Technological advancement offers more options for keeping everything secure, including your office building or your home.
While you generally need just one type of security access for your home, different employees may have varying access levels to a business building. It would help if you found a way to successfully and seamlessly implement a system allowing people to only access areas relevant to their jobs. They shouldn’t be allowed to enter areas where they will be exposed to data they are not authorized to view or physical rooms that only pertinent employees should access.
Access Control through the Years
Even if you haven’t studied access control and its implementation through the years, you can probably guess that the earlier security modes were purely physical. Homeowners and business owners needed only to improve the locks or find something to block the entrances and exits.
Because everything else is becoming digital and controlled by computers, access control technology follows suit. It personalizes the way you use this type of security.
Here is what the development of access control has looked like through the years:
1. Physical Security and Allowable Access
As mentioned above, we all started with a physical access control system (PACS). PACSs are the most apparent means of protection. When people realized the need to protect their property, they used various means such as walls, fences, and trenches. There are more advanced ways to block unauthorized access to a physical space these days. Yet, the term PACS is still being used.
2. Mechanical Barriers
Mere physical barriers cannot stop persistent invaders. Therefore, there was a need to amp up the security with mechanical systems. Mechanical systems do not do away with the first few versions of physical barriers. Instead, they complement and improve upon them. This time, the mechanical locks work with controls that have to be manipulated manually and may have been designed and built before them.
Manual lock systems have been around for centuries and are still being used today. However, the mechanisms added can enhance and replace older technology.
3. Digital Access and Barriers
Because computers have somehow taken over various industries, it’s understandable that they are doing the same with the access control industry. Access control has also gone digital.
No one is expected to open physical spaces with keys any longer. Digital access levels can limit the number of people entering a physical space.
However, this does not strictly apply to physical spaces, either. Employees will have different access levels to digital assets, such as information stored in computers or the cloud. Not everyone should be granted the same amount of data. Permissions will have to depend on their role in the company.
By accessing vital information and property digitally, you can minimize human intervention. That in itself is a form of security.
Features to Consider When Choosing Access Control
Not everyone will need the same access to a space. The features you will require will not be the same as the ones another company will need. You can focus on your must-have characteristics by asking the following questions:
What does your property need in terms of security?
Each property requires a different level of security. So, the best access control tech for you will be different from somebody else’s. You must first identify your external and internal threats. What are you protecting your property from? Examine your property and check the number of entry points it has. Does everyone need to have access to all the entry points?
Do you prefer cloud-based or legacy systems?
Before you ask yourself which you prefer, let’s define each of these systems.
Legacy systems are traditional setups. They will need an onsite server that a technician or another employee must manage regularly. They need to be onsite to maintain or make changes to the system.
Meanwhile, when the system is stored in the cloud, as in the case of a cloud-based access control system, you can update and maintain it remotely. You also don’t need to house a large server on the premises.
Cloud-based systems are less expensive to maintain and will require fewer wirings.
What credentials will you use to access property or data?
It will help if you also consider what access credentials will be used. Will you use physical key cards, fobs, PINs, Biometrics, or mobile phones?
Common Access Control Technology
Finally, before you check on 2023 access control trends you must follow, you must first look at what technology is commonly available. You can look at it by checking the main categories first. Then, you can go further by looking at the sub-categories.
First, you should look at communication:
Radio Frequency Identification is an option. This technology allows communication among devices through electromagnetic waves. A control system that uses this technology comes with tags and readers. The information is accessed when the tag’s RFID chip is activated as a reader scans it.
Near-field communication (NFC)
NFC technology, like RFID, also works at close ranges. Share the required credential with anyone qualified to make this work. While NFC may require fobs or key cards, others work with smartphones.
Bluetooth, like NFC, is a short-range technology. This accessible technology is not only free to use but also pretty ubiquitous now. You’ll see it on most, if not all, of your devices.
IP can be used for access control. It is electronically implemented and requires Internet Protocol and access control methods. IP controllers are different from traditional access ones because they can trace all information through their direct LAN/WAN connection.
Power over Ethernet energizes your devices and also transmits an internet connection. These types of access control systems are affordable. Installation and maintenance are also more manageable and more convenient.
A CAT6 cable is sturdier than a CAT5. It is ideal because it can make your data pass through greater bandwidth quicker.
All the physical, tangible material you need for your access control system to work makes up the hardware.
Top Trends in Access Control
With all the above in mind, it is now easier to see that the following will become top-trending in 2023. It doesn’t mean that these practices aren’t in use yet, but it just means that they are here to stay for the coming year.
The top 10 trending access control practices that will soar in 2023 can be used in tandem, depending on how much security your company requires. Some on the list may not surprise you, but they will still appear in the next few months.
Remember, though, that while you may be familiar with many of these access control systems that will trend shortly, their technology will continue to improve. You should be updated on these improvements to see if they will work better for your property’s protection.
1. Mobile Access Control
It is more convenient to be able to have access via your smartphone. About 6.4 billion people own one. As more people have access to smartphones, each version continues to improve. They become smarter and smarter. It is not surprising that smartphones have become part of access control.
2. Multi-factor or 2FA Authentication
You’re likely to have used this at some point already. Suppose you use multi-factor authentication to access your online subscriptions or pay for online shopping using your credit card. In that case, it should also apply to building access control.
Online, you try to reduce phishing attempts, hacking attacks, and other scams. Anyone who tries to invade your property must have not just one credential but two or more to identify themselves and their rights.
Trying to secure your property does not mean you shouldn’t try communicating between your devices. You can still integrate different products for ease and convenience. Each of them will be protected by your own established security protocols. 2023 will undoubtedly involve having all the devices you own share data.
4. Cloud-Based Systems
You can remotely prevent people from entering your property. Using an easier-to-manage cloud-based technology can do that. As mentioned above, it removes the need to own an onsite server. Cloud-based barriers should still be a hit in 2023 because they are convenient and affordable.
You probably use this with your devices already. However, biometrics will also simplify access control to your property. Only those whose biometrics match the database for a particular entry point can be let in.
While it doesn’t seem new, this technology continues to improve. So, it isn’t surprising that it would still be trending in 2023. More companies are using facial recognition and fingerprint scanning technology. Your smartphone more likely has the option to use biometrics to lock it from everyone else but you.
6. Touchless Access Control
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have learned (or rather, re-learned) that hygiene is of the utmost importance. What we touch can be dangerous to us. So, touchless access control can be a healthier and more reliable option for a company with several employees. You don’t want so many people touching the same screen or pad all day.
One touchless access control solution is the use of facial recognition. It won’t be surprising if the technology further advances and provides other options.
7. Video Access Control
Video access control may require both machine and human assistance. You can set up cameras by the entrance so that the security personnel can check the faces of the persons at the gate or door before letting them in. The video can be shared with those who have to decide whether to let the person in.
Analytics is now being used in various aspects of company management and transactions. It can help you evaluate whether something is successful or not. For access control systems designed to protect your property, physical or digital, analytics can help you assess the behaviors that users display when presented with the protective systems.
9. Security Convergence
As mentioned above, integrating devices and systems to create something more improved is always welcome. You can recognize how convenient it is to put things together. Streamlining your security systems makes for a more organized means of protecting your property using the various methods at your helm.
10. Smart Buildings
Using the various trending technologies discussed, you can create a smart building.
A smartphone can do so much. It can keep all your relevant information under digital lock and key until you provide a password, PIN, fingerprint, or whatever else you’ve required to open it up.
Smart buildings will do more than that. One can lock the physical barriers tightly so they cannot open up to anyone. You may get too caught up in digitally securing your property, but don’t forget that the physical barriers should also be sturdy in the first place.
In 2023, some existing technology will continue flourishing in the access control system industry. However, the version you may have already seen or used a few years ago may not be the same as the one that will be popping up and taking command.
You don’t have to follow all the trends, in any case. While taking note of the recent updates is essential, you should still focus on what your property needs. Focus on investing in the trends that are the most compatible with your needs. This is why it’s essential to ask yourself some of the questions mentioned under the factors you must consider before choosing an access control system.
Some are more apparent options than others. For example, cloud-based systems seem to be the better option compared to bulkier and more expensive legacy systems.
After deciding on a system design, you still have to choose among the most reliable service providers.
Check out Anchor Security to find out more about access control trends.