Exclusive: Mobile access made easy


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Carl Fenger, Technical Communications Manager, LEGIC Identsystems describes how LEGIC Connect is helping to boost security.

The secure management of access via mobile credentialing extends far beyond physical access and the opening of doors: virtually any piece of infrastructure or machine with restricted logical access for specific users at specific times can take advantage of well-established mobile access control technology.

Some examples for logical access include:

  • Mobility vehicles: Smartphone-based credentialing technology can be used for shared vehicles (car sharing, rental vehicles, e-scooters, etc.) to ensure only authorised customers have access and at the right place and time.
  • Shared equipment: The same technology can be used to grant employees and visitors access to shared printers, computer terminals, applications, even vending machines.
  • Industrial machines: Shared production equipment, forklifts, robots, containers etc. which must only be accessed and operated by authorised personnel can easily be implemented based on existing access control technology.

Mobile services are trending
Traditionally, access control systems employ smartcards based on RFID, better known in the form of employee badges or hotel card keys. In recent years, however, the smartphone is supplementing and even replacing smartcards due to several reasons:

  • Everyone has a smartphone so an additional card that can be easily forgotten or lost is no longer necessary. Most of us take good care of our smartphones.
  • Smartphones support biometric identification such as facial recognition which adds a layer of security not natively supported by smartcards. This can be seen as a second factor for 2FA.
  • Smartphones are versatile in that they can extend a simple physical or logical access solution with additional services that strengthen customer loyalty such as restaurant discounts and other special offers.
  • Instant updates, unlike smartcards, smartphones are online and credentials can be updated anytime and anywhere.
  • Long distance use, thanks to Bluetooth Low Energy, smartphones can operate over distances of up to 10 metres, vs. the few centimetres possible with smartcards.

To safely manage access credentials for users that can work in both, on- and offline scenarios, a secure end-to-end platform is required to protect these credentials from manipulation.

LEGIC Connect

LEGIC Connect offers precisely such a platform. Currently used to manage mobile building access in thousands of installations around the world including some of the world’s largest hotel chains, the trusted service provides instant, secure distribution of credentials as well as other sensitive data to authorised smartphones – anytime, anywhere and instantly at the touch of a button.

Based on a sophisticated multi-layered security concept based on AES encryption, LEGIC Connect is a se­curity enabler for any mobile service. By integrating the service into existing infrastructures, a smartphone can become anything – a door opener, train ticket, time & attendance tracker, city pass, car or hotel room key and much more.

Mobile services which interact with users via their smartphones can leverage the service to:

Enable fully automated serviceswhich require 24/7 real-time processing of credentials. Such services require dynamic changes on-the-fly as well as seamless integration of an unlimited number of users, for example an automated parking garage that is open around the clock.

Protect infrastructure and personal credentialsis crucial when connecting users via smartphones to sensitive and costly assets. Without bullet-proof security, mobile services are vulnerable to attack.

Operate both on- and offlineas internet connectivity is not always available, LEGIC Connect is set up to work even when smartphones, assets or infrastructure are offline, e.g., shared machines or vehicles in shielded areas.

The platform combines off-the-shelf hardware and software components which can be simply integrated into mobile services, easily integratingusers and infrastructure according to service provider requirements.

Popular applications for mobile access:

Corporate access
Mobile access provides dynamic assignment and withdrawal of access rights, saving time and cost. Temporary access can be given to visitors, customers or contractors over-the-air and within seconds.

In the hotel industry, customer experience is at the forefront. For hotels, mobile room keys are attractive for several major benefits: Guests don’t need to check-in at the reception and wait for their key cards. Booking their favourite room in advance and receiving the keys directly on their smartphones or changing a room without waiting in line at the reception are just a few of the many benefits.

Mobility services like vehicle sharing, e-charging or fleet management serve new concepts for individual or corporate mobility. All of these services can quickly integrate any user via a simple app download. LEGIC Connect allows the secure creation and instant deployment of virtual car keys, fleet access rights, e-charging credentials or the like on smartphones.

Industrial IoT
Business and life-critical systems where access must be tightly controlled such as production and logistics equipment, industrial robots, power-grid equipment, dams and nuclear power plants.

Almost any infrastructure application
Corporate access, hos­pitality, mobility, residen­tial access, industrial IoT etc. are just a few pos­sible use cases. Thanks to LEGIC’s innovative and multi-technology plat­form, every user can be connected via his or her smartphones to any “thing”.

For more details about extending new or existing services into the mobile world, visit www.legic.com/connect or email [email protected]

This article was originally published in the February 2022 edition of International Security Journal. Pick up your FREE digital edition here.

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