The expanding world of access control

November 2016 News

Welcome to the Access & Identity Management Handbook 2017. We have packed an enormous amount of information into these pages, all focusing on the access and identity market. Unfortunately, even with 120 pages, we have to limit what can be printed due to space restrictions. Such is the size and expanding nature of this market.

As has become the norm over the years, biometrics plays a significant role in the handbook as more companies look at additional ways of identifying and authenticating people in the most reliable and quickest manner possible. That’s not to say cards and fobs are a thing of the past, this market is still growing and will continue to grow for a long time, as will the uptake and popularity of electronic locks which use biometrics and traditional access mechanisms.

In fact, we’re looking at a market in which everything is integrated into a working solution, using whatever products and devices are best suited to the job at hand. This is why mobility is also a factor in access and authentication. Since the small smartphones we have come to accept as being part of our normal day have such powerful processing capabilities, people want to make use of them in various situations, including access control. Moreover, smartphones will soon become another management console linked to a central server in order to control access permissions and so on.

An interesting trend in the world of authentication at the moment is for people to report that biometrics are no longer a good option for security because your fingerprints, voice or face can be stolen and you can’t change them like you can a password or PIN. We asked some biometrics players to deal with this issue in one of the articles, but it’s fair to say that the leading brands are ahead of the game in terms of liveness detection and other means of proving a biometric belongs to a real live person – the one they are supposed to belong to. This is also where multi-factor authentication comes into play.

It’s also fair to say that criminal syndicates have almost unlimited research funding and will always be finding ways to outsmart whatever security system one has in place. And in an environment where people often compromise on security in favour of cost, you have to expect that the cheap products will be easier targets for criminals.

However, criminals aside, we hope you enjoy the content we have put together for the handbook. By the time you receive the magazine it will also all be online. We will also be sending out a few email newsletters with a few articles in the new year. And although the handbook is a once-per-year affair, we welcome your feedback which always assists in improving the next year’s Access & Identity Management Handbook. Please feel free to send your comments to

Andrew Seldon, Editor


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