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December 12, 2023


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Safeguarding critical infrastructure: the dynamic duo of mobile credentials and cybersecurity

In an era dominated by digitalization, critical infrastructure relies heavily on cutting-edge technologies to enhance efficiency. Among these advancements, wireless security devices play a pivotal role in safeguarding crucial assets. However, the integration of such devices raises legitimate concerns about cybersecurity. This article delves into the realm of keyless access management for critical infrastructure, emphasizing how mobile credentials can be harnessed securely.

Evolution of Access: Digital Keys and Smartphones

Accessing locations, whether nearby or remote, has evolved with the integration of digital keys. The smartphone, a multifunctional tool for most employees, extends its capabilities to serve as a secure digital key or credential token to access critical infrastructure sites.

By prioritizing cybersecurity across all digital solutions, actions, and access points, mobile access can transform critical infrastructure into smarter, more connected, and safer environments. Cybersecurity encompasses devices, people, and practices, with trust playing a pivotal role in ensuring that employees and contractors use devices securely.

The Importance of Cybersecurity in the Digital Landscape

The importance of cybersecurity cannot be overstated in today’s interconnected and digital landscape. Cybercrime poses a dual threat in the form of data security breaches and sabotage, both of which can have severe consequences for individuals and organizations. As of 2022, the global average cost of data breaches reached 4.35 million U.S. dollars, highlighting the pressing need for robust cybersecurity measures (Statista).

Security, safety, and operational managers in critical infrastructure face unique challenges, requiring complete situational awareness. The need for uninterrupted services 24/7, coupled with the protection of assets and personnel, underscores the complexity of their responsibilities. Amid these challenges, understanding and comparing cybersecurity aspects of available solutions can be daunting, making it crucial to stay informed about the latest threats and developments in cybersecurity.

Layers of Security and Security Features in Mobile Credentials

Mobile credentials offer layers of security through collaboration between device manufacturers and mobile network providers. The digital credential itself is encrypted within the device, ensuring that data remains incomprehensible to unauthorized entities. Advanced cryptography and privacy protection, such as ASSA ABLOY’s Seos®-based credentials, further enhance the security posture of mobile credentials.

Device safety is bolstered by existing smartphone security features, including fingerprint and face ID, along with additional authentication measures within the credential app and solution. Behavioral protection, inherent in the likelihood of noticing a missing phone before realizing the loss of a key, adds another layer of security to wireless and mobile access solutions.

Essential Cybersecurity Layers

Implementing essential cybersecurity layers is paramount for enhancing physical security. Three critical procedures — encryption, authentication, and authorization — form the foundation of effective cybersecurity measures.

Encryption conceals information by encoding or scrambling data, protecting it from unauthorized access during transmission. Authentication verifies the user and the access management system, ensuring secure access rights. Authorization determines user permissions within an application or with received data, further tightening physical security.

Asymmetric Encryption and System Resilience

Asymmetric encryption, a method utilized by the keyless solution, ensures unique encryption of access right data from point to point. In an end-to-end encrypted security channel, data traveling between the management system, lock, and smartphone undergoes multiple instances of encryption. Each BEAT lock is uniquely encrypted with a private key, safeguarding against the compromise of a single lock affecting the entire system.

In conclusion, the integration of wireless technology in keyless access management for critical infrastructure holds immense potential. By prioritizing cybersecurity and implementing robust measures, such as encryption, authentication, and authorization, stakeholders can navigate the complexities of safeguarding assets and personnel in an increasingly digitalized world. As the threat landscape evolves, staying informed about the latest advancements in cybersecurity will be crucial for ensuring the resilience and security of critical infrastructure.

For a comprehensive understanding of the opportunities of keyless solutions, explore the ABLOY BEAT and brochure.


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