Mobile devices are increasingly used in physical access control. This is a key finding of a study conducted by HID Global, the world's leading provider of trusted identity solutions.
The standard solution for securing access to buildings or offices is physical access control systems. HID Global, together with ASIS International, the world's largest security community with more than 50,000 security experts, conducted a survey on the status of usage, upgrade plans and trends and recorded the results in the "2020 State of Physical Access Control Report".
The study shows a clear trend: More and more companies are using or plan to use mobile devices such as smartphones for access control. For 57% of those surveyed, mobile access and mobile apps are the top trends in access control. 25% confirm that mobile solutions have already been fully or partially implemented or are in the process of being implemented. Another 6% will introduce mobile access within the next year.
The demand for mobile access solutions is growing primarily because they offer user convenience, security and flexibility. With an integrated solution based on smartphones, individual users no longer need to use different keys, ID cards, tokens or passwords. Security is enhanced by the efficient and consistent use of strong authentication methods throughout the entire infrastructure. And flexibility means that the solution can be used not only for access control, but also for access to PC systems and applications.
The study also identified the three central business objectives in the access control environment. These are dominated by challenges related to technology. For 45%, "better integration with other company systems" is a major task. There is a clear reason for this: data from access control systems can also be combined with data from other systems to optimize processes and reduce security risks.
In addition to integration, 39% consider the "use of functions of new technologies" to be an important goal. This includes the use of secure credential systems and readers that offer biometrics or improved encryption. Other new applications such as real-time location services are also mentioned.
Furthermore, for 38%, "protection against the increasing threat of security breaches" is one of the most important challenges. The increasing number of serious security breaches has also increased sensitivity for access control for many of those responsible.
However, the investigation has also shown that the access control systems in use are still often out-dated. Many companies have been using them for three or more years: more than 60% of those surveyed are concerned with controllers and readers, almost 60% with credential components such as access cards and around 50% with access control software. Despite the outdated infrastructure and the increasing security risks, only a good half of those surveyed intend to upgrade access control components in the next few years.
"Many companies still see no need to change the access control solution they use, in line with the motto 'Never change a running system'. However, the increasing security risks must lead to a change in thinking", emphasizes Markus Baba, Area Sales Manager DACH at HID Global.
"The change to modern physical access control systems offers several advantages. It reduces the security risk by eliminating vulnerabilities, offers multi-application support and paves the way for the introduction of user-friendly mobile access solutions. It enables companies to improve not only the protection of their intellectual property, but also their operational processes through the possible consolidation of different systems. For example, a multifunctional access control solution can also be used for secure printing, digital signing of e-mails, time tracking or cashless payment transactions in the company canteen".