Looking Ahead: Top Issues Influencing the Access Control Market


Changes are taking place in the access control industry as enterprises across all industries are deploying new products aimed at improving productivity while increasing security.


Reflecting on this year and looking ahead to 2012, I have compiled the top ten issues that I believe are essential to understanding how individuals and businesses will use access control products moving forward.  These trends include:

1. The move to mobility. The emergence of near field communications (NFC) and other technologies is fueling the migration of access control technology to mobile platforms. The same basic access control methodology we've used for decades can now be embedded into smartphones and other mobile devices, and we can eliminate keys and cards virtually anywhere we need to unlock a door, gate, or drawer. This capability is built into next-generation access platforms such as HID’s standards-based, technology-independent Secure Identity Object (SIO) data structure.

2. The convergence of physical and logical access. Physical and logical access convergence improves security by enabling a single smart card to support multiple authentication methods while helping organizations meet regulatory requirements, enforce consistent policies, and drive consolidated audit logs throughout the enterprise, and cut cost by consolidating tasks.

3. Federal mandates that fuel more robust personal identification security. The Department of Homeland Security and the Office of Management and Budget has stipulated that, starting next fiscal year, physical and logical access control systems will have to be upgraded to use PIV credentials. Federal agencies must do this before using development and technology refresh funds to complete other activities. These systems must leverage smart card and biometric technology and support identification credentials.

4. The need for sustainable solutions. Organizations are facing mounting pressure to reduce costs while improving environmental accountability. The latest access control systems, and managed print services programs help fulfill these objectives. The choice of card and reader materials plays a big role, and many readers and secure print solutions are designed from the ground up for improved energy efficiency. Security professionals can also deploy greener projects by specifying access control solutions that support multiple technologies to avoid wholesale "rip and replacement" when it is time to upgrade.

5. The evolution of smarter smart cards. The rapid growth in smart card technology adoption will continue through 2012, as the convenience and cost of single-card solutions continue to drive demand. As they are used for more applications, today's smart cards carry more information that must be protected and they must be able to validate and secure identities. This has created an increasing demand for multiple layers of card security, including two-factor authentication and biometric templates, in addition to a number of new forms of higher card security.

Stay tuned for next week when I will discuss how issues such as the emergence of wireless locksets, the increased use of outsourcing and other issues are impacting the market.  Until then, I hope you have had a wonderful holiday season!