The access control industry plays a significant role in keeping people safe and secure. In the past, it was typically cautious about adopting new technologies for users. Today, however, we are seeing an evolution in components for safeguarding restricted access properties. It is pushing major innovations in the access control space. Let’s take a look at the trends that are taking root and how we see them playing out over time. 

Biometric Devices

An increasing number of professional security applications now use some form of biometric reader. More building management companies are looking into the use of these devices as a way of making their workers and residents feel more secure. 

With biometric devices at points of access, users have the option of dropping the requirement for physical cards entirely. They may instead rely on fingerprint or facial recognition to enter buildings. 

Many manufacturers are even redesigning components that currently lack biometric hardware to work with external biometric readers. Doing so allows them to meet growing customer demand as they look to reinvent their hardware lineups. Falling prices for biometric readers will only encourage further adoption of even more advanced access control hardware. 

Integration Growth

Manufacturers are showing more willingness to work with other industries in order to meet the expanded demand for advanced access control technology. It is a real sign of growth in a fragmented industry that is often slow to adopt change. 

One example of this is the integration of traditional lock mechanisms with other access control devices. Lock manufacturers are looking to create a single user-friendly platform that allows clients to have control over all aspects of their security. 

We have recently seen Vanderbilt, a major player in the physical access control space, expand their pooling of resources with ACT and SPC Connect. This is an attempt to build a unified access control and intrusion detection system. 

The same thing is happening in the integration of video management platforms. Soon, consumers will be able to receive text message alerts about intruder detections on their security cameras. 

Mobile and Cloud Technology

Another access control technology that has grown in popularity is the use of mobile devices for access. Users can replace physical access cards with any preferred device that they can swipe over a physical access reader. The move towards mobile devices has pushed access providers to rely more on cloud platforms as the as a backbone for biometric and mobile solutions. 

Consumers want the freedom to perform specific actions to protect their property, even if they are not physically on the premises. Mobile solutions provide the convenience of being able to issue lockdown commands from a distance when an alarm is triggered and an alert is  received. 

The continued necessity of physical cards in access control technology was a hurdle in the past. Swapping cards out for mobile devices bridges this previously existing gap.

The handling of accessibility needs and data security concerns was another stumbling block in past. Providers are overcoming this obstacle by turning to secure cloud architecture. This allows them to deal with both of these problems in a connected environment.  

Cloud platforms can also support complementary applications like virtual photo IDs and secure fingerprint systems. These added capabilities expand flexibility for administrators when they perform security upgrades, scale up to meet data demands, or improve maintenance and efficiency processes. 

The movement of access control trends towards more advanced technology shows no signs of slowing down. Mobile and cloud technology will be included in around 20 percent physical access control solutions through 2020.  

A Shift in Protocols

The Wiegand protocols govern communications around older access technologies used in locks, subways, buildings and doors built back in the 1980s. Over time, these components have become more and more vulnerable to security breaches. Hackers continue to hone their efforts and develop more sophisticated attacks. Many “off-the-shelf” solutions on offer today fail to provide proper protection against security strikes. 

The need for better access control security has pushed support for a replacement for Wiegand. Many access control experts are now advocating for the adoption of the Open Supervised Device Protocol (OSDP). The interoperable nature of OSDP makes it more flexible than Wiegand with regards to the options it can provide to end users. 

IoT Devices

The explosion in the use of cloud technology is facilitating potential in the realm of IoT-enabled devices. Systems now have the potential to embed IoT functionality as an application extension within an access control space. 

With the use of IoT devices, access control systems can deliver data to the cloud in real-time, supported by access control wires and cables. This enables the conduction of remote diagnostics between systems. Better predictions will come about because of this, helping to figure out specific system requirements and ensure improved protection against potential vulnerabilities.  

Incorporating IoT into access control panels will reduce complexity when it comes to credential reader configurations as well. This will remove a lot of the guesswork surrounding current credential reader configurations. It will also reduce the need for making time-consuming manual changes. IoT functionality can allow administrators to issue remote commands from off-site while still having a full view into the internals of a reader.   

None of these above trends would be possible without a solid foundation in place to connect hardware components together. All controls must have quality access control cables in place in order to facilitate new future-facing access control systems.