Coming off what was a difficult year, 2020 saw a seismal shift in the way businesses approach security. The security business has been infamous for the slow adoption of the latest technology. However, as we have seen with the touchless access control boom in 2020, this industry is capable of fast-tracking innovative solutions– especially once there is a high demand for magnified safety. While returning to work is still up in the air, there is an understanding now that life at the office will not be the same. Here are some predictions of what may be seen in physical security and access control trends for 2021.
- Remote Management Playing an Essential Role in Security
Remote management was important throughout 2020, enabling buildings to stay secure even when no one was there. This may still be a physical security trend in 2021, with new tools and technologies being developed to enable remote management to be easy, reliable, and economical. With more and more businesses pledging to keep staff in work from home positions, or allowing flexible hours, security management remains a vital part of guaranteeing the workplace is safe, secure, and healthy.
Remote access and security management can enable both large and small businesses to remain nimble and versatile, permitting people to complete their regular tasks while not having to be onsite. Options like remote door unlock are convenient for letting vendors, contractors, and staff who have forgotten their credentials into the building. With access to live activity reporting, remote management allows businesses the advantage to adjust at a moment’s notice and find a way to automate several daily operations (another security trend to look out for in 2021). Simply because we are not onsite, doesn’t mean security is compromised. With remote lockdown activation options, licensed staff will quickly trigger a sitewide lockdown on their smartphones in the event of an emergency. Having the ability to administer security from anywhere saves time for building management staff, creating a more streamlined workspace with less investment.
Having access from anywhere enables a remote or flexible staff easy to manage. To accommodate changes in company growth, remote onboarding and offboarding offer a more robust employee experience, also maintaining workplace security. Additionally, having the ability to containerize your space, add and remove entries, and regulate permissions at a moment’s notice can keep organizations from wasting resources.
- Integrate to Automate
Automation is the future of security technology. Automated systems had already been increasing in 2020, and we expect the physical security trend to keep rising in 2021. An advantage of utilizing integrations across systems is that it permits businesses to customize operations and invest in best-in-class technology rather than looking for a one-size-fits-all solution.
By connecting what was diverse building systems like access control, parking management, space planning, visitor management, and experience apps, automation establish processes to help operations more effectively. Rather than monitoring multiple building systems, integrations give building managers control of all buildings from one interface. An integrated building system not only provides better workplace experiences, but it will also increase ROI across the whole business. In 2021, expect a lot of businesses to invest in open-platform technology to alter system-wide integrations and customizations.
- Mobile Badging Leaves Physical Badges in the Past.
In addition to the number of people no working remotely, the future of access control will now increasingly rely on mobile technology. With the shift of physical security trends in 2021, expect to see mobile badges in lieu of traditional key cards. A mobile badge adds visual biometric verification, without the investment in other credentials. By merging digital and physical identity, organizations strengthen security, while not compromising convenience.
Mobile badging improves security by allowing on-site staff confirms a photo ID with those who are entering. Plus, mobile badges can be customized showing title, department, and level of access. Mobile badges are easy to manage and less expensive long term. With instant credentialing over the cloud, staff will access the workplace immediately, and not have to wait for a badge to be printed. With credentials living in the user’s smartphone, it eliminates having to mail the badge or meet in person to receive one. So, there is now no need for replacement badges, and it is simple to update the design digitally including branding, preference, or information.
- Mobile Based Visitor – Systems
In accordance with enhanced remote security management, assume the visitor systems will go digital and mobile in 2021. With sparse on-site employees, a mobile-based system will give additional security while not compromising the guest experience. As a part of the 2021 access control movement, mobile credentials can reach visitors as well as employees.
A mobile-based authorization can be created in seconds, then emailed or texted to the visitor. This eliminates the requirement for physical badges, and you do not need to chase down guests who leave with their guest passes, because customizable credentials only allow the visitor access when and where you give them. This new technology will also make a better impression on your visitor.
- Physical and Cyber Security Merged for Enterprise
One of the larges access control and security movements to be seen in 2021 is converged physical and cybersecurity. There is growing concern over cybersecurity in the workforce working remotely; more data is being stored, sent, and communicated through the internet and cloud-based channels. Plus, a rise in versatile work schedules means that buildings must adapt with 24/7 access permissions.
Because information breaches typically occur in conjunction with a physical breach, a lot of organizations can enhance their security with a combined cyber and physical approach in the new year. Increased advanced access control systems and practices will facilitate safeguard laces wherever sensitive information is held, like servers and IT rooms. Agile technology may facilitate minimized risk. Solutions like automatic alerts and remote shutdown activation are going to be in high demand as organizations adapt to dynamic access needs.
While organizations tighten budgets, industry consultants are predicting a large portion of that budget to be dedicated to security and safety platforms. Using a holistic approach to security, and not treating cyber and physical separately will ensure complete protection. Bridging the gap with open-platform access control will produce an IT- approved, future-proof security system that scales across entire businesses.
- Bring Together Access Control Data in Business Intelligence
In the future of physical security, information is king. Additionally, remote management and business-wide automation, cloud-based security platforms, and access control systems conjointly offer businesses new visibility into what is happening at the buildings. 2021 access control movements can without a doubt embody more ways for organizations to utilize the entry and user information to their advantage.
Investing in business intelligence tools that will ingest information from alternative platforms, like access control, businesses will collect elaborate reporting, and profit of Al prognosticative analytics. Armed with live data, collected over long terms, business and property owners are informed. Business intelligence analytics are essential to increasing ROI and creating smarter business choices. Combining information sets from different sources provides better insight into wherever automation will give the organization the advantage.
Companies like Openpath have pushed out touchless options like Wave to Unlock, which allow individuals to unlock doors while not having to touch the keypad or reader, serving to keep buildings germ-free while not compromising their security. This feature rollout was done over-the-air without a single software patch needed by any Openpath client. This is one example that proves the strength of connected buildings. It is no longer about IoT devices. In 2021, revealing smart technology that adjusts and responds to the changes happening all over the world means that your entire building is ready and guarded, while not having to lift a finger.
One thing is for sure, looking into the future of access control and physical security: safety remains a high concern for each business. With people counting on internet-based services for his or her daily tasks, the future of access control and physical security, especially for businesses, will remain focused on protecting information and limiting access. Platforms that set up flexibility and scalability will allow businesses to acclimate to dynamic environments with no further investment. Finding new and innovative ways in which to safeguard areas, shield sensitive data, and build frictionless experiences will remain at the top of mind in 2021, and well into the future.