Accessing the best: Shane Butler discusses how the access control market is shaping up in 2024.

February 7, 2024

This blog was originally posted by Security Journal Americas. You can view it HERE.

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What trends are we seeing in access control?

Mobile access

We’ve entered a new and exciting era of frictionless mobile workplace access. NFC Wallet Mobile Credentials solutions have opened doors (quite literally) to easier, quicker, more secure access through Apple and Google Wallet. This means safer access to our corporate spaces, secure printing, logical access to the network, and even mobile-powered snack time at the office vending machine…the use cases are endless and go beyond anything that’s possible using plastic badges. And if sustainability is a priority, the enormous potential reduction in plastic waste is an instant business driver.

Generative AI

There’s no hotter trend right now than generative artificial intelligence (Gen AI). For security, Gen AI finally unlocks vast quantities of valuable physical access control data that has been hiding in plain sight. This can be used for game changing security insights, improving end user experiences and even revenue generation. Yes, that’s right, Security instantly becomes a business enabler. generative AI has the capability to aggregate data that was uncontrolled and make it highly useful and easy to access. This can also lead to personalized recommendations – when we think about access control, we would traditionally think about opening and closing doors but there has been a convergence that has created much more of a focus on the experience of end users. Now, it’s not just about going through a door but it’s about a positive and seamless workplace experience for employees, contractors and visitors.

Gen AI is leveraging powerful Natural language processing (NLP) models, which allows users to engage with the products like Security Chatbots in a more human-like conversational way. No more complicated manual reports, just ask the chatbot a question and receive the useful data instantly – and without training. And just imagine your AI Security assistant detects non-conformities before they even happen – it could be as simple as preventing someone getting more access than they need.

How does Alert Enterprise stay on top of access control trends?

For nearly 15 years we’ve been the pioneers of security convergence between the physical and digital worlds. Now we see this becoming the new approach for the leading CSO and CISOs at the world’s leading companies.
Our customers provide us so much inspiration and are constantly feeding back into what is a very agile development methodology. Their challenges fuel us to develop highly configurable and broadly applicable solutions that address total workforce access, security and safety while making security a true business enabler. When they win, we win, and we love to celebrate with our customers like we did at our Customer Success event at GSX 2023.
Additionally, we have a really strong partner ecosystem, where we have deep relationships with the leading companies in their respective spaces, keep us connected with megatrends of cloud, AI, identity, access control and beyond. Partners in the IT space like ServiceNow and SAP, to mobile access partners like HID, Wavelynx and Safetrust.

Why do your customers trust you?

As the world continues to work its way out of an economic inflationary period, business leaders are hyper-focused on driving down costs, while boosting employee productivity and efficiency. Despite economic headwinds, the world’s most forward-looking CSO and CISO’s are trusting us to accelerate their security digital transformation and view our Guardian platform as a deflationary fighting force for their companies.

The value we bring to a customer’s environment is that we allow them to leverage the infrastructure they already have.  No rip and replace. We’re a software platform that sits on top of their current systems, including their access control software and readers. We help to maximize their ROI through automation and efficiency, with typical business value metrics like 75-100% automation of identity and access request/tickets, with customers like Bank of America that manages an astonishing ~150 access requests per hour.

We have also built into our platform industry-specific components allowing users to automatically comply with required mandates, making auditing a breeze. For example, Financial Services, Healthcare and Utilities are highly regulated industry and have specific requirements around privacy, data privacy and access. We call them industry content packs, they’re developed from partnering with industry leaders across verticals, allowing new customers in those spaces to automatically configure their platform to their industry regulations.

The last component is that we can provide a connection into other systems that are important for customer environments, like HR management systems, which tends to be the record or system of truth. Some of our customers are seeking a way to transform their HR initiatives and really streamline the onboarding and offboarding process at scale and we provide instant value.

How will the market continue to evolve?

The convergence of Cybersecurity, Physical Security and Risk Management is well on its way, and as such, physical security will begin to adopt mature and validated logical access control and security models such as Zero Trust and Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC). These are very established ways of managing identities and access in the digital world. Due to the rapidly increasing adoption of cyber-physical convergence, I think we will see even more of this approach within physical access control. At Alert Enterprise, we believe that we’re the only platform that truly unifies enterprise physical access with critical IT systems for a converged, software-first and identity-centric approach to credentials, access and permissions across an organization.

If there's one thing that you would like our readers to take away, what would that be?

I would emphasize how much we drive innovation. Alert Enterprise literally brought the term cyber-physical convergence to the market. That’s the difference; we are the leaders out there.

And I’ll end with a Call to Action: There are those who aren’t thinking of security in a siloed way and they’re the ones that are able to really innovate and align security with the core business needs within their companies. I encourage physical security leaders to think outside the box, start thinking about where the trends are going and to reach out to Alert Enterprise. We would love to partner with you and support you along your digital transformation journey.

Let’s transform.

Just think: soon, you could be up and running with the latest security automation. Ready?