What Users Want: How Physical Access Control Needs Have Been Transformed by the Pandemic

What Users Want: How Physical Access Control Needs Have Been Transformed by the Pandemic

As the world adjusted to a global pandemic, organizational practices changed dramatically. HID Global’s 2022 annual survey of Physical Access Control System (PACS) user perceptions, which skipped a year in 2021, shows how much these changes affected everything from buying decisions and upgrade plans to what users expect of their PACS technologies.

Some Things Changed, Others Didn’t
According to HID’s survey, titled “The 2022 State of Physical Access Control Report: A Trend Report from IFSEC Global,” mobile access has grown in popularity. This has not made traditional credentials and physical badges obsolete, despite their known security vulnerabilities.

In 2020, HID’s study showed that almost one in three respondents use 125 kHz low frequency proximity cards, and 35% were still using magnetic stripe cards. Simultaneously, 32% of respondents were actively using mobile IDs and 30% were actively using fingerprint, facial or iris solutions. Seventeen percent said they planned to or had launched an upgrade to biometric access control, and 19% were planning for mobile technology upgrades.

One reason for the appeal of mobile technology during the pandemic was that it reduced or eliminated having to touch a panel or other physical object. This, in turn, drove the adoption of new applications that also benefitted from the convenience of contact-free interactions in both the physical and digital worlds. Further fueling adoption of mobile access is its move to trusted ecosystems of cloud-connected mobile access control devices, applications and identities. This enables a variety of building services to allow secure access through a person’s mobile phone, improving user convenience while helping to future-proof solutions and give users a larger choice of credential technologies.

Other pandemic-related changes that impacted user’ perceptions included new work patterns. Respondents commented about upgrading to new technology, and 43% said they would deploy “touchless/contactless capabilities,” which they may have initially done to comply with pandemic-related workplace health and safety measures. Forty-one percent said they want any new access control system to include mobile access, and touchless technologies were identified as the single most impactful technology for improving PACS by 20% of respondents, followed by mobile (18%).

Another technology that resonated with respondents in HID’s 2022 survey is building occupancy monitoring, especially among organizations now operating a hybrid (both remote and in-person) workplace model. Building occupancy monitoring makes it easier to maintain high efficiency levels and make informed decisions about building usage and operation. Especially useful is data from Real-Time Location Systems (RTLS). Thirty-nine percent of survey respondents said they now not only know how many employees and visitors are on site, but also where they are in the building. This enables organizations to better evaluate office space requirements by knowing how much space is being used, ensuring the necessary desk space is available when and where it is needed, and streamlining operations and associated costs.

Top Challenges Ahead
Improving user convenience was at the top of the challenge list for HID’s 2022 study respondents. Forty-three percent said one of their top three challenges was that PACS administration was not easy enough, followed by 27% who cited “integrating with other enterprise systems.”

Respondents also shared opinions on the obstacles they face when planning and implementing access control upgrades. One obstacle is cost -- 38% said this was their biggest barrier to initiating an upgrade. For 15% of respondents inadequate ROI or budget prioritization was the issue. Regardless, 38% said an update or upgrade would be part of their access control system during 2022.

Respondents gravitated to some types of upgrades more than others did. One example is replacing proprietary access control models with open standards and adaptable solutions. Forth-nine percent of respondents said they wanted their access control system to provide ‘the ability to add or support new tech in the future and 28% wanted “open-standards-based tech.”

The survey also highlighted the growing need for physical security and cyber/IT security departments to work more closely on upgrades. As an example, IT professionals must go beyond the built-in protections of ISO 27001-compliant systems to ensure that none of the PACS access control readers or other components attached to their network as part of an upgrade are vulnerable to cyber threats.

The increased use of mobile access for creating touchless building experiences and RTLS for monitoring building occupancy data are among the unexpected outcomes of the past two years. These outcomes may have been spurred by pandemic-related hygiene and safety requirements, or the move to remote and hybrid workplace models, but they appear to have staying power. Users want an easy path to upgrades so they can more easily add these and other capabilities that help them respond quickly to current and future health, safety and security needs while delivering the best possible workplace experience.

Featured

  • Maximizing Your Security Budget This Year

    Perimeter Security Standards for Multi-Site Businesses

    When you run or own a business that has multiple locations, it is important to set clear perimeter security standards. By doing this, it allows you to assess and mitigate any potential threats or risks at each site or location efficiently and effectively. Read Now

  • Getting in Someone’s Face

    There was a time, not so long ago, when the tradeshow industry must have thought COVID-19 might wipe out face-to-face meetings. It sure seemed that way about three years ago. Read Now

    • Industry Events
    • ISC West
  • Live From ISC West 2024: Post-Show Recap

    ISC West 2024 is complete. And from start to finish, the entire conference was a huge success with almost 30,000 people in attendance. Read Now

    • Industry Events
    • ISC West
  • ISC West 2024 is a Rousing Success

    The 2024 ISC West security tradeshow marked a pivotal moment in the industry, showcasing cutting-edge technology and innovative solutions to address evolving security challenges. Exhibitors left the event with a profound sense of satisfaction, as they witnessed a high level of engagement from attendees and forged valuable connections with potential clients and partners. Read Now

    • Industry Events
    • ISC West

Featured Cybersecurity

Webinars

New Products

  • Connect ONE’s powerful cloud-hosted management platform provides the means to tailor lockdowns and emergency mass notifications throughout a facility – while simultaneously alerting occupants to hazards or next steps, like evacuation.

    Connect ONE®

    Connect ONE’s powerful cloud-hosted management platform provides the means to tailor lockdowns and emergency mass notifications throughout a facility – while simultaneously alerting occupants to hazards or next steps, like evacuation. 3

  • Mobile Safe Shield

    Mobile Safe Shield

    SafeWood Designs, Inc., a manufacturer of patented bullet resistant products, is excited to announce the launch of the Mobile Safe Shield. The Mobile Safe Shield is a moveable bullet resistant shield that provides protection in the event of an assailant and supplies cover in the event of an active shooter. With a heavy-duty steel frame, quality castor wheels, and bullet resistant core, the Mobile Safe Shield is a perfect addition to any guard station, security desks, courthouses, police stations, schools, office spaces and more. The Mobile Safe Shield is incredibly customizable. Bullet resistant materials are available in UL 752 Levels 1 through 8 and include glass, white board, tack board, veneer, and plastic laminate. Flexibility in bullet resistant materials allows for the Mobile Safe Shield to blend more with current interior décor for a seamless design aesthetic. Optional custom paint colors are also available for the steel frame. 3

  • HD2055 Modular Barricade

    Delta Scientific’s electric HD2055 modular shallow foundation barricade is tested to ASTM M50/P1 with negative penetration from the vehicle upon impact. With a shallow foundation of only 24 inches, the HD2055 can be installed without worrying about buried power lines and other below grade obstructions. The modular make-up of the barrier also allows you to cover wider roadways by adding additional modules to the system. The HD2055 boasts an Emergency Fast Operation of 1.5 seconds giving the guard ample time to deploy under a high threat situation. 3