What's New in Access Control?

By Enterprise Security Magazine | Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Access control has become an essential part of the commercial security systems to secure sensitive information. 

FREMONT, CA : In an era of rising security issues, the value of a trustworthy identity must be elevated by governments, companies, and property managers while balancing the need for an easy and reliable access. Physical and logical are the two primary forms of access control. Although physical access control restricts access to structures, rooms, and spaces within a building, logical access control enables access to resources, systems, folders, networks, and files for approved and authenticated staff.

The combination of physical and logical access control technology offers a higher degree of security, enabling businesses to restrict and monitor sensitive data and physical locations. Access control is an integral component of commercial security systems, ensuring safe and protected buildings, designated areas, and confidential information by restricting entry or limiting access.

Registered individuals might gain access to an entire building, protected region, networks, or workstations with the wave or swipe of a card, including resources that store confidential information about thousands or millions of individuals. Technological advances, such as wireless technology implementation, are improving access control.

Digital Identity is Key to Security

While technology continues to develop and advance, physical cards will continue to play a significant role in securely granting or restricting access, particularly in the health care and government sectors, when it comes to a trusted identity.

The integration of digital identity with a physical card is robust and offers multi-layered protection. The amount of customization occurring with access cards relies on what type of information and security is imposed on the card, like encoding unique data, certificates, and passwords on a smart card.

The most frequent access card for commercial and residential buildings is proximity, but it provides little security. An access card is the size of a credit card that usually lasts five to ten years before it must be replaced.

However, several factors, like the type of card substrate and personalization methods used, how the card is handled, and whether the card is immune to contaminants, abrasion, moisture, and ultraviolet light, influence the longevity and lifetime of the card. While the three types of access control cards, proximity, magnetic stripe, and smart, may look the same, there are significant differences in the technologies driving them. Many businesses have started to utilize prox cards instead of magnetic stripe cards.

The most recent development in the consumer segment of access control cards, smart cards, was challenging to replicate. Smart cards are more durable than magnetic strip and prox cards, and growth is substantial with a growing appetite for security solutions.

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