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How OSDP is changing the access control market

OSDP, or Open Supervised Device Protocol, is an access control communications standard designed to improve interoperability among access control and security products, and it’s becoming the new standard for access control technology. According to The Security Industry Association (SIA), the product is more secure than the most common access control communications protocol and supports high-end AES-128 encryption, which is required in federal government applications. In addition, OSDP meets federal access control standards such as Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) for Federal Identity Credential and Access Management (FICAM).

Paul Ahern, president and CEO of Cypress Integration Solutions, said that as this technology starts to become the standard, Cypress is finding ways to step into the market, primarily by reaching out to a global OSDP market.

Ahern has personally been working with OSDP for about eight years. The technology is not brand new, but it has recently started becoming more mainstream. When the market for key card access control systems grew rapidly, manufacturers did not have much time to focus on how to make the system as secure as possible, Ahern said. In the process, some of the security a physical key brought was lost, and now, OSDP is bringing that security back to the market.

While the technology is easily accessible in the U.S., there is a serious gap in the global OSDP market, according to Ahern.

“OSDP is a new standard in the industry that’s being adopted as a more secure way of communicating in access control of security systems,” Ahern said. “We’ve kind of taken a lead role in developing products that will allow that technology to go forward and allow end users, integrators and manufacturers to speed up adoption of that new protocol, or that new standard.”

In the past few years, Ahern has been traveling to global trade shows in an evangelizing mode to see if the market needed what the company had to offer in terms of OSDP. Based on those efforts, he said the company has been able to grow business significantly overseas, bringing them into the global market just by talking to individuals.

To continue these efforts and grow the success of the global market push, Cypress decided to exhibit globally at the IFSEC International Security Event & Conference in London this past summer. It was the first time Cypress exhibited outside of the United States.

”We thought, if we’re going to be serious about this, we need to let everybody know what’s going on,” Ahern said. “So, we decided this year was going to be our first year to do an international show.”

Many of the questions Ahern was asked at IFSEC were in regards to OSDP. Companies in attendance were wondering where Cypress saw the OSDP market going and how they could be more successful in implementing this protocol.

“I’m hearing more and more questions about [OSDP],” Ahern said. “People are starting to take it more seriously, and it’s something that we’re passionate about getting out to the market.”

With so many questions surrounding the technology, Ahern said it’s an excellent time to step into the market and address the concerns on a global level. To do this, Cypress is developing products to make it easier for organizations to adopt the standard globally.

Ahern said one of the steps the company has taken to ensure the products can be used internationally is to make sure the wireless frequencies they use on their wireless products are allowed in countries overseas. In addition, the company makes sure that it sources the connectors they ship overseas.

This is one of the primary goals of Cypress’ current research and development for future products. The company is continuously studying the development of OSDP and the adoption of the technology in hopes of discovering easy migrations paths from older technologies to OSDP. This will allow for easy transitions of technology for organizations and companies around the world.

“We’ve been successful in the U.S. market for 36 years, we’ve been somewhat successful in the European market for about eight years, and we’re just seeing a great opportunity now,” Ahern said. “We think it’s the right time to strike.”

This article originally appeared in the October 2019 issue of Security Today.

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