From the editor's desk: Securing your secure access

SMART Access & Identity 2024 News & Events

Andrew Seldon, Editor.

Welcome to SMART Security Solutions’ first print publication of the year, the SMART Access & Identity Handbook 2024. In this issue, we cover various issues relevant to this industry, from digital to physical access and convergence between the two – although this convergence is happening at a snail’s pace.

As slow as it may be, more people realise the capabilities of using traditional access control for more than just opening a door. Some ascribe this move to the greater involvement of IT people in the access control and physical security markets, which is a reality. However, some blame business leaders and bean counters who always want more from what they have for less.

There is also growing momentum toward securing access and identity applications (physical or digital) as part of the general trend of cybersecurity paranoia – justified paranoia. Part of this trend is adopting standards, lacking in the access control industry where proprietary solutions have and are standard. In our round table discussion, Walter Rautenbach highlighted that the adoption of mobile access control (using mobile credentials), while happening, is hampered by a lack of standards – in most cases, you accept lock-in to the company providing the mobile access solutions.

However, as mentioned, standards are viewed as something other than critical in access. I discovered this may change as there is a new standard in the works from Europe – NIS 2. While this is a cybersecurity and not specifically an access control standard, it impacts access control installations. Initially, it applies to Europe, but the influence will spread. Sadly, I found out about it too late to write about it for the handbook, but look out for an article in our new Editor’s Choice email news brief in the near future.

I learned about NIS 2 when I learned about SPAC (courtesy of STid). The Smart Physical Access Control (SPAC) is an alliance or organisation, again born in Europe, designed to “federate Europe” and is worth having a look at There is a download link to a NIS 2 guide on the site. There will also be an article coming up on the SSCP standard, which seems to be an even more secure and valuable protocol than OSDP – not that OSDP has been adopted everywhere.

We also include an HID article (shortened) about the NIST facial recognition test and what it means in simple terms. It is an interesting read for those making decisions about which facial biometric they should choose – or, I should say, those who do not make decisions based on who offers the cheapest reader.

I hope the handbook is of interest to readers. If you have any comments or criticisms, please feel free to let me know at [email protected].


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