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Author Bio ▼

Adam Bannister is a contributor to IFSEC Global, having been in the role of Editor from 2014 through to November 2019. Adam also had stints as a journalist at cybersecurity publication, The Daily Swig, and as Managing Editor at Dynamis Online Media Group.
February 10, 2016


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80% of Security Industry says Mobile Access Control Increases Vulnerability to Cyber Attacks

In our recent Access Control Report 2016, the security industry gave mixed feelings about the use of mobile devices in access control systems.

In The Access Control Report 2016: Legacy Infrastructure and Motivations for Upgrading, published in association with HID Global, 72% of respondents agreed that it is convenient to have identity data not only stored on a card but on multiple platforms (cards, keyfobs, mobile devices) to have more flexibility when new trends occur.

The Access Control Report 2016

The Access Control Report 2016, in partnership with HID Global

However, a large majority of 80% agreed that using smartphones, tablets or wearable tech to gain access increases an organisation’s vulnerability to cyber hacks.

55% agreed that using smartphones, tablets or wearable tech to gain access is a gimmick with little real operational benefit, while 44% agreed I expect staff to be resistant to, or unenthusiastic about, using their smartphones, tablets or wearable tech to gain access

But there was a significant dissenting voice among the survey responses. “The purpose of access control is usually to restrict access to approved users,” said one. “So long as credentials are transferrable these will remain system vulnerabilities.”

This was a problem that could be solved with biometrics systems, significant reservations about which we acknowledged earlier in the report. But “non-transferrable credentials such as biometric are perceived as invasions of privacy if upgrading from another system,” continued the aforementioned respondent.

The view from HID Global

“Smartphones are now an integral part of employees’ daily lives. Even if the security manager may just view this as ‘just another form factor’, for the end user it makes a substantial difference as it provides a hassle-free access control method, liberating them from the need to carry around a card or token. Smartphones can also store several virtual cards, further reducing the number of cards an individual has to carry.

“Smartphones also enable the use of other communication channels like Bluetooth, which brings a new experience to end users. For example, they can now open doors and gates securely from longer distances. Mobile credentials also simplify credential provisioning as there is no need to print and program cards. A digital ID is sent to an employee’s mobile phone in seconds, wherever the employee is, and it can be revoked remotely.”

Download the report here

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Alex Shamy
Alex Shamy
February 11, 2016 2:06 pm

Do you have any examples of security breaches in the BYOD access control space? I would argue that fobs and cards are even more vulnerable as they can easily be duplicated, passed back, and kept forever (a google search will show you how).

security in service
security in service
September 3, 2018 1:55 pm

nice moblie securty amazing accesss