NFC enabled smartphones simplify access control for businesses more than ever before. With the Near-Field Communication Enhancements the potential for the range in which this technology can be used continues to grow.
A major university on the west coast has recently started using this smartphone technology for access control of students and staff in their dormitories. Door locks are opened by students and staff using their NFC-enabled smartphones. The majority of students and staff using their smartphones for more simple access control stated that using a smartphone to unlock a door was as convenient as using a campus ID card, and nearly all students commented on their interest in using their smartphones to simplify access control to the recreation/sport center, and when paying for meals, tickets and merchandise.
NFC-enabled smartphone technology also allows the cellular network to reprogram and deliver keys to new employees and vendors and alter the rules for the use of each digital key.
According to an article by Brandon Arcement in Mobile Security Magazine he states, “An employee or a vendor at a government facility may have already received approval for access only to find a door where access is denied. With a traditional access card, the person would be required to return to the security operations center to have authorization for that door added. But with NFC enabled smartphones, that authorization could be added remotely by simply calling the security desk. The process would take seconds rather than many minutes to complete.”
And doors are not the only things that NFC-enabled smartphones can access and unlock. Smartphones simplify access control to drawers, file cabinets, drug carts, and other valuable properties that businesses or individuals want to keep limited access to.
According to Arcement this technology available through NFC-enabled smartphones is also less expensive than traditional smart cards, “The infrastructure required for these locks is usually less expensive than that of a standard online card reader, yet, combined with the smartphone, it can create an audit trail to show who has accessed an asset and when. These less expensive solutions allow for robust access systems to be applied in areas that may have previously been considered cost prohibitive.”
In addition, NFC enabled smartphone can provide extra security for students and staff who may want to feel safer while moving about campus late at night. Duress calls can be made from their NFC enabled smartphones to the security command center, where the phones GPS capabilities can pinpoint the call on a campus map. “With virtually all students now carrying a mobile phone, it may be possible in the future to reduce the number of remote intercoms and communication stations on campus,” says Arcement.
You can read Brandon’s full article here: http://secprodonline.com/articles/2011/12/01/securitys-range-and-capabilities.aspx
Stay tuned for more information in our next blog regarding how mobile devices and smartphones can deliver remote video, further enhancing and simplifying access control.