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Access control transformations impact entire security industry

Access control systems have long been a technology that can be implemented and left alone to do its business for multiple years. As the security industry evolves, however, access control systems are gaining new capabilities, enhancing an organization’s ability to deter crime and protect valuable assets, according to an A&S Magazine report.

Since access control is a fundamental aspect of a building’s physical security, changes in the market send shockwaves throughout the private sector. Biometrics, for example, is becoming increasingly incorporated with access control, as authenticating an individual’s identity based on physical and behavioral characteristics is often much more foolproof than using an ID card, the news source said.

“Fingerprint technology is still the main method,” said John Davies, an access control expert, according to A&S Magazine. “However, facial recognition is growing in popularity, especially in areas where noncontact is required, including sanitized healthcare areas or situations where the environment can affect the condition of a user’s hands, such as the construction industry.”

In addition to biometrics, ID card improvements, such as radio-frequency identification and near-field communications, are also impacting the access control market. While biometrics continues to gain momentum in the industry, smartphones and other mobile devices will be integrated with next-generation technologies to improve capabilities in a number of physical security systems, A&S Magazine said.

Many security systems are also beginning to take advantage of using an IP infrastructure and cloud computing services to enhance access control functionality and accessibility, the news provider noted.

“[Using these technologies] minimizes hardware and running costs, as well as associated maintenance and support issues,” Davies said, according to A&S Magazine. “What’s more is that it provides a far more scalable and flexible system, so rather than access control being ‘fit and forget’ for 15 years, it is now agile and able to embrace the very latest advances.”

The IP evolution is disrupting more than just the access control market, as the pervasiveness of IP has the ability to transform nearly every aspect of an integrated security system.

The security industry is at a crossroads, as economic conditions, regulatory changes and technological advances all introduce new capabilities and demands. These transitions are also forcing organizations to adapt, regardless if they agree with ongoing trends.

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