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Smarter access control in IoT era

While integrated access control systems can help organisations transform security and operations, there are barriers to adoption, says the network video product firm Axis Communications, in a white paper.

The paper, titled Digitization and cyber security of physical access control, highlights the benefits of rapidly evolving, cloud-enabled physical access control systems (PACS), and covers how such systems should be deployed and used in the Internet of Things (IoT) era. The paper also explains that, while these technologies have the ability to help with many of the challenges faced by businesses in the security of their premises and safe flow of people, many businesses are missing out on these benefits.

The paper will be launched as part of a series of online events hosted with IFSEC Global this autumn looking at topical subjects being discussed in the physical security industry. The Exploring New Paths to Success events will begin on September 9, with a focus on Frictionless Access Control, a topic that has seen a dramatic increase in interest resulting from the recent global pandemic. The event will explore the benefits of a frictionless access control system in an increasingly contactless society and consider the four core pillars that are essential to a successful design, with viewpoints from a global retailer.

Converging security technologies commonly using ageing, traditional infrastructure, present a real challenge for vendors who not only need to adapt their hardware offering to connect to existing corporate networks, but also to realise the importance of evaluating the cyber maturity of systems to guard against the many risks posed to an enterprise. As criminals become more sophisticated and the threat landscape continues to evolve, the challenge lies in preventing the risk of cloned access credentials, insider threats or remotely launched cyber-attacks, Axis says.

Most new systems make use of network connectivity, even if only for communication to alarm points, or for audit purposes. Therefore, cybersecurity considerations should be a key factor. As an integral part of any physical security solution, access control technologies should be manufactured according to recognised cybersecurity principles, incident reporting and best practises, according to the manufacturer. It is important to acknowledge that the cyber integrity of a system is only as strong as its weakest link. A system which cannot be deemed secure impacts negatively on its ability to provide the necessary high levels of physical security for which it has been deployed.

While businesses seek smart physical security, many vendors and installers are simply not familiar with the new technology and its requirements, and still follow business models set around rigid, proprietary designs, the company says. A refusal to move away from traditional models threatens to see many manufacturers left behind, unable to deliver the added value that businesses are now demanding.

John Allen, pictured, Business Development Manager, Access Control at Axis Communications, and co-author with Steve Kenny of Axis of the new paper said: “Suppliers have built up a strong business model around their expertise, service and knowledge of physical security. Yet, network connectivity and the IoT present a constantly shifting landscape, requiring the traditional physical security vendor and installer to learn the language of IT; of open platforms, IP connectivity and software integration, to adapt to market changes and remain relevant.

“Our latest white paper creates awareness of the challenges being faced and looks at how these issues can be remedied. The paper places emphasis on the necessary cyber hygiene requirements and provides a checklist for those considering a move to hosted access control solutions.”

You can request the white paper at

A second event on September 30 will focus on analytics; AI’s ability to influence edge-based intelligence, and potential to transform video-based security applications. Events on perimeter protection and cyber security will follow in October and November.


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