- By Ralph C. Jensen
- Jul 01, 2016
That proxy card or smartphone you are using is probably
one of the most insecure devices on the planet. The question
most frequently asked is if this technology can be secured.
Thankfully, it can.
The use of smartphones is on the rise; almost everybody has one
and it’s the one thing you don’t leave lying around. That doesn’t mean
the smartphone is safe and secure. In fact, smartphones can be some of the easiest
devices to break into. There are a few solutions that provide a near unhackable
profile; Steve Van Till is introducing another.
Van Till is the president and CEO of Brivo, a company he founded in 1999.
Brivo is a provider of cloud-based access control and video surveillance systems;
Van Till brought the technology to the physical security industry with the delivery
of cloud access control in 2002. He is now on another mission to revolutionize the
strength of the smartphone. His goal is to open doors with the smartphone and
eliminate the need for physical cards and readers.
That may seem like a hit below the belt to some security manufacturers, but
once again, the smartphone is something a person most always has with them, if
not in their hand already.
In September, Van Till introduced the Brivo Mobile Pass, available for both
the iOS and Android. He believes this will usher in a new level of convenience for
the user and the ability to access secured areas with a mobile device. His thoughts
are that Mobile Pass will eliminate the
need for physical keycards and readers.
Here is how the Brivo Mobile Pass
works. It is a cloud-based mobile credential
that is a feature of the Brivo
OnAir platform. The OnAir administrator
selects a user and creates the
mobile pass invitation, which is delivered
via email. The user clicks “add”
in the email to activate the mobile
credential on their phone. The user
can now open doors as if they would
have a keycard. Brivo’s cloud authentication
is far more secure because of
the cloud-based authentication and
requires no hardware changes.
“It is really quite simple as our app
will sit on your smartphone and talk to
the cloud,” Van Till said. “The cloud
then talks to the lock. No hardware
required and users can instantly generate
and distribute mobile credentials
to open doors.”
Security analyst firm IHS has indicated
that by 2020, 25 percent of all
credentials will be mobile platformbased.
In fact, mobile credentials are
becoming a mega-trend globally.
IHS expects that the bulk of the installations
will first come in the hospitality/
resorts and residential markets.
IHS also expects that universities will
be early adopters, while SMEs and large enterprise continue to learn how to deploy
the technology among existing workers most efficiently.
“We believe we’re the undisputed leader in this field,” Van Till said. “Of course
there are other players in this endeavor, but we have the technology in place. The
end user will be the ones that determine individual policy.
“Naturally, we’ve invested a lot in encryption and cyber security for this new service.
When designing it, we recognized that cloud-based authentication is a very well
understood field, with rich solutions that work well in banking, electronic signatures,
and the like. We chose to adopt these proven secure applications over the much less
developed technologies that are using Bluetooth or NFC door readers, to provide
our customers with an easy to use plug and play solution.”
On the playing field, HID Global and ECKey, are working in this vertical.
You should also consider that players such as Apple and Google have a keen
interest in developing this application, as well. Van Till said with their hundreds
of engineers working on this they will become the undisputed leaders, but the
technology that comes from Silicon Valley will most certainly bleed over into the
“We are going to see more amazing technology merge out of the Silicon Valley,
and we’ll be able to leverage the work that is discovered there,” Van Till said.
This article originally appeared in the July 2016 issue of Security Today.