The components making up access control systems have evolved during the past several years, moving beyond traditional magnetic swipe ID cards. Instead, many corporations are leveraging near-field communications, which has allowed them to authenticate an individual's identity through a variety of devices, including contactless ID cards and smartphones, according to a report by A&S Magazine.
"This new way of thinking is driving fundamental changes in how we deliver and manage secured identities," Tam Hulusi of HID Global said, according to A&S Magazine. "Today's new form factors for credentials improve user convenience and flexibility but they also raise questions about how to ensure that all identities can be trusted."
Controversy grows in the evolving access control industry
One of the biggest questions in identity management today is whether or not access control systems can properly distinguish fraudulent and verified identification, the news source said. If an individual is using an NFC-enabled smartphone, for example, some pundits are unsure if the access control system can determine if the identity on the phone is being used by the real person.
On the other hand, it may be easier to manage NFC-based smartphones as identity authentication devices since they are digital and are more valued by end users.
"At a minimum, users will be far more likely to notice and report a lost phone carrying a portable identity credential than they would a missing card," Hulusi said, according to A&S Magazine. "Additionally, NFC phones with embedded keys and credentials will make it easier to efficiently modify security parameters."
Most access control systems available today require two-factor authentication, which most often come in the form of an ID badge and a PIN. By using NFC-enabled smartphones, decision-makers can enhance these processes during times of heightened security and make them operate in real time, which was not possible with plastic cards, A&S Magazine reported.
A separate report by MarketsandMarkets forecast the NFC applications market to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 35 percent through 2016, eventually generating more than $34 billion in revenue. This increase will largely be attributed to the use of NFC-enabled smartphones and evolution of access control systems.
As these changes continue to take place throughout the public and private sectors, the secure capabilities will likely become more advanced, encouraging more decision-makers to use NFC for access control.