THOUGHT CENTER > Blog > Access Controls

Mobile Credentials for Access Control

Mobile credentials are the future-proof solution for access control. Rather than requiring cards or fobs, which can easily be lost or cloned when poorly encrypted, mobile credentials transmit identifying data to access readers using difficult-to-lose smartphones and encrypted data that is nearly impossible to hack or duplicate.

Legacy Credentials v. Mobile Credentials

Mobile credentials provide the same seamless entry as the access cards and fobs most people are familiar with, but their data lives securely on smartphones and is transmitted to readers via securely encrypted NFC or Bluetooth high-frequency radio waves.

NFC and Bluetooth

Both NFC and Bluetooth mobile access control credentials use RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology for communication between credentials and readers. The main difference between Bluetooth and NFC technology is that Bluetooth transmission can reach access readers for authentication from as far away as 30 feet while NFC systems require that credentials be brought within an inch and a half of a reader to begin authentication.

Bluetooth credentials by ICT are even more secure than credentials from other security companies. While the Bluetooth range of 30 feet may unlock access points far too early for a strong security posture, ICT’s Bluetooth credentials can be customized through the ICT Protege Mobile App to have much shorter ranges, including typical proximity card ranges of three-to-five feet and the typical NFC range of fewer than two inches.

How Mobile Credentials Work

While physical cards and fobs must be handed to users, mobile credentials can be granted through email in a seamless process that requires no exchange of physical objects. Once a mobile credential is accepted on a mobile device via email, a smartphone app containing the credential is able to safely transmit its encrypted data to access readers for authentication. 

Mobile credentials are nearly impossible to clone and cannot be transferred to devices without administrative authorization. 

Access control administrators are able to grant and revoke mobile credentials permanently or temporarily, depending circumstances. For example, if a phone is lost, credentials can be temporarily disabled until a new device is available for credential migration. A mobile credential can easily be set for guests using time-limited access settings and revoked instantly for employees who are terminated. 

Prevent Credential Loss

The greatest security risk stemming from the use of cards and fobs for access control is that they’re often lost. According to a 2019 study of physical security trends in the U.S. conducted by SANS Security Awareness, one in five individuals had lost an access card or fob in the past year. The average 40,000-person company loses more than 10,000 cards or fobs annually, which suggests that some users lose their cards multiple times every year.

Employees are far less likely to lose credentials that live on their smartphones, and it’s a win-win for companies because those who do lose their phones are independently responsible for replacing them.

Easy Guest Access

Mobile credentialing is particularly useful for companies that provide temporary access to visitors. While each new guest card is expensive to issue, mobile credentials require no physical printing from businesses and access can be set to end at the conclusion of planned visits.

Advanced Encryption Standard Technology

Most mobile credentials use AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) technology with a cipher and matrices to ensure secure encryption of all data transmitted from mobile devices to access readers. 

ICT mobile credentials stand out for 256-bit encryption, which encodes data so securely that it would take the most advanced supercomputer in the world more than 3 trillion years to decode a single access credential–enough time to outlast not only the supercomputer but also the sun (by about 2.995 trillion years). 

In other words, by the time the world’s most advanced supercomputer decodes a single ICT access credential, entirely new mobile credentials will have long since been assigned for secure access control on some distant planet or world-like spacecraft.

Mammoth Security and Mobile Credentials

Mobile credentials that use NFC and Bluetooth technology improve security, save money, and make life easier for management. In fact, they’re the most significant technology disruptors in the security industry to make use of the nearly universal adoption of smartphones. Property managers, renters, employees, guests, and business and governmental entities should all consider the benefits of switching to this forward-looking form of credentialing. 

Our crew at Mammoth Security stays on the cutting edge of security technology to make sure our customers always have access to the most advanced security tools available anywhere. 

Fill out the simple form below and we’ll get back to you to schedule a zero-obligation, absolutely free site survey and security assessment. A friendly expert from our team will visit your site to discuss your access control options and help you to select the brands and formats that work best with your current devices to meet your unique business security needs.





I’m not just another sales guy. I’m a security expert ready to discuss your security strategy one-on-one.

Let’s discuss your security strategy and get you a tailored solution that will perfectly fit your security expectations.

Get your FREE copy of ‘Top 10 Questions to Ask Before Purchasing A Camera System’