HID Global recently launched its Mobile Access technology. This solution makes it possible to do away with cards and fobs and allow users to simply badge through gates and doors using their smartphones as virtual credentials. The technology uses Bluetooth or near-field communications (NFC) for communication between the device and access control readers.
The way Mobile Access works is as follows. An administrator sends users an invitation to download an HID Mobile Access app directly to their Bluetooth- or NFC-enabled phone. After download and registration of the app, Mobile IDs can be immediately issued, provisioned or revoked over the Internet – the system supports iOS or Android devices. The company manages its access from its management console and sends the user a 16-digit PIN. Once entered, the user has a virtual access card to the company’s premises.
When users approach a door, they simply hold their smartphone in front of the reader and are granted access – providing the company has activated their credentials. If the company prefers, it can activate HID Global’s ‘Twist and Go’ mode and users simply hold their phones in front of the reader and twist them 90-degrees, at a distance of up to 5 m, and the door will open if they have access permission. Twist and Go is a new, convenient option that, for example, estates can use to control access as the user need not exit their vehicle.
One of the benefits of Mobile Access is that it does not require new readers to be installed. It can be added to many of HID Global’s latest readers, meaning companies can still use their existing cards and fobs along with the new mobile technology.
Mobile Access is used with HID Global’s mobile-enabled iCLASS SE and/or multiCLASS SE readers, and includes Mobile IDs, HID Mobile Access Apps and access to the HID Secure Identity Services portal for managing users and issuing or revoking Mobile IDs. The mobile-enabled readers are also interoperable with 125 kHz HID Prox and high-frequency technologies including iCLASS Seos, iCLASS SE, standard iCLASS, MIFARE and MIFARE DESFire EV1.
Jonathan Summers, Controlsoft’s MD, says Controlsoft was quick to integrate Mobile Access into its product portfolio because of its ease-of-use and due to its quick and painless installation. The company has also ensured that Wiegand or 485 interfaces are able to be integrated with Mobile Access devices, offering its clients an even easier path to implementing the technology.
Mobile Access will reduce the need for companies to issue cards or fobs and it is much easier to manage, assign or revoke access as cards don’t need to be collected. Controlsoft has working virtual credentials and readers available and the company has already demonstrated the technology to its clients with positive results.
Safer than a card
Since so many people have smartphones, which never seem to leave their sides, it’s reasonable to assume that their virtual credentials will be with them at all times. It’s easy to forget a card or fob at home, or lose it, or even give it to someone else to use. The same does not apply to people’s smartphones, we tend to take much better care of them and won’t pass it on to a criminal.
The obvious question regarding Mobile Access is whether this system is secure. Summers explains that there are various levels of security in the app, but also in the management platform which can commission and decommission credentials almost instantly.
HID Global’s SEOS technology runs the Mobile Access technology and guards people’s privacy by enabling Mobile IDs to be issued, delivered and revoked with end-to-end encryption as part of a transaction that protects personal identification data.
In its default configuration, users simply hold their device up to the reader. It does not have to have the screen unlocked or have the app open – working as simply and easily as a normal card. Some companies, however, may feel more secure if the lock screen needs to be deactivated before any doors are opened. Additional settings can be configured so that the system only works when the screen is unlocked or if the app is open.
Another benefit of Mobile Access is that multiple credentials can be held on one device. This means contractors or people who need to travel between branches can be assigned different virtual credentials for different locations, and use them without even worrying which credential is used at which premises – they simply present their smartphone to the reader.
“One of the keys to success over the next several years will be to have an offering beyond traditional access control readers, panels, cards and software and embrace the new position of the industry which includes things such as remote management, mobile and fixed functionality credentials and wireless, reducing administrative burden and increased efficiency and integration with human capital management software,” says Blake Kozak from the research firm IHS. “Mobile solutions, including secure IDs and a simple yet comprehensive lifecycle management process, are a critical success pre-requisite.”
For more information contact Controlsoft South Africa, +27 (0)11 792 2778, [email protected]
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