Using smartphones as keys for access control

John Allen, Business Development Manager Access Control, Axis Communications

Mobile devices are everywhere. The number of mobile phone users alone was forecast to reach over 4.7 billion this year, with more than 60 per cent of the world’s population already owning one. Around two out of every three business people today are using mobile devices such as smartphones for an ever more diverse set of applications.

One application that we’re seeing growth in is for mobile-enabled workforces to use smartphones and mobile devices as keys to gain access to secured buildings, rooms and areas.

According to a report from Gartner, ‘Predicts 2017: Identity and Access Management’, around 20 per cent of organisations expect to adapt use of smartphones as an option to traditional physical access cards by 2020. In 2016, just 5 per cent of organisations used smartphones to enable access.

One reason for the high expected growth for the usage of smartphones as digital access control keys is that mobile technology is already widely used for identification, authentication, authorisation and accountability in computer information systems. Another reason is that using mobile devices as keys aligns perfectly with the mobile-first preferences of today’s workforces.

Using mobile devices as keys not only delivers a convenient user-experience. It also helps boost operational efficiency and satisfaction of today’s mobile-enabled workforces. As important, it represents a more cost-effective, simpler way for companies to manage identification credentials as it eliminates numerous manual tasks related to handling, printing, distributing and disposing of physical identity badges.

All of this is evidence that underpins the strong growth opportunity for mobile access control.

Security and future flexibility

Axis mobile access control solutions deliver the high levels of security and privacy protection. They ensure you send encrypted data as well as protect identity data throughout the lifecycle of the mobile credential.

As important, the mobile access control solution ensures you of flexibility and interoperability to match your present and future business requirements and systems.

That is because it’s being built on open, IP-based architecture, APIs and technologies. For instance, both Axis Entry Manager and our third-party partner software allow you to allocate, manage and revoke multiple credential types.

Integration with HID Global

Our HID mobile access control integration enables a security administrator to digitally set the system up, add new users as well as issue, manage and revoke mobile IDs via AXIS Entry Manager. The administrator can add new users one at a time or in batches.

The administration simply adds an end user’s email address to the system, which then sends the user an invitation with instructions on how to install the app as well as use the activation code to securely provision the mobile ID from the cloud servers. The end user’s mobile ID is ready for use as soon as he or she downloads and activates the HID Mobile Access App.

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