06 December 2022
Technology is always advancing, and the challenges presented
by the last few years have spurred this development on, insisting on new
solutions to new problems. This article takes a look at access control changes
we can expect to see during 2023 based on current trends.
Mobile credentials are in a great position to replace the
traditional card fobs as a means of allowing access and entry to a physical
location and come with several benefits over their predecessors.
Firstly, traditional card fobs are easily lost. This
presents a security problem as the lost cards can be used by non-authorised
personnel, meaning valuable goods or sensitive information is in jeopardy. Card
and fobs are also easily forgotten by staff, meaning temporary passes need to
be provided for those employees who have left their card fobs elsewhere,
requiring extra admin time.
Having a mobile badge on an employee’s or contractor’s phone
greatly minimises the risk of their access device being lost or left at home,
as many people simply will not leave the house, or even the room, without their
Many card and fobs are also unencrypted making them very
easy to clone if in the wrong hands. A mobile credential is much more secure in
this regard and thus provides a greater level of security. There is often a
password or biometric challenge to open the phone adding yet another level of
In environmental terms, the words reduce, re-use and recycle
often spring up. Reducing the number of plastic cards is good for the
environment. Plastic card and fobs are not particularly eco-friendly and many
end up in landfills. Opting for a digital solution to access control with no
waste has an environmental benefit. This is the re-using the mobile phone for
additional functions. There is also a financial cost to both physical
and virtual credentials but with mobile phones being less likely to be lost
there is a reduction in waste and therefore replacement costs.
Mobile access control also allows remote management in that
the security team are able to issue credentials as required, without having to
physically give or take a card to an employee in a work environment, or a
student in a university setting. If a phone is lost, the credential can still
be managed to remove access rights but with the added security of the phone
probably having a secondary password to prevent entry to the app.
A step beyond digital credentials is to use biometric
technologies in access control. This is already common in smartphones with
facial recognition technology unlocking the phone and granting the user access
to their digital wallet, preceded by fingerprint scanning. Other forms of
biometric access include voice and iris recognition software.
Biometric access is seen to be one of the biggest growing
trends in 2023 and beyond. A ReportLinker study found that the global biometric access control system market is
expected to grow by over $3.5bn between 2022 and 2026, with one of the main
driving factors being the use of multimodal biometrics, i.e. the use of more
than one biometric authenticator used in combination.
As well as being more convenient for the user, biometric
access control is much more secure than using card or fobs. It’s incredibly difficult
for biometric information to be replicated or for readers to be tricked for
access. Voice, iris and facial recognition technology, and even contactless
fingerprinting, also allow for touch-free access. Fuelled by the demand for
contactless technologies during the pandemic, these access methods are far more
popular and available in the market.
Access control of course also relates to digital property
such as data, not just physical access. Cloud systems allow for the remote
storage of data in a virtual location without the need for bulky physical storage
units on site.
Cloud systems also enable system administrators to manage data
access from anywhere; not only is this an incredibly useful ability in this hybrid
working era, but it also means management can facilitate access changes from
one site across their entire network. This hub-like way of working reduces the
need for multiple security offices performing the same tasks by centralising access
Data held in cloud systems is automatically encrypted,
adding an additional layer of security.
Because of these data and commercial benefits, cloud
computing is only expected to grow moving forward. An October 2022 study by Gartner found that global spending on cloud services is
forecast to grow by over 20.7% from $490bn in 2022 to $591bn in 2023, more than
2022’s forecast growth of 18.8%.
Older access systems may still do what they’ve always done
perfectly well but are simply unable to interface with newer systems, causing
an organisation’s security efforts to be held back. As discussed above, the plastic
cards associated with legacy security systems have plenty of security drawbacks
(easily mislaid and easily cloned) and so these legacy systems will need to be
replaced in the coming years.
How these legacy systems will be replaced will be determined
by the unique needs of each business. However, companies that are interested in
futureproofing their access control systems will look to solutions that can
integrate with other security systems and cloud accessible applications.
Integrating with other systems allows for automated
notifications, faster and easier management of providing and revoking access,
and end-to-end data governance.
How TouchStar ATC can help
We are a provider of access control, time and attendance,
and CCTV solutions, with a focus on keeping your sensitive and valuable
property secure, whether it is physical goods or important data. For more
information, get in touch with