Safety in work and education

Issue 4 2020 Access Control & Identity Management

South Africa and the world are faced with a pandemic which has turned our lives upside down. Living our ‘normal’ daily lives is no longer possible, and even with an easing of the lockdown in South Africa we cannot conduct business as usual. The virus has impacted our homes, our workplaces, hospitals and educational institutions. As employers, employees, residents, students, we all need to change our lifestyle habits, be more cautious of what we do, where we go and importantly, what we touch.

As we return to work, we need to balance our need for security with our need to care for our health. With the avoidance of touch-based systems, and to increase on-site hygiene, biometric security systems are being disabled to enable a return to work for some businesses, and there are hesitations even around the card and tag approach to access control systems. However, there are solutions that will allow high levels of security, with a ‘no-touch’ approach to security. It even enables biometrics in certain circumstances. Mobile phone access systems may be the solution to balance all a business’ needs.

Introducing mobile phone access products encourages safe and good hygiene practice in the workplace, while still ensuring high-security access management.

Most employees now use smartphones, and with biometric identification loaded on most of the new models, a secondary security element of fingerprint identification allows that next level of security while still simply waving your phone to gain access.

What is mobile access?

Mobile access technology uses an existing mobile device and integrates with the safety access software for better security and access. Not only is it cost-effective as it integrates with existing smartphones, it is also simple as it makes the process easier for the user, minimising the risk factors of coming into contact with any surface that might be contagious.

How can we integrate it to our environment?

Access products such as ASSA ABLOY’S SMARTair access control system offers the Openow app, software that replaces keys and smartcards with secure credentials stored on a user’s phone. It is a system that integrates easily with existing systems through your phone. All site users need is their smartphone and the Openow app to unlock any SMARTair device. Users don’t need to collect a credential, it arrives automatically inside the validated app on their smartphone, exactly when the facility manager decides. Users can protect their Openow app with a PIN, and even store keys for multiple sites in a single app. Every user’s app automatically sends event reports back to the SMARTair system.

Facility managers send, revoke and update virtual keys over the air from anywhere, using the SMARTair TS1000 software. Your business replaces smartcards, tags, keys and other physical credentials altogether. Everything else works exactly the same.

If we look at solutions for educational environments, which have high traffic, multiple buildings and doors, (and therefore relatively high hygiene risk), the HID Mobile Access Campus solution is tailormade for campuses. It enables new levels of user experience through One Digital Identity. HID’s Mobile Access Campus solution provides students and faculty with one seamless digital identity that can be conveniently utilised across multiple scenarios, all through the mobile device.

The solution improves physical access control: End-users are no longer required to carry a physical card to securely access building facilities – they can instead supplement or replace their card with their mobile device. Payment authentication can be incorporated, with students and faculty using their phone or tablet to authenticate payment for dining areas, canteens and cafeterias. Libraries and rentals are managed via the mobile identity for checking out books, CDs, and DVDs. It even manages mobile ticketing with users able to enter sporting events, concerts, and lectures thanks to mobile ticketing capabilities offered by HID Mobile Access.

By authenticating one connected, digital credential, colleges and universities can greatly enhance the overall user experience, all while creating a more modern, professional and innovative impression.


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