Staying Safe by Staying Ahead

Staying Safe by Staying Ahead

Taking a quick look at emerging technologies and other issues

Security and safety in a fluid world of potential threats will always be a work in progress – an effort that requires our industry to be ever-vigilant, constantly leveling up and proactive in the development of even better solutions.

Currently, there is an intense focus on cybersecurity, AI, and access control. As technologies advance, it is increasingly critical to ensure connected physical security solutions such as electronic access control stay hardened against cyber-attacks and other breaches.

Another critical issue is data protection and governance. Concerns about how data is used and shared continue to grow as we learn more about how tools like Google, ChatGPT, or other resources that use generative models are potentially using and storing data in unsafe ways. As a result, it is necessary to use extra caution when querying about something that could involve personally identifiable information, proprietary data, or classified content.

What is Emerging?
There are several technologies and issues that will have the biggest impact on electronic security over the next few years. Topping that list right now are mobile computing, the cloud and more integration among various devices and technologies, which will provide synergies from the combination of different datasets.

The cloud. People can manage costs in a very linear way by reducing or eliminating the need to build another new data center. It provides elasticity so organizations can expand or reduce computing capacity as needed.

That nimbleness is why movement to the cloud has greatly accelerated. Whether it’s a publicly or privately hosted solution, an on-premises cloud, or a hybrid, there’s now a huge push to use this technology in the security industry due to its clear scalability and cost-efficiency benefits.

Mobile. This method influences the security marketplace more than ever, especially in electronic access control solutions where mobile credentials provide a new level of security and convenience. Not only do mobile credentials offer an added layer of protection because of their devices’ built-in biometric verification ability, but they’re also far less likely to be lost, forgotten, loaned or even stolen compared to cards and fobs.

As mobile wallets become more widely used for payment and access for other applications like flights and other ticketed events, there are growing expectations to use them for everything, including door access. This can range from traditional doors to package delivery and workplace lockers and file, medication, and server cabinets.

There is also the possibility of temporary mobile access control functionality that allows people to delegate rights to phones which can access their personal cars or even a rental, much like many of us currently can at our offices and homes. There is also the potential opportunity for better sensing technology and GPS integration to recognize when a vehicle is traveling at an unsafe speed for the road, weather, and traffic conditions of a particular location. That connectivity could then automatically trigger the vehicle to safely slow down.

Integration of data. Access control, sensors, and other devices into applications like building management systems continues to be a growing need. It probably presents the biggest opportunity for innovation in the security industry. Using the data that we create from all the sensors and devices allows us to make better real estate space decisions, improve energy efficiency, and take security data beyond security.

Wireless. Another technology that continues to grow in the security industry is wireless. Wireless electronic locks and access control solutions are now helping end-users to overcome budget constraints because the technology streamlines the installation process, significantly reducing labor and time, requires fewer materials, and is more cost-effective to adopt.

Biometrics and more. There will likely be a fusion of access technologies in the very near future. It could be advanced touchless/contactless opening solutions that incorporate improved biometric access credentials like approved facial recognition. In addition to the prospect of more individualized security and easier access, facial recognition offers another level of hands-free assistance for those with disabilities and mobility issues where using phone or card credentials can be cumbersome.

Incorporating biometrics complements our company’s already growing array of solutions specifically designed for more inclusive and equitable access: paddle trim that can be easily pushed with a forearm or elbow to open a door instead of levers or knobs that have to be turned; wave-to-open sensors for automatic door openers; and hold-open sensing and devices to make sure people have enough time to pass through.

Voice and video. These solutions are expected to play a larger role, especially in building and security management. Consider instances where a contractor, dog walker, or guest is expected to arrive when a resident is unable to be at home. By being able to converse and see who is at the door remotely, that resident can then confidently and securely grant access. This also creates yet another opportunity to use security data. For example, it allows companies like us to leverage sensing data and analytics to inform our door security solutions and building management.

Sustainability. As our industry moves forward with innovating new security solutions and products, it’s important to do so with a strong focus on sustainability. As awareness about the impact of the built environment grows, there is an ever-greater demand for green building materials and lofty expectations for transparency about what goes into our products.

Just like staying ahead of emerging technologies, innovating sustainable solutions is an essential part of ensuring a safer, more secure future and providing resilience for our customers’ installations.

This article originally appeared in the September / October 2023 issue of Security Today.

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