Access Control in the Midst of an IP Revolution
- By Mitchell Kane
- Aug 01, 2015
Given the prevalence of IP-enabled devices
in video surveillance today, it is
reasonable to surmise the adoption of
network technology will follow a similar
path in access control. However, the pace
of innovation in the access control market
tends to be much slower than the rest of
the physical security industry. Access control
systems—including panels, software, readers and other
peripheral devices—can be highly proprietary and embedded
within the organizations they serve, which may make it
difficult to integrate with other systems.
The demand for IP-centric access control systems and a trend
toward more ‘open’ solutions are having a distinct effect on the
market. End users now realize the tremendous cost savings by
implementing an IP-based access control system in which devices,
such as door sensors and card/badge readers, connect directly to
the network and work well with other systems.
One of the biggest reasons why more users are making the
transition to a IP is because of advancements in locking technology,
specifically with online and wireless locks. Online locks
provide end users with various types of advanced functionality,
such as remote system management and administration, and automatic
alerts following alarm events. With access points becoming
another piece of data to be analyzed in the evolving ‘Internet
of Things’ technology landscape, the benefits of online locks are
significant. Locks can be either wired or wireless depending on
the need of the application or the user, increasing flexibility and
return-on-investment (ROI). In places where running wire may
be cost-prohibitive or where time is a crucial factor, wireless locks
are a great alternative.
In addition to the evolution in technologies, however, there
are also significant changes in the industry overall. IT departments
are increasingly being tasked with making decisions about
the security technology solutions being purchased, as well as how
these devices will be implemented throughout the organization.
According to a recent report from IHS, IT integrators and IT departments
will play an increasingly large role in physical security
deployments. And since access control can help flag anomalies in
behavior, it too will be a critical component for helping IT departments
protect physical and digital assets.
IT will continue to drive the industry towards tighter integrations
between access control and other systems on the network.
This applies not only to other security systems, but to building
management systems and human resources software platforms,
for example. Access control vendors will need to embrace open
standards and ideas to ensure long-term scalability.
What if you could take an access control database and integrate
it with other open software solutions, such as an event management
system, so that users could not only use it for ingress and
egress within a facility but also reserve a conference room for a
designated time slot? That and other types of advanced capabilities
are achievable today for those willing to think outside the box.
The access control market is and will continue to become
more IP-based in the years to come. As businesses look to adapt
their access control solutions to fit this, they will look closely at
these new developments so as to not be left behind.
This article originally appeared in the August 2015 issue of Security Today.