Article written by HID Global south APAC sales director Steve Katanas, speaking ahead of the 2018 ASIAL Security Conference and Exhibition
Trusted identities are emerging as one of the fundamental building blocks for creating environments that more effectively connect an organisation’s people, places and things.
Integrators who embrace the power of trusted identities will help their customers redefine the user experience using a combination of cloud, mobile, and IoT technologies. They also want more unified credential solutions, and they have numerous workplace services and business processes that can be significantly improved using advanced analytics.
A mobile tipping-point
Mobile access control is gaining popularity as solutions mature and are integrated with other systems. Until recently, the notion of a credential on a mobile device was a niche for a small segment of the market.
However, their ability to provide greater operational efficiency, enhance the user experience, deliver increased security and integrate with other systems has now positioned mobile access as a strong option for many organisations in the market.
Demand will be greatest in the following use cases:
1. Opening doors with a smartphone
2. Using a mobile device as an authenticator for applications such as identity verification to protect online banking applications or while accessing a digital network
3. Carrying an ID such as a driver’s licence on a phone.
The more mobile form factor options there are for carrying trusted identities, the better, so that organisations can support the broadest range of use cases.
Smart watches and personal biometric devices are the most common wearables for use in the enterprise environment today, and the extended use of wearables for enterprise access solutions continues to be part of the conversation.
These devices are getting smarter and more common with support for a growing number of applications.
Embracing advanced technology has not been limited to mobile credentials alone; the move away from de facto Wiegand to the Open Supervised Device Protocol (OSDP) standard is also poised to be a major disruptor for access control.
High profile exposure of legacy Weigand vulnerabilities, coupled with the desire for a more connected experience when managing readers, has driven demand for the OSDP standard.
Organisations investing in infrastructure today are considering readers that support both NFC and Bluetooth communication standards, leaving them ready to embrace new experiences as the mobile device industry changes rapidly. Access control reader technology will also adapt to leverage the power of mobile technology and cloud platforms.
Growing cloud adoption
One of the drivers for cloud adoption is that cloud security has expanded significantly.
As confidence in these platforms grows, demand is rising to use trusted identity solutions in the cloud and benefit from its many advantages. Thus, adoption will escalate with increased awareness of the cloud’s ease of deployment, flexibility, connectivity options and productivity benefits.
Cloud-based platforms will provide the backbone for adding new and emerging technologies while improving how identity solutions are delivered. They also will give organisations greater flexibility to upgrade their security infrastructure, scale it as they grow, improve efficiency and adopt new lower-cost managed service models.
Among the most attractive options are solutions that provide location services for asset tracking so that organisations have more information about how their buildings are used for workplace optimisation.
Organisations are adopting technology that expands how building occupants and tenants engage, interact and work in new intelligent workspaces.
In addition, such innovations enable facility managers to proactively provide a safer working environment, achieve a smarter building equipment maintenance experience, and comply with a myriad of local and federal inspection mandates.
More connected experiences in the IoTT
More than ever, smartphones carrying trusted IDs are enabling a growing range of other secure, on-the-go smart building management capabilities that connect the world of people with the world of things.
For instance, a new class of security solutions provisions NFC tags to communicate with mechanical keys in a facility, so that key checkout can be automated and guards on patrol can log their presence at a security checkpoint using cloud-based authentication.
Integrators can combine this same technology with Commercial Maintenance Management Software (CMMS) solutions to enable secure transactions between fire and safety equipment and to help simplify processes for online maintenance systems.
Today, using BLE beacons, cloud services and current mobile networks has also significantly reduced the infrastructure cost of deploying smart building IoT applications. BLE–to-Wi-Fi location services provide facility managers with real-time visibility into when a specific area is being used throughout the workday, which assists in space planning and overall building security.
There are many opportunities for system integrators to help their customers achieve these capabilities across a number of vertical markets and requirements. For example, healthcare organisations will be able to use real-time location services to optimise workflows in emergency departments, provide wayfinding for patients and visitors navigating the hospital.
Access control systems are also being extended to create more activity-aware environments in industries such as mining, where it is crucial for security teams to receive the precise location of employees during emergency or “man down” situations.
The convenience of convergence
Another area where system integrators can deliver value is by offering the convenience of physical and data security that is converged onto a single credential.
In much the same way that users are gravitating to mobile solutions, in part because they like how it interconnects their digital world, so too are enterprises, universities and healthcare institutions embracing converged credentials.
Convergence will also drive the adoption of unified identity lifecycle management. Physical Identity & Access Management (PIAM) solutions are growing in demand to connect the enterprise’s physical access control systems (PACS) and IT security systems to other parts the IT ecosystem, such as user directories and HR systems.
They also enable PACS to connect to cloud-based card issuance systems and wireless locks, as well as with location-based services. This improves efficiency and security by standardising identity management for employees, contractors, visitors, suppliers, tenants, and vendors. PIAM solutions also provide the bridge between smart buildings and today’s more fluid and flexibly deployed workforce.
New trusted ID solutions will have a dramatic impact on the role of systems integrators in the future, as more opportunities will make it possible to add more services to their portfolio. Moving forward, ongoing advancements in security and identity technology will give rise to more intelligent environments that will deliver a comprehensive secure identity experience.
Systems integrators will be a crucial link in the value chain to ensuring this experience-driven focus on protecting people and assets in the future.