Technology evolves quickly. Information technology and computing power have been estimated to have increased in volume by 30,000 times in the 30 years or so since the inception of the worldwide internet. Devices and systems that today are older than ten years are likely outdated and possibly cumbersome. In many cases, Physical Access Control Systems (PACS) designed to protect people, processes, information and material during past decades have remained in operation largely because a system redesign has been perceived to be expensive. And since these PACS are independent of company IT systems, developers were not involved with disconnected physical security elements of the company.
Physical Access Control Systems can become outmoded vulnerable. Newer methods of identification have evolved that are more specific to the individual rather than a hand-held ID card. A review of the existing access control architecture can encourage businesses reassess and plan to keep pace with the technology growth. Newer PACS have been designed to identify individuals by specific characteristics or coding that cannot be duplicated. And the data can be continually transmitted to a central location from any remote access point in the company, no matter how many locations and how great the distances.
1. PAC Conformance with IT Protocols and Future Planning Because traditional hardware-based access systems operate independent of company IT systems, a technological gap has emerged that cannot be closed without a complete redesign of systems. Cloud-based applications can be extended to security systems and access control to manage and protect people and systems.
2. Individual-Specific Identification Newer PAC Systems are able to memorize and detect specific individual biometric characteristics of security-approved individuals. These may include iris or retina scanning, fingerprints and even heartbeat patterns and other features that are unique to individual and may be monitored by camera and/or microphone. This technique eliminates the risk of entry cards falling into the wrong hands.
3. Remote Management With integrated systems, enhanced levels of control during crises, threats or operational conditions can be addressed throughout the company or in specific areas of concern. Situational awareness and enhanced video surveillance are key components of upgrading physical access control. In a fully integrated PAC System, centralized control can monitor all elements of the physical and informational network using state-of-the-art imaging and motion technology. With remote monitoring, people, space and equipment can be isolated from general access and visual monitoring may be conducted.
4. Employ Personal Smart Devices With the properly equipped systems, devices such as smartphones can be used as electronic access cards for personal access. An access code can be encrypted into the individual’s device, similar to a smartphone airline boarding pass, to trigger access. Adoption of personal devices, also known as BYOD (Bring Your Own Devices) for access simplifies the process and eliminates the cost of other access devices. Authorization can be withdrawn instantly when necessary. Server-based real-time decisions can be actualized also. High-speed servers may incorporate instant and real-time people and object behavior analysis that can identify threats or some other potential compromise such as firearms or other potentially dangerous intrusions.
5. Safety Threat The affordability and degree of difficulty to integrate a more robust security system are secondary to the potential threat to human safety and the cost of property destruction. But with proper planning, integrating a fully-functioning and enhanced PAC System into an existing IT system should result in a cost-of-ownership-over-time that is relatively minor. Future technological advances in PAC should be easy to accomplish since the system is part of the overall IT network.