Recent research shows most access control technology currently in use is not as secure or convenient as many security managers believe. Responses provided by more than 1,600 managers, directors, analysts, and senior managers in a survey conducted by HID Global* found 22 percent of organizations do not use any methods of electronic access control, further exposing these businesses to potential breaches. Together Convergint and HID Global can help organizations strengthen day-to-day operations with the newest access control solutions.

Which of the following access control credentials does your organization use for entry to the building?

The majority of these access control methods use low-frequency RFID technology, which poses real—and rarely documented—security threats to organizations where they are still in use. The technology may keep incidental visitors out, but cannot bear the pressure of anyone intent on a breach.

But significant threats can arise from the system, technology, and policy shortcomings. Survey results found that while users desire more convenient access control methods and extended capabilities, there remains a lack of understanding and adherence surrounding the importance of policy and security protocols. This leaves significant opportunities for threats to become real incidents that can wreak havoc on an organization. Additionally, many organizations lack significant training and onboarding procedures that can be implemented to help educate employees on best practices for access management.

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 Convienience: Credential Holders Demand More 

While security managers are primarily concerned with keeping a facility secure through strong solutions and robust policies and procedures, users of access control systems desire convenience. The main objection of respondents to their organization’s current access control system is having to carry a card/fob to access the facility (44 percent), followed by the lack of integration with other technologies used at work (38 percent).

What don’t you like about your organization’s current access control system? 

Having to carry a card/fob to access facilities 

44%

Not integrated with other technologies I use at work 

38.4%

Having to carry more than one card/fob to access different things 

13.4%

Doesn’t work all the time/ difficult to use 

13.4%

Takes too long to work 

3.9%

Other

14.9%

In addition, users want more credential options. Most employees (68 percent) are interested in accessing facilities via their smartphones. Approximately 74 percent of employees already use mobile phones for work purposes, so relying on them for access means carrying one less item. Unlike other form factors, users do not view carrying their mobile phones as a burden and instead consider it an important extension of themselves.

Do you use a mobile device for company business?

Would you be interested in having your access credentials on your mobile device?

Would you prefer that your mobile device:

The majority (78 percent) of those favoring mobile credentials would prefer the solution offered as an option, rather than the only way to enter a building. In this case, the phone and the card would act as backups to each other, which maximizes the chances of employees being able to successfully enter the building. Interestingly enough, mobile was not a popular stand-alone solution, as 32 percent of respondents do not want to use only mobile systems for authentication. This means that many employees prefer multiple options for authentication, instead of a winner-takes-all approach that is seen in more traditional access control offerings.

Overwhelmingly, users want ease of use and reliability out of their organization’s current access control systems, followed by security. However, legacy access control solutions pose a significant security risk, opening an organization to potential breaches. Convergint, partnered with HID Global, has ways for security managers to deliver the convenience desired by employees while strengthening the security posture of the organization. 

Methodology*

HID Global surveyed 1,693 individuals, representing more than a dozen different industries, including education (21 percent), manufacturing (13 percent), information technology (12 percent), health services (12 percent), and security, professional and business services (8 percent). Of the respondents, 27 percent were managers, 16 percent were analysts/associates, 13 percent were directors, 10 percent were senior managers, and 5 percent were business owners. Breakdown of business size is as follows: 28 percent have less than 100 employees, 21 percent have 101-500 employees, 8 percent have 501-1,000 employees, and 16 percent have 1,001-5,000 employees.

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