Access control trends
Alongside the increased protection of valuable data, including personal details, access control needs to include the tracking and registration of all individuals entering and leaving a premises in light of social distancing regulations. Companies are jumping onto a number of innovative forms of access control as a way to ensure on-site safety and security. Here is a look at some event and access control trends emerging in 2021.
Access control trends to expect in 2021
1. Cloud-based security
Cybersecurity has become a top priority for businesses, with access control at the forefront of prevention measures. A dominant trend in this arena is the use of cloud-based access control because of the enhanced security, operational improvements, and the benefit of multi-site management. The latter is particularly useful for bigger organisations with multiple branches that require elevated security measures. Through cloud-based access control, there is no need to alert branches about arrivals days in advance, and all sites can be easily managed using a single system.
2. Event wristbands
Amidst the ongoing pandemic, there has been a massive spike in the use of event wristbands as an additional means of access control across all sectors of society. Educational centres, healthcare facilities, businesses and even shopping centres are using event screening wristbands as a way to monitor individuals who’ve been screened, as well as the number of people in any one space. This trend is likely to carry over into 2021, with access control wristbands returning to big events once those are allowed to go ahead. In terms of event wristband types, the most commonly used ones are the Tyvek (also known as paper) wristbands, as well as the vinyl bands for extended use. Both types can be written on in permanent marker, and are non-transferrable because of the safety clasp.
3. Real-time location services (RTLS)
Following the disruption of the past year, organisations are getting much more prepared for the likelihood of an emergency situation, and the need to track and trace individuals at any given moment. Some of the RTLS technologies that are trending include radio frequency identification (RFID), WiFi, Bluetooth, infrared and cellular as ways to track and trace. RFID wristbands are increasingly being used by corporations and government for contact tracing.
4. Biometric technology
In the low-touch economy, access control is also pivoting towards a touchless solution, and where fingerprint access was once the preferred method of biometric access, there’s a definite rise in facial recognition technology. In addition to being a touchless access control option, facial recognition is believed to be a more reliable form of access. The technology was previously limited by cost and privacy issues, but these are falling by the wayside as contactless technology becomes essential. Alongside facial recognition, other forms of biometric technology to watch out for are iris, palm, vein, voice and touchless fingerprints.
5. Smartphone access
The prevalence of smartphones in even the poorest of communities, as well as the enhanced technological features associated with this mobile device, has allowed for the incorporation of smartphones into access control. Rather than using access control cards and disks, companies are increasingly using smartphone connectivity instead. As with modern biometric access control trends, smartphone access allows for touchless mobility.
6. Automatic anomaly detection
AI and machine learning have improved exponentially, resulting in another interesting access control trend in the form of automatic anomaly detection. If any employee – or individual using an employee’s access – enters a building outside of their allocated shift time, then an alert will be sent notifying security of suspicious activity. The notification can be sent to a mobile device for quick response and frees up security from constantly monitoring screens.
The past year has certainly revealed a number of access control weaknesses and sped up technological innovation so that businesses now benefit from a wide range of solutions. It’s valuable to perform a thorough security audit to identify areas of weakness before deciding what access control option is best implemented.