Top 5 access control technology trends for 2013

Predictions from John Fenske, vice president of product marketing, HID Global:

1. “Frictionless” security. The term “frictionless” is used to describe security solutions that don’t slow users down. Rather than make users carry separate cards, keys and tokens, the coming generation of frictionless solutions will embed these and other credentials inside Near Field Communications (NFC)-enabled smartphones and other mobile devices.


2. Mobile access control adoption to accelerate. The foundation for mobile access control deployment on NFC-enabled mobile devices was laid in 2012. To fuel broad adoption, the landscape must include widely available NFC-enabled handsets with secure elements, supporting all primary operating systems. All keys and cryptographic operations must be protected inside the smartphone’s secure element. The landscape also must include readers, locks and other hardware that can read digital keys carried on these handsets.

3. Mobile will co-exist with cards. Despite its benefits, it is unlikely that NFC-enabled smartphones will completely replace physical smart cards in the coming year. Instead, mobile access credentials inside NFC-enabled smartphones will co-exist with cards and badges so that organizations can implement a choice of smart cards, mobile devices or both within their physical access control system (PACS).

4. Access control convergence. Users increasingly want a single credential for entering the building, logging onto the network, accessing applications and other systems, and gaining remote access to secure networks without needing a one-time password (OTP) token or key fob. It’s more convenient and greatly improves security by enabling strong authentication throughout the IT infrastructure. It also reduces deployment and operational costs.

5. Continued improvement of card technology. Today’s gold standard for access control applications is contactless smart cards that are based on open standards, and feature a universal card edge. Users will enhance their cards and badges with more layers of additional visual and digital security, including higher-resolution images, holographic card over-laminates, and permanent and unalterable, laser-engraved personalization attributes. Cards will also increasingly incorporate expanded digital storage capacity so they can include biometric and other multi-factor authentication information.

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