The biggest challenge with access cards, keys, and fobs? Employees forget them all the time. They take them off at the lunch room or at home and forget to grab them, they leave them in their cars, or any one of a number of reasons. Every time this happens it creates extra work for office managers and slows the productivity of the employee security. No one ever forgets their cell phone. It has become essential for both personal and professional life, so why not use something employees always carry with them for access authorization, too?
Getting set up with cell phone-based access control is simple. The employee downloads an app, enters in a code provided by the person setting up the controls, and connects to the server. Now an admin can grant the employee access to whichever part of the office is needed. If the employee needs access to another office the same admin can grant temporary access with just a couple clicks of the mouse. No need to distribute new badges every time an employee travels. If an employee quits, or is dismissed, access to the app can be immediately disabled.
Ever have one of those mornings where you are running behind schedule and scrambling to get to the office? Checking in can be a pain on those days, and it occurs more often than not. Cell phone-based access control systems don’t even need to require the employee to take the cell phone out of their pocket. They can simply walk up to the door and it unlocks for them.
Every organization is concerned about security and cell phone access control is simply more secure than badge access control. Smartphones add an extra layer of security for users, combining something they have (their smartphone) with something they know (a PIN or passcode) or something they are (fingerprints or other biometrics). Because of this, mobile access credentials are secured behind the multi-factor authentication capability of smartphones. Plus, once a mobile credential is installed on a smartphone, it cannot be re-installed on another.
An interesting thing to note, specific only to Apple devices, iPhones encrypt user biometrics information into the processing hardware, making it completely immune to hacking (even from the manufacturer).
People are also more vigilant about their smartphones, taking ownership of their device and keeping it safe. They won’t give their smartphone to others. On the other hand, a badge is often lent without reservations. This may result in unauthorized persons gaining access. Whereas if a cell phone is stolen the employee can disable the phone remotely. Cell phones also require passcode authentication, so even if a hacker or thief were to steal an employee’s cell phone they would not be able to gain access to your spaces.
Smartphone access control systems further provide detailed access logs that can be incorporated into other security control systems. Making it easy to track unauthorized employee movement.
Decisions should not be based simply on the “cool factor”, but there is value in factoring it into the decision making process. Using smartphones for access control is cutting-edge technology and on top of being more efficient, more secure, and easier to manage is just plain cool. Tenants both on the commercial and residential sides value the prestige of having these devices in their apartment buildings and offices. Studies show they are even willing to pay premiums for these features.
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