The pandemic has had a great effect on security as companies switched to remote work. As a result, all predictions on the future of access control systems went out the window. The changes from pandemic pivoting have driven access control to shift to mobile and cloud-based solutions. That and companies require touchless solutions.
If there ever was a good time to upgrade an access control system, then now is the best time. Many outdated access control systems are not efficient or don’t work with a company’s other technology.
An access control system can do a lot more than let people in and out of a building. Many organizations have rooms and areas where only a few employees can enter. They may contain customer data and sensitive material like those found in a server room.
One thing has not changed and that’s the meaning of access control systems. Their job is to grant and revoke access to locations and resources. Here are the three biggest trends for access control systems in 2021 and what you need to know about the state of access control systems.
1. Mobile Access Control Systems
More than half of the companies state they’ve upgraded their access control systems to mobile, plan to upgrade it, or are in the middle of upgrading the system. This is up from 31 percent in 2019. The fastest-growing access control product is mobile-based credentials according to IHS Markit research.
Mobile access control systems allow customers to control their access from their phones. No longer will they need to use key cards, which people often left at home. Yet, people rarely leave home without their mobile phones. Another advantage of mobile access is that it simplifies visitor management. A visitor can be granted access on the spot.
Employees’ phones also function as the credentials to get in their offices, parking garage, and other areas requiring access. Key cards can be easily cloned making them a security risk. Since more mobile phones incorporate biometric access, it adds another layer of security. All accesses can typically be managed in the cloud, which brings up the next trend.
2. Cloud-Based Access Control Systems
Most companies now run something in the cloud. You’ll find every kind of tool and app in the cloud. Employees can use customer relationship management (CRM), marketing tech stacks, email, project management apps, and more from anywhere. All they need is a connected device.
Access control systems can now be managed in the cloud. In the past, if you needed temporary access to one of the company’s buildings, you’d need to call ahead and request it. Someone would have to enter it into the system. Now, it can be done instantly. Contact the person who provides access. That person grants access through their own mobile device. It doesn’t matter where the person is located. The cloud makes it possible to do access management remotely.
Cloud-based access control systems let employees remotely grant and revoke access, unlock a door, monitor the health of the system, audit potential security breaches, and monitor events in real time.
A company with multiple locations can manage all of its sites from a single dashboard. Access can be given through group and roles management. Some access control systems can provide access control based on a time limit or they can schedule unlocks.
Customers have to stop working while a computer’s operating system undergoes an upgrade. This isn’t a problem with cloud-based software. The cloud-based access control software can be updated without disruption. They roll out the updates without affecting users. It doesn’t involve any hardware changes, so employees will be able to use new features and applications.
3. Movement Toward Touchless Access Control Systems
A key driver for upgrading physical access control systems is the pandemic, which increased the demand for touchless systems. Once COVID-19 is under control, there are still other illnesses that are contagious. Moving to touchless access control not only reduces contact but also simplifies access management.
An ABI Research report predicts a $2 billion drop in revenue of biometric devices that don’t rely on facial or iris recognition. In other words, the decrease will be on touched-based biometric devices like handprints and fingerprints.
An access control system combines the benefits of touchless technology with the convenience of remote management from anywhere thanks to that cloud. Additionally, it works on mobile devices, something all employees tend to have already.
Benefits of a Mobile, Cloud-Based Access Control System
An organization that hasn’t switched to an access control system will gain many benefits. It enhances business security by permitting companies to control who comes and goes into an office building, parking garage, and other business properties.
Unlike badges, people rarely forget to bring their phones with them to work. They’re less likely to find themselves locked out. An access control system removes the need for touch-based keypads and remembering codes.
Here are five advantages of an access control system:
- Prevents employees from getting locked out.
- Stops unauthorized people from entering the building.
- Manages control for different parts of the property.
- Averts potential employee errors.
- Deters theft especially with visible cameras.
You can further enhance security and remote access control system by integrating remote video monitoring. It adds another layer to security. The more layers you have in security, the harder it will be to break through them.
An integrated security system may contain some or all of these:
- Video surveillance
- Remote monitoring
- Access control system
- Video review and analysis
- Audio warning speaker
These features can communicate and work together. For example, when you incorporate video surveillance with access control, you can match the time stamp from the access control with the video. It reduces the time required to search for footage. Integrating security simplifies security management and reporting while fortifying security.
3 Keys to Selecting the Right Access Control System
Here are the three biggest factors that you want to consider when selecting an access control system for your organization.
1. Manages Everything from Anywhere
Begin by documenting your access requirements. List who has access to where and when. Note other people besides employees who will need access, such as delivery people, customers, and visitors. You most likely want to look for a mobile-based and cloud-based access control system because they make it effortless to manage access from anywhere.
2. Works with Other Company Systems
Do you have remote video surveillance or plan to add the service? It’s possible to get one that integrates with an access control system. One advantage of this integration is that it can match the time stamp of a person’s entry on the access control system with the video.
When researching access control systems, ask about system compatibility. You may want a system compatible with the building’s alarm or other company-critical systems. Additionally, combining access control with remote video surveillance offers more advantages over security and for a fraction of the cost. Selecting a complete access control system that effortlessly works with other systems enhances your security and delivers a faster ROI.
An effective access control system can determine who can and cannot go into limited-access areas. Some can even control a person’s access based on days of the week or times of the day. It can be programmed so if no one enters an off-limits room during working hours, the system can send an alert when someone enters the room after working hours.
3. Makes It Effortless to Use
What’s the point of upgrading to an access control system that’s complicated or tedious to use? Then, people won’t use it and it will undermine your security. The key to success is simplicity.
Taking the Next Step with an Access Control System
In short, the most notable trend in access control technologies is that organizations are upgrading to more secure access control systems that prioritize efficient credential management and user experience.
So, where do you go from here? What’s the right security solution for your business? The requirements vary by industry. A good place to start is on the free security resource page to find the one that best fits your industry.
If you work with Stealth, we can help you through the entire process. Our security experts can do an evaluation of your property and requirements, design a solution, maintain the system, and manage it.
Integrating remote video surveillance will help enhance your access control system and security. With cameras across your property, the system can spot suspicious activity before anything happens.
Companies that excel with their security programs create processes and train employees on those processes. All it takes is one employee letting an unauthorized person into the building to bring down your security. Video surveillance can capture the employee’s face as well as the person who entered with the employee. You can meet with the employee to go over the process while tracking down the suspicious person.
To ensure everyone follows security protocols, keep it simple and conduct regular training, which helps increase the adoption and success rates. Our security consultants have implemented security in commercial properties across North America. They know how to create a solution that works and that everyone will use. Best of all, you’ll see a quick ROI.
When you choose to work with Stealth Monitoring, you will have a variety of security options. Our team customizes a solution that addresses your biggest security challenges and meets your requirements. To learn about access control systems, video surveillance, and security solutions that meet your needs, please contact us.