 Access Control Products to Watch

While there have been successful pilot programs that employed NFC in smartphones to use the devices as access cards, the ecosystem is quite complex to set up because multiple entities must come together for it to be fully effective. The bottom line: The technology is solid and capable of delivering a cohesive access control solution, but real-world implementation is still developing.

When Biometrics Makes Business Sense

Retina scans and facial recognition software may still sound like buzzwords and scenes from the movies, but they are quickly becoming a key technology utilized for access control. The driving factor is need for the ultimate form of identity authentication – an individual’s unique physical characteristics like fingerprints, hand geometry, face recognition or iris – to control access to highly sensitive areas of operations. And a key benefit: no more headaches over lost cards, forgotten passwords and outdated keypads.

This type of access control system will appeal to end users on the cutting edge of technology, and can be used for means beyond controlling physical access. Biometrics technology has a key role to play in managing access to confidential data hosted on a virtual server or physical computer, aimed to mitigate both internal and external threats. Two of the most reliable implementations of biometric technology for access control have been fingerprinting and iris scans, and while facial recognition is an increasingly common method being discussed in the industry, it is still being developed to the point where it can be most effective for the end user.

Leveraging Access for Added Value

There is no denying that the Internet of Things (IoT) is changing the way security integrators offer solutions and value to end users – it is truly a game-changer. Organizations are looking to security integrators to identify and help their businesses deliver ROI from systems like access control, beyond the traditional value proposition. By focusing on facilitating connectivity between technologies like access control with other security and business-critical systems, integrators can help organizations aggregate and analyze data from multiple sources to discover trends and patterns that can result in actionable insights.

In today’s market, security integrators must deliver value to end users beyond the implementation of the latest technologies by helping them drive efficiency, optimize operations and, ultimately, better protect what matters most to them.

Integrators Have Inside Track

Access control solutions will continue to evolve to meet the demands of both large enterprises and small companies alike. However, no matter what the latest technology development brings, one tenet remains constant: Organizations will continue to depend on security integrator expertise to deliver the right access control solution for their unique needs – today and in the future – to effectively monitor their facility and ultimately mitigate risk.

Bio: Hank Monaco is vice president of marketing for Tyco Integrated Security.

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