When one thinks of access control, one most likely thinks of an electronic lock controlled by a key FOB or a Near Field Communication (NFC) device, selectively gating access to belongings, products, residences or businesses. For years, access control has monitored the flow of people through a particular area in the physical domain, but like many other facets of security technology, access control is undergoing changes wherein it will become more efficient and more secure. Through the use of technology like mobile credentials, biometrics and cloud computing, the full potential of access control is about to be tapped in a way previously thought far too expensive for the average user.
Access control is obviously a valuable asset to a company as it provides protection to both the premises and the employees, but until recently, the cost has been something of a hurdle. However, as seen across the spectrum of technology, cloud based systems are experiencing a substantial shift as far as how applications are managed. Since cloud based systems are much more scalable, flexible, and resilient, they have begun to replace traditional on-site systems.
Access Control System as Service or Access in the Cloud
ACaaS is a somewhat intimidating looking abbreviation, but it’s actually quite simple. It stands for ‘Access Control as a Service,’ and by shifting the cost to a monthly fee rather than a much higher one time charge, it’s one of the ways access control is becoming much more accessible. Like we’ve seen happen across multiple other industries, moving a much larger up-front cost to a smaller monthly charge is, in many cases, a more manageable and agreeable situation. Consumers proved that they’d much rather spend $10 a month on a library of films than offer up the $30 for a single physical movie. ACaaS offers a more affordable way for companies to incorporate state of the art access control systems into their business.
Access Control Systems and Mobile Credentials
Mobile Credentials are also starting to change the way access control systems work. In a world where everyone is carrying a super computer in their pocket, there’s no reason that we should still have to carry cumbersome key rings weighed down with various FOBs and key cards as well. As access control continues to develop, we’re starting to see mobile credential apps become more commonplace, turning your cellphone into your access key. This is even something that’s starting to infiltrate residential areas with utilities like smart locks, and Apple Home Kit.
Biometric Access Control Systems
Advancements in Biometrics is another way that we’ll see access control advance as the technology continues to become more refined. Biometrics, working in tandem with mobile credentials, will add another layer of security to access control systems as it will allow your phone to determine whether or not you are in fact trying to access whatever the access control system is attempting to protect. In other words, if a thief steals your phone, they won’t be able to use it to gain access to your building. We’ve already seen the stuff of spy films (fingerprint scanners) become more common in our every day lives, and soon with your phone being able to pick your face out of a crowd, biometrics will add even more security.
It’s an exciting time to watch the growth of security technology, and access control is just one area where we’re seeing exponential growth. As biometrics, mobility and ACaaS become more advanced and accessible, keeping your residence, business, and employees protected will become far easier than ever before.