6 Popular Myths About Wireless and Mobile Access Control – Busted
Access control might be one of the hottest topics in the security industry, but for that reason, it’s also one of the most misunderstood. Choosing the right burglar is almost simple compared to an access control system, and there’s a host of myths and misconceptions about access control specifically wireless access control floating about – myths that might hold business owners and building managers form getting the right access control for their premises.
Most myths surrounding access control deal with wireless access control systems, cloud-based systems and mobile credentials. All are easily debunked. Here’s the truth behind some of the most common myths about access control.
Myth: Mobile Access Control Apps and Credentials Aren’t Secure
At first, this one sounds like it makes sense; if your smartphone is accessible via Internet connection and can already be hacked, couldn’t someone just hack your phone, gain access to your access control apps and credentials and then make their way into your facility. Thankfully, this isn’t as much of a concern as it sounds.
Smartphones already come with high levels of encryption and security built in to their firmware; millions of users trust them everyday to safeguard all their personal data and banking info, and smartphones aren’t easily hacked just because of their ability to access the internet. The phone’s security measures are, of course, in addition to the security measures and encryption integrated into the mobile access control application, and together they provide a secure, multi-layered defense against hacking. While accessing an access control system remotely does not require a VPN, like a hosted system might, it often
In fact, you could say mobile credentials are often more secure than their physical counterparts; swipe and prox cards simply do not support the level of encryption that a smartphone and app can and switching to mobile access credentials could lead to increased security for your business.
Myth: Cloud-Based Access Control Systems and Mobile Credentials Are Difficult To Manage
Honestly, this couldn’t further from the truth. Cloud-based access control systems, especially those with mobile apps and credential options, are often much easier to manage, setup and modify credentials, etc, than traditional systems.
As the access control database and pertinent information is hosted on the cloud, it can often be access remotely from anywhere, right on your mobile device or computer; you’ll be able manage, create and revoke credentials, change permissions and rules for controlled doors and users, and customize system settings remotely and easily. Most of the time, all of this can be done right in your browser.
Traditional wired or IP access control systems, on the other hand, generally need to be managed and access from a computer on the server network, limiting when and where you can access it.
Myth: Wireless access control systems are not compatible with traditional wired access control systems.
Many people believe that wireless access control components will not integrate and work with their existing wired system, and that installing new wireless components or systems will require replacing any pre-existing system.
Thankfully this isn’t true; with the right components, wireless access control systems can be integrated with the system already installed in your building. In most cases, they will even be built upon the existing framework, and in many others, wireless access control can be even further integrated with a pre-existing CCTV system running on the same network.
Integrating wired and wireless access control is quite easy; ensuring component compatibility (using the ONVIF standard, for example) will make the process even easier, and the right systems integrator will have the skills and experience to make it happen.
Myth: Wireless Access Control Panels Don’t Support Multiple Credentials
Again, this is not true; what credentials an access control system does or does not work with is dependent on the specific panel installed – not whether the system is wired or wireless. With the right panel and software, your wireless access control system can work with PIN codes, fingerprints and biometric credentials, swipe and prox cards, in addition to wireless smartphone credentials. Many panels will now also support multi-factor authentication, giving twice the security with the same number of panels. This eliminates any worry surrounding
If you’re spending a lot of time ordering, creating and managing prox cards and permissions for a large facility, making the switch to a wireless panel could simplify the process, saving you tons of time – and money.
Myth: Wireless panels need to have their batteries replaced often.
A seemingly small complaint, but one that could be particularly irksome – if it were true. While many wireless access control panels run off battery power, they also don’t run all the time; many are in a “sleep” mode until awoken, or until wireless credentials comes within range. This means they spend the majority of their time powered down, don’t use nearly as much energy as a wired system, and only occasionally need their batteries replaced; some brands even claim their panels can last up to two years on a single high-end, lithium-ion battery.