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Assistant Editor, IFSEC Insider & SHP

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Rhianna Sexton is IFSEC Insider's Assistant Editor. Rhianna manages and uploads content, carries out interviews with leading figures in the fire and security sector, and reports on the latest news and events from the industry. Rhianna is also Assistant Editor of IFSEC Insider's sister title, SHP.
July 13, 2022


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Access control

Mobile access and sustainability – Key trends ahead for physical access control

In a recent IFSEC Global webinar, we heard the thoughts of two physical security experts as we discussed the recent results of the IFSEC Global Physical Access Control report 2022. Matt Haynes, Business Development Director at HID Global and Mark Rowan, Managing Director at QCIC explored the current and future trends and challenges the industry faces in 2022.

The 2022 Physical Access Control report is based from the results of our survey to security, IT and facilities professionals, with over 1000 responses from across North America, EMEA and the Asia Pacific regions.

Download the 2022 Physical Access Control report for free to see the full findings >>

IFSEC Global Editor, James Moore, who wrote the report, said “the findings represent an excellent global perspective of the current physical access control landscape”.

Key trends in access control

When discussing key trends in access control, Matt commented on how the last 24 months with COVID-19 had been unprecedented and that he has seen a move towards newer credential technology, in particular, with mobile access. He also mentioned an increase in “the adoption of more secure technology like ODSP” between the reader and controller. This change, according to Matt, being part of an “overall drive” in general for increased security standards across end-to-end access control systems.

Similarly, Mark said that “technology is driving” most trends in access control. One focus has been on user experience of people coming into a building and moving around internally, with Mark saying this has become of more interest in an “increasingly contactless” post-pandemic world.

Another trend for Mark is that there is a greater appreciation of the access control system as delivering more valuable ROI, particularly with the introduction of more cloud-based management systems. For the management of systems with clients, Mark said it is “all about” the use of data – getting data to the right people quickly so that they could make informed decisions.

How effectively do current PACS systems meet organisational requirements? 

The report found that 47% of professionals said that their PACS (Physical Access Control System) satisfies their essential requirements, however only 5% agreed that it meets or exceeds current and planned requirements.

Mark discussed that clients now have “more visibility” of what they need access control for, and during the pandemic, the “expectation of the system” they thought they had wasn’t met. Therefore, access control systems have to “work harder” to ensure they are  up to date and meets clients’ expanding needs.

Matt agreed with this, commenting on how older systems may not have all the “features and functionality” available, which does not allow for access control to be “utilised” to the data demands of the client.

Mobile access control and sustainability 

According to the report, there has been a growth in demand for mobile access control systems. In 2020, 16% of the industry had already upgraded mobile readers – in 2022 this has now risen to 24%, while 42% of industry professionals are still planning to upgrade.

Matt discussed how using your phone to access and navigate around a building also becomes part of the “user experience” which should be seamless in the virtual environment. Phone use is now “core” to every aspect of our lives – including in the workplace. Mark also added that a mobile access system is easier to “manage and regulate”, compared to biometrics such as facial recognition, which may have more obstacles, such as legal challenges.

Matt elaborated on how it could be beneficial having virtual mobile credentials for numerous reasons:

  • It is easier to issue a digital credential remotely, instead of having them physically come into the office to receive a card/access
  • For added security, you are “less likely” to give someone your phone to gain access to an area, but you are more likely to do so when it is a physical card
  • A sustainable factor is it reduces the production and shipping of plastic access cards

To this last point, the report highlighted that 19% of professionals think that security can play a role in sustainability. Mark explained that sustainability is becoming a key question for security departments, as he covered how an access control system and installation can be as sustainable as possible. For example, an integrated system can reveal the utilisation of a building and whether it is working as efficiently as possible for the business. On a “micro-level” every piece of access control material in the building is becoming “accountable” for sustainability.

Watch the webinar back in full and hear more from Matt Haynes and Mark Rowan, here.


Keep up with the wireless access control market

Download this free report to find out more about:

  • The current state of wireless access control solutions in the market
  • The rising popularity of mobile access control
  • Awareness of cyber security regulations and how this relates to access control
  • The growing use of the cloud and ACaaS to manage access systems
  • How your choice of access control solution can impact sustainability

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