The evolution of access control systems has come a long way, beginning with employees using basic mag stripe ID cards and then moving to contactless badges to make the process easier and more convenient. Today, the proliferation of cloud computing has entered the physical access control market and is allowing organizations to develop a single, unified system that can be used in multiple branches around the world.
This is happening more and more often today and can be seen across a number of industries. In government, for example, the General Services Administration's Neil Smith Federal Building in Des Moines, Iowa, recently deployed an access control system run on cloud-based solutions to reduce the number of necessary on-site servers, according to a Contactless News report. As a result, the agency will be able to reduce IT expenses and other resources associated with maintaining premise-based equipment, while also ensuring their facilities are secure.
"Access control systems have been highly proprietary but we're moving away from that to open-source environments," access control expert John Piccininni said, according to Contactless News.
The trend to migrate systems to the cloud is being driven by several factors, including national standards that require organizations to leverage personal identity verification badges for access control.
In following this trend, the Neil Smith access control system is run on a GSA server in Kansas City and allows decision-makers to enroll existing or new credentials into the infrastructure. Once the enrollment process is finished, the data is moved to the cloud and gives individuals unique privileges in regard to door authentication in all GSA buildings run on the server, Contactless News noted.
"Any of those GSA buildings in the Kansas City region can basically jump on ... [the] system and they can do it at a lower cost," ID access and security expert Tom Corder said, according to the news provider. "And they don't have to bid out or evaluate other systems."
A separate report by Double Vision noted that cloud-based services for physical access control systems allow decision-makers to update and patch software automatically. In doing so, organizations can remain competitive and never worry about becoming obsolete by always having the most up-to-date solutions.
As the overall cloud computing market continues to mature and evolve, more security systems will migrate to the hosted environments to boost efficiency and enhance performance. While access control systems are only in the initial stages of doing so, the trend will likely occur more frequently in the future.