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The security landscape has evolved significantly over the years, and our team at Mammoth Security has been closely monitoring these changes. In this article, we'll dive into the history of access control and the factors driving current industry trends, including regulations and cybersecurity concerns.
The electronic revolution in the latter half of the 20th century brought about significant advancements in the field of access control.
1960s: The birth of electronic access control can be traced back to the 1960s. The shift began with the invention of the key card system by Tor Sørnes, an engineer who patented the first electronic key card lock. Before this, mechanical locks and keys were the norm.
1970s: The decade saw the rise of magnetic stripe cards, a technology that was widely adopted by hotels and businesses. IBM is credited with the development of the magnetic stripe technology.
1980s: The 80s brought about proximity cards, which used radio frequency identification (RFID) technology. This was a major step forward as it allowed for contactless entry, enhancing user convenience.
1990s: Biometric identification for access control was first developed in the 1990s. Fingerprint recognition became increasingly popular, with companies like Bioscrypt (now L-1 Identity Solutions) leading the way.
2000s: The new millennium saw the integration of networked access control systems. This allowed for centralized management of multiple access points, a development largely attributed to advancements in Internet technology.
Before diving into specific trends since 2010, it's crucial to differentiate between market trends and industry trends.
Market trends refer to patterns and shifts in consumer behavior and demand. In the context of access control, market trends include increasing demand for cloud computing and biometric identification.
Industry trends, on the other hand, refer to broader shifts within the access control industry itself. Industry trends are driven by technological advancements and the need to satisfy consumer demand and address new regulatory and security challenges.
In the realm of access control, market trends and industry trends influence each other directly: consumer demand is a primary driver of industry innovation, while innovation influences consumer expectations and preferences.
2010-2015: The early part of the decade saw a surge in cloud-based access control systems. As businesses moved their operations to the cloud, the demand for cloud-compatible security solutions grew. Companies like Brivo and Kisi were at the forefront of this trend.
2016-2019: The mid-decade was marked by the rise of mobile access control. With smartphones becoming ubiquitous, solutions that leveraged mobile devices for access became popular. HID Global and Openpath were notable players in this domain.
2020-2022: The integration of access control with other security systems (like CCTV and alarm systems) became a norm, and security system dealers and installers like Mammoth Security have been instrumental in providing businesses and organizations with integrated solutions.
As we stand in 2023, the access control landscape is dominated by increased demand for biometric identification and artificial intelligence.
Facial Recognition: With advancements in AI and machine learning, facial recognition software has become a reliable tool for ID verification.
Voice Recognition: New voiceprint technology is being adopted in high-security areas, offering a reliable and hands-free access solution.
Behavioral Biometrics: This involves analyzing patterns in human behavior for identification. It's a new type of biometric access control, and it’s rapidly gaining traction.
In today's interconnected digital age, modern access control systems are part of a broader network, often connected to the cloud and integrated with other systems. This interconnectedness, while offering convenience and enhanced functionality, also presents cybersecurity vulnerabilities.
Here's how cybersecurity concerns are shaping trends in the access control industry:
Data breaches can have catastrophic consequences for businesses. Recognizing this, manufacturers are emphasizing end-to-end encryption. End-to-end encryption ensures that data, whether it's a fingerprint or a passcode, remains secure from the point of capture to storage.
Just like our smartphones and computers, access control systems require regular software updates to patch vulnerabilities. Manufacturers are now offering systems that can be updated remotely. Remote updates ensure that their systems are always equipped with the latest security patches.
Relying solely on a card or PIN for access control identification isn’t adequate for high-security areas. Driven by new cybersecurity best practices, access control systems are increasingly adopting multi-factor authentication, which requires users to present two or more verification methods before access may be granted.
As the Internet of Things (IoT) expands, so does the potential attack surface for cybercriminals. Even smart devices, like smart thermostats and refrigerators, have become potential entry points into security system infrastructure.
For this reason, access control systems are evolving to not just control physical entry to spaces but also to manage access to connected devices.
By leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning, modern access control systems can analyze user behavior to detect anomalies.
For instance, if an employee who typically accesses a building during weekdays suddenly tries to gain entry in the middle of the night, the system can flag this as suspicious.
With many access control solutions moving to the cloud, ensuring the security of cloud-based systems has become paramount. This has led to the adoption of advanced cloud security protocols, regular vulnerability assessments, and the integration of threat intelligence software to preempt potential cyberattacks.
As concerns about site security and data protection have grown, so has the regulatory landscape governing access control systems.
Here's how the regulatory landscape has shaped and is shaping the access control industry and market:
With the advent of biometric access control systems—which rely on personal biological data like fingerprints—many regulatory bodies have set stringent guidelines on how personal data should be collected, processed, and stored.
These regulations compel access control providers to prioritize data encryption, secure storage protocols, and user consent.
Access control systems, especially those governing entry and exit points, must comply with local building and fire safety codes. As a result, access control manufacturers are now designing systems with emergency override capabilities. Emergency overrides ensure that occupants can safely exit without hindrance from electronic locking mechanisms during emergencies like fires and live-shooter events.
As integrated security solutions become the norm, there's a growing need for seamless intercommunication between devices.
Standards-setting bodies, such as the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), have laid down guidelines to ensure that products from different manufacturers can work together without compatibility issues.
As previously discussed, the convergence of physical and digital security has brought cybersecurity concerns to the attention of regulators. Governments worldwide are enacting regulations to ensure that connected access control systems are safeguarded against cyber threats. These regulations often include mandates for regular software updates, vulnerability assessments, and end-to-end encryption.
For high-security areas, especially in government and defense sectors, there are specific regulations and standards that access control systems must meet. These often pertain to encryption, resilience against tampering, and the ability to detect and report unauthorized access attempts.
In addition to improved cybersecurity and regulatory compliance, the access control industry and market watchers anticipate the following developments:
IoT Integration: As the Internet of Things (IoT) expands, access control systems will be increasingly designed for integration with smart building management devices like smart lights and HVAC systems.
Advanced AI Capabilities: From predictive analytics to anomaly detection, developments in artificial intelligence are expected to further improve the convenience, functionality, and system integrity of access control systems.
Sustainability: With the global push toward sustainability, eco-friendly access control solutions are expected to become more prevalent in the coming years. Many companies are now developing green access control solutions, such as energy-efficient devices composed of sustainable materials.
The journey of electronic access control—from simple, isolated card-based systems to the sophisticated, AI-driven systems of today—is a testament to rapid advancements in technology and the ever-evolving demands of the market.
Our team at Mammoth Security remains committed to staying abreast of these changes, and we leverage our knowledge to make sure our customers stay miles ahead of the bad guys. For a free site survey and security assessment with a friendly expert from our team, just fill out the simple form below.
From traditional mechanical locks to digital passcodes and now biometric solutions, the industry has seen significant technological advancements over the years. The integration of AI, IoT, and cloud computing has further revolutionized the sector.
As systems become more interconnected and rely on digital solutions, they become vulnerable to cyberattacks. Ensuring robust cybersecurity measures is, therefore, crucial to protecting data and maintaining access control integrity.
AI, combined with machine learning, allows for predictive analytics. This means systems can predict potential security breaches based on patterns and take preventive measures.
The future is promising with advancements in AI and biometric identification, as well as a stronger focus on sustainability. The industry is set to offer more integrated, secure, and environmentally friendly solutions.