Is your company’s existing credentialing solution leaving the front door vulnerable on a nightly basis?  Are you regularly re-issuing access card credentials?  Do you feel like your security technology is stuck in a 1970’s time warp?  Now may be a good time to consider serious digital transformation to ensure your security solutions remain relevant and are future proofed.

Industry figures indicate that 50-60% of the Physical Access Control (PACS) market still relies on the original “granddaddy” of access control: 1970’s proximity (prox) cards via the Wiegand protocol. The cards can be duplicated with ease, leaving your facility with the appearance of security without any real protection. If you can copy your card (or fob) at a grocery store key kiosk, you are not secure. Just like we have abandoned the 8-track, fax machines, and bag phones, it’s time for credentialing to leave behind 1970s technology and embrace innovation!

To protect your businesses from threats in 2023, new forms of identity credentials, access technology and visitor management solutions are needed. These new solutions provide a mobile, touchless, and frictionless experience mitigating security threats. They are rapidly becoming the preferred choice for seamless onboarding and access control.

Let’s cover what you need to know about the changing landscape of alternative credentials for improved access control and better employee/user experiences.

Issuing the right credential is based on multiple factors of identity management: what you have, what you know, what you are, how you behave and where you are.

  1. What you have refers to an employer issued physical ID card, such as a proximity or smart card. New options include “on device” mobile credentials, key fobs, or wearables like rings, or wristbands. These primary credentials are given by the employer.
  2. What you know is used along with “what you have,” involving a combination of a username, PIN code, or password.
  3. Who you are is a physical biometric or unique characteristic that can be compared for an exact 1:1 match. Physical biometric modalities include face, finger, iris, palm/vein, lips, feet, nails and more.
  4. How you behave is a behavioral biometric including voice, heartbeat, brain waves, eye movements, gait, signature, and others.
  5. Where you are shows an exact location along with any of the other 4 authenticators. This can include a time stamp record of when and where an event occurred.  Examples of the technology used include IP address, NFC, BLE, Geolocation, Geofencing, and Proximity

ID cards can be lost, stolen, or duplicated, and usernames and passwords are often weak, reused, forgotten, or shared. An easy search on the internet will sell you card duplicators or hacking methods if you have the wrong technology. Additionally, a significant amount of time and money is spent on reissuing these credentials, which creates additional security liability if the old credentials are not turned off.

For highly secure environments, the solution lies in upgrading your security game with a second factor of authentication. These credentials provide multifactor authentication (MFA), offering increased levels of identity assurance and zero-trust (absolute trust) access control permissions. Examples include one-time passwords (OTP) via SMS texts and Quick Response (QR) codes that can generate passkeys or software tokens.

Additionally, securing the wire between the card reader and system interface through OSDP protocols to protect you from electronic eavesdropping invading your network.

Combining facial recognition and voice recognition to create MFA is the most natural way for us to communicate and is moving us from a “Flintstones” to “Jetsons” lifestyle. Software for proven biometric liveness detection and detecting deepfakes is already on the market and being tested by DHS to assess its effectiveness in a remote environment. Soon, we will be able to remotely onboard and authenticate human beings at a doorway or desktop computer, verifying their identity with 100% certainty.

The convergence has begun! The transition to zero-trust access control will be a game-changer for the physical security market. Mobile, touchless, frictionless experiences will reduce the reliance on hardware and usernames/passwords.

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Cloud services has been the talk of late within the security industry. Reduced cost of ownership and easy access to data 24/7 has spurred the development of cloud-based solutions,  touching every technology type within the security industry, from access control and video surveillance to mass notification systems and fire alarms.


This post was originally published on the Security-Net blog.

As we approach the two-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic, we can see clear signs of changes throughout our society. From cancelling important plans, to changing the way our businesses operate, to keeping ourselves and those around us healthy, it is safe to say we have all had to practice some patience and flexibility along the way.

These qualities may be especially useful as we face new challenges related to shortages across the global supply chain. Virtually all industries are feeling the effects of this in one way or another, including the security industry. Security systems integrators have had to implement new strategies and ways of working to continue getting the job done for clients.

For security professionals with projects on the horizon, here are some helpful tips on how to navigate the supply chain crunch.

Communication is Key
Managing expectations is one of the biggest factors when it comes to scheduling a project. When ordering materials, wait times can be extremely lengthy and availability of products can be inconsistent from one day to the next due to current supply chain problems. It’s important to let your integrator know as soon as possible about a new project. Previously it may have been possible to initiate a new project and order products with only a few months notice, projects now require longer lead time. Communicating clearly about needs and priorities ensures fewer road bumps.

Plan, Prepare and be Proactive
These three Ps are key to working around unexpected supply chain disruptions. Think around the corner wherever possible about what’s coming up to avoid hitting the panic button. Understand that timelines can be loose and it is better to receive shipments too early than too late. Honorable mention to the Ps – Patience! Rest assured that things are moving forward, even if not on the original timeline.

Be Ready to Pay for Products Sooner
For projects in the future that need to be done by a certain date, the best way to get the parts in time is to issue the purchase order as soon as possible. To stay on track, integrators will order the parts and bill for them immediately. Payment is what kick starts the process and is especially important for big projects in which the order date could be bumped up to a year sooner. Additionally, prices are contingent and may increase over time. This might create some adjustment in terms of budget planning but paying upfront is an instrumental first step to getting in line to deploy that new access control or surveillance system.

Be Flexible
Most important of all is flexibility. For example, security systems integrators may need to mobilize on multiple occasions to finish the project depending on which dates certain products are available. Another solution is substituting a new part for a legacy part that may be available sooner. In some cases, the legacy part can stand in for the new part until it is received, at which point they can be swapped out. Getting creative about finding solutions allows for an agile response to new challenges.

Overall, each industry has been uniquely impacted by supply chain deficiencies and security is no different. By utilizing these best practices security professionals can navigate through these unprecedented times and deliver best-in-class service

By Craig Jarrett

As COVID-19 vaccinations become widely available and mask mandates loosen, more employees find themselves returning to in-person work. Their desks at home slowly become extra storage spaces and their sweatpants are exchanged for business casual. Many will have masks tucked into their pockets or purses, unsure if they’ll still be required to enter the building.

The past year and a half has brought about tremendous change – especially for the security industry – with businesses leveraging their existing security technology or implementing new solutions to keep employees and customers both safe and healthy. So, what has changed on the security front as we move towards a post-pandemic world?

Access control to manage occupancy

Access control has always been utilized to manage the flow of people into buildings, such as scanning a badge to authenticate who is coming and going. As we close in on a post-pandemic world, limiting the amount of people coming into a shared space is as important as ever. Access control allows there to be thresholds, which is extremely useful as many companies are permitting  only a specific number of employees to come in on particular days as employees begin to return to work in-person.

Touch-free entrances

People are more conscious now about touching the same surfaces and door handles  as others, so access control can truly help with touchless entry— walking up to a door and presenting an access control credential which then triggers a door to unlock and automatically open, for example. This touchless approach helps stop the spread of germs, which has now become a high priority for many companies. There will likely be somewhat of a rise in use and installation of these automatic door opening systems paired with access control for companies that want to be extra cautious post-pandemic.

Analytics to detect masks wearing

As we come closer to the end of the pandemic, the call to arms for security and analytics to assist in general pandemic-related mandates has greatly diminished. However, some specific industries will still require the assistance of security analytics to help maintain a safe environment. For example, the healthcare industry and public transportation still require mask wearing, meaning that being able to detect whether a person is or is not wearing a face mask remains a priority.

The security industry has seen significant advancements over the past 18-months as people adapt existing security solutions and implement new technologies to support a safe work environment. As we begin to move towards normalcy, security professionals will look at how to continue to leverage investments in pandemic-influenced technology as part of their ongoing security needs.