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Cloud-based Access Control: Improving Security in More Ways Than One

Access control has always been at the forefront of building security. Traditionally, access control systems have come in the form of conventional lock and key methods, electronic systems or a combination of the two. Today, cloud-based systems are changing the market landscape, providing secondary security benefits to users across the UK.

Trevor Ball, business development manager UK & Ireland at Allegion UK, provides insight into the physical security and cybersecurity benefits associated with the cloud.

All buildings need to regulate their building security, from government-owned educational and healthcare facilities right through to small commercial properties.

With this in mind, balancing security features with other factors has always been a challenge. Facility managers and decision makers alike have to account for accessibility and usability alongside safety and security – not to mention budgets and building capabilities. With this, and the fact that many traditional security systems can sometimes be demanding to manage, it’s clear as to why facilities are beginning to implement cloud-based systems into their security strategies.

The importance of Cybersecurity

The construction industry has not always been first to implement ‘cutting edge’ technologies. From an external viewpoint, many forget the extensive standards that decision makers must abide by – with these considerations sometimes slowing the process for technology adaptation. For those that have combined traditional security methods with electronic systems, new security demands must still be considered.

One of those new demands is cybersecurity, which in its simplest of terms, is the protection of internet-connected systems, whether this be in the form of software, data or hardware. As with most internet-connected systems, today’s access control systems are also at risk to cyber attacks – with potentially detrimental consequences to building security. With this being a new area for some (consider schools or small commercial facilities), questions are now being raised on how to effectively secure a building from two angles both physically and electronically.

Take a school entrance for example. With various access points across the building, schools can be known to use fobs or keycards as a way of granting access and monitoring movement. However, with many of these access control systems being operated from a local internal server, they can become vulnerable to cyber attacks. These access control systems require internal maintenance, updates and data back-ups. If a slight mistake is made with the data that’s being handled on-site, it could lead to a less secure digital infrastructure. One cyber attack later and, suddenly, the physical security of the school is compromised. So what’s the answer to this growing issue?

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