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Axis Communications calls for accelerated adoption of smarter access control in IoT era

10 September 2020

THE LATEST White Paper issued by Axis Communications, entitled ‘The Digitisation and Cyber Security of Physical Access Control’, highlights the many benefits of implementing rapidly evolving, cloud-enabled physical access control systems, while also presenting a new vision of how such systems should be deployed and used in the Internet of Things (IoT) era.

The White Paper also explains that, while these technologies have the ability to help with many of the challenges faced by modern businesses regarding the security of their premises and the safe flow of people during the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses are missing out on these benefits due to barriers that are preventing adoption.

Axis Communications is presently focusing on topics including frictionless access control, which has seen a dramatic increase in interest resulting from the Coronavirus pandemic. The business is actively exploring the benefits of such systems in an increasingly contactless society.

Converging security technologies commonly using ageing and traditional infrastructure present a real challenge for vendors who not only need to adapt their hardware offer to connect to existing corporate networks, but also 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.

Cyber security considerations

Most new systems make use of network connectivity, even if only for communication to alarm points or for audit purposes. Therefore, cyber security considerations should be a key factor. As an integral part of any physical security solution, access control technologies should be manufactured according to recognised cyber security principles, incident reporting and Best Practice. It’s 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.

In addition, while businesses seek smart physical security solutions, many vendors and installers are simply not familiar with the new technology and its requirements and still slavishly follow business models set around rigid and proprietary designs. 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, business development manager for access control at Axis Communications and co-author of the new White Paper, commented: “Suppliers have built up a strong business model around their expertise, service and knowledge of physical security. However, 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 in order to adapt to market changes and remain relevant.”

Challenges faced

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

Key points covered in the White Paper include:

*The future of access control: the evolution of smart access control solutions

*Challenges in an evolving market: considerations around systems architecture and cyber security

*Technical barriers to adoption: exploring the reasons behind difficulties in adopting such solutions

*The hallmarks of Best Practice: stakeholder management (what to look for when selecting a vendor)

*Guides and tools: guides and system management documentation

*Creating a cyber hygiene profile: key considerations when evaluating suppliers, products and systems