What are key access control and integrated security trends?

access control and integrated security

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Compared to the last few turbulent years, 2023 proved to be a more settled one in the access control and integrated security sphere.

With COVID-19 restrictions finally being eased in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, and both these regional markets seeing a considerable return to ‘normal’, we are now getting a clear view of the security landscape that will define 2024 and beyond.

Continued instability from the war in Ukraine, along with conflicts in the Middle East, are also framed by the climate emergency which was brought into even sharper focus with the recent COP28 conference.

Many parts of the world are also battling inflation as economies heat up.

All these factors are undoubtedly shaping the global security market. With myriad factors in mind, here are some key trends in access control and integrated security to watch out for that will be prevalent in 2024 and beyond.

Integrated security: PropTech systems

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Effective integration can be vital to the success of security operations

The use of PropTech (Property Technology) systems for property management, construction, smart buildings and real estate analytics already has synergy with integrated security systems.

However, the way people are utilising rented property is changing and evolving, with hybrid working patterns having a particular bearing not just on workplaces but also where people choose to live or stay as part of their property requirements (Office for National Statics figures show that 44% of workers reported home or hybrid working).

With pressure on property owners to differentiate their offerings and be more flexible in the ways they lease their properties, the data and insights generated by security systems (such as occupancy levels and facilities usage, which can be invaluable for better management of utilities use for example) and more flexible and user-friendly access control systems (such as mobile device authentication and credentials) are valuable additions to this.

On a broader scale, the implementation of smart cities will be even more dependent on the right security systems and it is something that savvy security providers need to understand and cater for moving forwards.

Further adoption of NFC and mobile credentials

The usage figures for Apple Wallet and Google Wallet (227 million and 100 million users respectively) speak for themselves; these secure payment and tokens technologies enable the majority of smartphones to be used in place of a bank card, physical key or ticket.

Because these secure credentials can easily be remotely sent to a smartphone, enabled or rescinded, they have obvious applications with security.

Highly secure, cheap to use and highly convenient, they are ideal for granting access to a place of work but also for access to hotel rooms or short stay accommodation (such as Airbnb) as well as leisure facilities or even for deliveries/collections from secure locations.

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Mobile credentials play a pivotal role in modern access control

At TDSi, for instance, we are looking at further applications with access control systems and integration with other buildings services, that can use the secure authentication of a smartphone as a key.

The potential applications are almost limitless. With the popularity and familiarity of these systems, we are likely to see their growth in use over the next year and beyond.

Complete intelligent security solutions 

Security integration isn’t new, but with the abilities of AI and machine learning evolving at an astonishing pace, complete intelligent security solutions have become far more affordable and usable than ever before.

By combining access control systems, surveillance systems (CCTV), intrusion detection systems (IDS), perimeter security, alarm systems and smart building technologies with AI-powered technology, you elevate automated facilities management to a new level.

With the evolution of property management and changes in use of many properties, having this level of automation is becoming even more important and desirable.

It takes away many repetitive and laborious tasks from human operators (tasks that humans struggle to monitor anyway) and covers them with improved accuracy and responsiveness.

With these systems being cost-effective, they are also very well suited in times of increased inflation and squeezed budgets.

Increased focus on infrastructure security

It goes without saying that the security of national and critical infrastructure (such as national security, nuclear and military installations, hospitals and healthcare, along with data centres and utilities) is always essential.

But, in an age of heightened global insecurity and economic pressures, it is vital that security measures are suitable to meet the potentially heightened threats. 

The war in Ukraine has been a stark reminder that even critical civilian infrastructure is a key target for malicious actors and requires the best security available to repulse potential attacks, be that from unfriendly powers, terrorists looking to exert pressure or extortion or criminals looking to capitalise on valuable items/resources.

The increasing interconnectivity of cyber and physical security systems also introduces the risk of cyber-physical attacks, where malicious actors exploit vulnerabilities in both cyber and physical components to compromise critical infrastructure; insider threats where individuals with access to sensitive areas or information may pose a threat, either intentionally or unintentionally, through actions that compromise security are another potential risk.

Equally, non-human threats such as natural disasters and industrial accidents can threaten essential facilities if they are not properly secured. In a world of dwindling natural resources, the security of essential infrastructure has never been more important.   

Greater adoption of cloud-based security systems and SaaS

One of the biggest shifts in business systems since the pandemic has been a dramatic move towards cloud-based solutions and that has also been reflected in security systems.

Deploying security systems to the cloud has similar key advantages, including rapid and easy scalability, widespread accessibility, cost-efficiencies, enhanced cybersecurity measures, disaster recovery and redundancy as well as user friendly interfaces.

Cloud hosting also readily enables security-as-a-service (SaaS), which is well matched to the needs of a rapidly evolving world.

With a fixed monthly fee that delivers the right level of security but without the overheads (or periodic capital expenditure costs), SaaS is perfect for the real estate industry, for example, and for meeting the flexible needs of organisations that have embraced hybrid working.

It is also rapid to deploy and ensures that security providers can remotely monitor any issues (and often fix them) with minimal disruption.

Security expectations

Although geopolitics and the global economy may appear to be in a constant state of flux, this type of uncertainty is exactly where the reassurance of well-placed security excels – delivering reassurance when stability is lacking.

As integrated security systems become more closely aligned to other related systems (such as PropTech) and cutting-edge technology such as AI/machine learning, the solutions we deliver take on another level of importance to society.

Good security systems work in harmony with the people and property they protect and the increasing adoption of mobile device credentials and cloud-based solutions are great examples of this.

The further use of SaaS and its ability to seamlessly adapt to the needs of our customers will ensure that the security industry continues to offer the protection, convenience and value for money that our customers need.

By John Davies, Managing Director, TDSi

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