Access control – Part 2 of 5

Mobility, biometrics and the transition from physical to virtual security

Mobility, face recognition and a move towards IT– these are some of the major trends in access control right now.

Mobility, face recognition and a move towards IT– these are some of the major trends in access control right now.

Mobility, face recognition and a move towards IT– these are some of the major trends in access control right now according to the industry professionals who spoke with Detektor/ recently.

Servaas Kamerling, Product Director EMEA, UTC, believes that one of the major trends in access control is that the market is growing closer to the world of IT and that there is greater flexibility when using the systems.

“In the past security used to belong to the security management team. What we are seeing now, is that the users are exponentially growing. People like department heads and HR managers are becoming involved in the decision making for access control. An HR department can create credentials and the department manager can approve access for an employee, it does not necessarily need to be the security manager”, he says.

Mobile solutions

Servaas Kamerling also stresses that many people want to use smart phones to increase mobility and flexibility. Jaroslav Barton, Director of Product Marketing, PACS, HID, stresses that one of the main trends is moving away from RFID cards into smart phones. He says: “Smart phones are used by nearly everyone today and they provide high levels of security, you can store your ID information in it and smart phones can provide a level of security similar to that of a high security ID card.”

Antoine Larrera de Morel, Sales Director, Stid Group, thinks the biggest trend is the transition from physical to virtual security, thanks to the development of mobile applications for access control and replacing cards with mobile solutions.

Detektor International previously noted that mobile credentials grew by almost 150 percent between 2017 and 2018, and IHS Markit believes the download of mobile credentials will increase from 9.8 million in 2019 to 120 million in 2023.

Integration with video surveillance

Gary Harmer, Sales Director for Hikvision in the UK, says many end users want to integrate access control into a video surveillance solution.

“So if there is an event on an access control system, such as a door forced open, you can get the associated video”, he says.

Baudouin Genouville, Suprema’s Business Development Director for EMEA, lists some features he believes are required in order to succeed in the market:

“You need to have a system that is open, that can integrate with video, and not just with your own brand but with others available on the market. The software must be web based and it must be cyber secure. And you need to be able to provide mobile credentials”, he says.

Biometrics more common

Biometric readers are expected to grow in the coming years. There is a lot of talk both about fingerprint and facial recognition.

“In the past, biometrics were used for access control only to a small extent. We were only protecting the cash rooms and the R&D centres where there is some very specific knowledge. Now we see more and more companies using biometrics as a main technology for identification and opening doors”, says Baudouin Genouville.

He believes that fingerprint readers are faster, smoother and cheaper than face recognition readers and 95 percent of Suprema’s sales are fingerprint readers. Baudouin Genouville estimates that the price of a face recognition reader has been about ten times as high as a card reader and 2.5 times a fingerprint reader, but that they recently launched a face recognition reader at the same price as a fingerprint reader.

”Not 100 per cent secure”

When it comes to biometrics, Vanderbilt President David Sullivan prefers face recognition to fingerprint readers. “That is because of the speed of development we are seeing. There is no physical action, you literally can walk towards it, it sees you, it unlocks. If it does not recognise you it does not”, he says.

Jaroslav Barton believes that biometric solutions that are seamless and user friendly will be most popular in the future. He says: “From this point of view face recognition sounds perfect, however, facial recognition solutions today are not 100 per cent secure, and they are still very expensive.”

Two-factor authentication

Servaas Kamerling believes there will be a mix of face recognition and fingerprint in the future. The choice depends on what is most convenient for the specific application. He says: “A card is very quick, when you go to biometrics there is always a level of implementation, and throughput time and depending on where you store the templates, it can become more complex. However, biometrics has improved and has really become a consistent component that is part of the overall secure IT system, whether that be for single access control or for dual authentication.”

Antoine Larrera de Morel believes that the trend is that facial recognition is often used as a second technology in twofactor authentication. ”With facial recognition installed, you will be recognised no matter whether you want it or not”, he says.

And the integrity issue is something that has been debated lately, for example, both in the EU and in the US and probably even more in the future.

Note: This editorial article has primarily been produced for the security trade magazine Detektor in collaboration with

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