Technology & Innovation

The Trending Access Control Systems of 2021

The upheaval that began in 2020 has altered our approach to physical security in 2021 and beyond. We’ve compiled the 4 biggest access control trends for the future year based on industry expertise, research, and projections:

  • Cloud-Based Security 
  • Mobile Access Control
  • Multi-factor Authentication
  • Face Recognition

It’s never been more critical to create a robust facility and security strategy that can withstand hardship.

Concerns about Access Control Technology

The last ten years have seen a lot of advancements in access control technology. Access control has traditionally been a slow-moving sector, but there has been a significant shift as a result of strong customer demand and the need for better access control experiences.

Trends in Access Control in 2021

Touchless and frictionless solutions, facial recognition, cloud computing, and a shift to service models are among the Security Industry Association’s top 2021 Security Megatrends. 

  1. Access Control for Mobile Devices

Mobile access control is becoming increasingly popular among businesses. Access control has become even more crucial as a result of the epidemic, according to 44% of office workers. According to an HID report from 2019, 54 percent of organisations have upgraded or plan to upgrade to a mobile access control system in the next three years. We may expect that, if they haven’t already, much over half of the forecasted enterprises will be moving away from legacy systems in the next few years, if they haven’t already.

For the physical security and access control business, the usage of mobile-based credentials represents an organic evolution. Mobile credentials are also a more secure option than most key cards, which are unencrypted proximity RFID cards that may be easily cloned. We are seeing a strong trend towards mobile access control, which is more convenient and safe.

  1. Access Control in the Cloud

Mid-size and large businesses are adopting cloud-based access control. Physical security has been a late adopter of cloud technology, especially in midsize and corporate businesses. The majority of business systems today, on the other hand, are cloud-based.

Due to the enormous benefits provided in terms of operational improvements, improved security, and easier multi-site administration of access to reap the benefits of infinite scalability, physical security is experiencing a major trend towards cloud-based access control.

Managing multi-site access had previously been a challenging task. For example, if an employee is visiting a different branch office, they must be notified several days in advance so that security and access may be prepared for their arrival. Another example could be the process of scheduling meetings in meeting rooms which earlier led to a lot of hassle given no one was notified of the space usage. These manual processes, in addition to being inconvenient, resulted in the credentials being leaked and other such security discrepancies. Because of the capacity to administer numerous sites from a single system along with sending smart notifications regarding the space utilisation, cloud-based technologies have become increasingly popular. Managing access permissions across different locations has now become simple with systems like the meeting room scheduling system or meeting room booking system. The meeting room display system has made it easy to notify members of the organisation given the deployment of cloud-based access control. Furthermore, a worldwide infrastructure may be managed without sacrificing security or comfort. This has enhanced the security and convenience aspect of organisations.

Advantages of Cloud-Based Access Control

  • Constant security upgrades that can be put out instantaneously
  • The system can scale with the demands of the company
  • There will be no downtime
  • Management of mobile initial access
  • Monitoring multiple organisations from a single point of access
  • Access is granted or revoked in real-time and at a distance
  • Backups are made regularly
  • Rapid product development
  1. Multi-factor Authentication

The introduction of authentication systems helped combine the digital and physical identities. Multimodal and multi-factor authentication are both done with mobile credentials. (Multimodal authentication can refer to proving identity/gaining access using at least two different biometrics, or permitting access using any one of several different credentials, such as a keycard or PIN. Multi-factor authentication entails proving identity/gaining access using at least two methods or credentials, such as a fingerprint and a password.)

In digital access, multi-factor authentication has been extensively in use in the current times. When an employee connects to a company email or another sensitive website, the firm may need another type of identity verification, such as a one-time token sent via SMS or another authenticator app. As part of NERC compliance in utility industries and other critical infrastructure, two-factor authentication has been mandated for physical security in particular verticals, such as oil, gas, and power plants. Other corporate customers that require a higher level of protection will now be able to use it. With the introduction of multi-modal readers that enable key cards, mobile, pin pad, and biometrics all in one device, the use of two-factor authentication is becoming more widely available. The advantages of both multifactor and multimodal techniques are substantial. Single-factor authentication is insecure compared to multi-factor authentication. It also makes single sign-on more comfortable for enterprises, as it continues to be a popular choice among individuals since it simplifies network access substantially. Furthermore, when dealing with personally identifiable information, multi-factor authentication becomes a mandate by the law. Consumers regularly utilise multi-factor authentication when changing account passwords or conducting online transactions. They are asked to enter a PIN shared with them via a SMS text or email, for example, to authenticate their identity.

  1. Access Control Using Face Recognition

Face recognition is slowly and steadily replacing the fingerprint access for touchless access control. Many businesses are scrambling to implement face ID-style phone access to their buildings and facilities. Face recognition access control gives way for a modern, touchless experience. For decades, biometrics has existed outside the access control technology, hampered by high costs, accuracy challenges, privacy concerns, and other issues. However, in the COVID-19 era, it has become a viable access control device with the drop in prices, improvement in quality, and fading of privacy issues.

Face recognition would capture the largest market share as it becomes more widely implemented for both identity verification and access control; other technologies to see growth include iris, palm, vein, voice, and touchless fingerprints; and demand for contactless biometrics among government agencies would also increase due to the public safety concerns.

The installation has also become cost-effective, competing with the cost of alternative key card systems, thanks to advancements and innovation in biometric access control. Face recognition is now more accessible than ever before given self-enrollment and simple integration. Admins can centralise access management with cloud dashboards. Face recognition will continue to be a vital form of verification in the COVID-19 world and beyond, given the touchless experience. Face recognition access control methods have previously been plagued by poor accuracy, anti-spoofing difficulties, and a lack of privacy restrictions. However, technological advancements in recent years have propelled the technology into the mainstream.

Reimaging a Modern Workplace with Touchless Technologies 

Over the last year, as the world adapted to the pandemic, occupants’ expectations have rapidly evolved. The occupant could be an employee, a patient, a customer, or a visitor, they expect the spaces and places they spend time in to invest demonstrably in their health and well-being while maintaining a pleasant experience. Despite the widespread distribution of vaccines, the public’s newfound understanding of health and safety issues means that the demand for a better-built environment is unlikely to vanish.

It’s up to business owners and security managers to rise to the occasion and restore trust through the use of intelligent and networked touchless technologies. Organisations can not only navigate today’s challenges and meet consumer demand by integrating touchless technologies like biometric access control, elevated skin temperature screening solutions, face mask detection, and social distance monitoring solutions, but they can also future-proof their facilities. The facility that results in linking all data points to build a modern atmosphere that is healthy, safe, and ready for anything.

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