3 Ways Mobile Credentials Are Changing Access Control

SmartOffice Access
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Product Marketing Manager

Mobile phones are a vital part of our day-to-day lives. We use them for everything from communicating to payment systems via Google Pay or ApplePay. The mobile revolution has also disrupted the access control industry with mobile credentials, effectively replacing the traditional systems with keycards and fobs needed for door entry. With businesses adopting cloud-based platforms and IoT technologies, the use of a smartphone for mobile credentials fits right in. If you have an existing access control system or are moving into a new building, here are the top 3 ways mobile credentials can benefit you, compared to traditional RFID keycard/fob access systems:

Mobile Credential Benefits

Let’s look at some of the ways smartphones can permanently change the world of Access Control.

Better Security

It’s well documented that RFID keycard systems have clear security challenges such as copying of keys from bad actors to lost/stolen cards. We discussed all of this in detail in our recent blog. Other than the fact that smartphones can’t be copied/cloned, other interesting security enhancements like 2FA (Two Factor Authentication) allow users to leverage biometrics to unlock their phone using FaceID or TouchID. Mobile credentials improve physical security by providing organizations with visual identity verification in addition to the access events recorded in an activity log. If a user loses their mobile device, the administrator can revoke the mobile credentials  immediately, from any remote location, and re-enable once the device is found or a new device is issued. Addressing security issues in real-time is beneficial for safety, and also reduces costly security vulnerabilities and improves the user experience. Also, users are less likely to lend out their personal devices to be used for door entry, so the user helps keep the system secure too. 

More Convenient

While tight security measures and convenience don’t usually go hand-in-hand, it does with mobile credentials!  From the user’s perspective, they don’t have anything extra to carry with them to open doors, they simply use the device they always have on hand—their smartphone.  Visitors get a much easier and more welcoming experience too. They get to skip the registration process at the security desk to receive a temporary keycard. Instead, authorized visitors receive temporary mobile credentials via an email they open on their device, containing a secured guest link without needing to download the SmartOffice app. The credential can also be set to expire as the visitor leaves.  And with the demands brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, this aids in reducing the number of touchpoints. The credential can also be set to expire as the visitor leaves. Employees visiting branch offices don’t need to search through a multiplicity of keycards, as is the case with a keycard system. They instead can be authorized quickly via the same mobile app already installed on their smartphone. This is perfect for the administrator as well since they don’t have to deal with the overhead of purchasing and programming keycards and managing check-ins and check-outs.  For the administrator, adding users is very easy. In the case of Sangoma’s SmartOffice Access, onboarding users simply requires an invitation email to the user, where they download the mobile app and click a secured web link to automatically log themselves into their pre-configured account. Since the solution is part of Sangoma’s UCaaS offerings, users are automatically enabled when added to Sangoma’s business tools, and in the same respect, easily removed when needed. For both the user and the administrator, the ability to remotely unlock and lock doors is a great use-case when someone needs entry into the premises and has either forgotten their device, or is a visitor with another authorized reason for requiring entry.

More Cost-Effective

Mobile credentials completely eliminate the costs of keycards, their respective printers, storage and handling, and moves the solution from a capital expenditure to an operational one. The costs become more predictable and significantly lower. Think about a larger organization, a hotel or a school, where hundreds or thousands of keycards are issued, over and over again.  In the case of Sangoma SmartOffice Access, the solution is completely wireless, without any  door readers to purchase per door, and no wiring and drill costs to deal with either. If we put this to dollar figures, it would cost an average of $500 per door to deploy (this includes the wireless door lock and the wireless components) where the cost would range from $1000-$2000 with a door reader type solution, per door. And as you add more doors, those price gaps become larger.

Sangoma SmartOffice Access

Our solution supports all of these advantages that mobile credentials bring to the modern access control market. It is designed for businesses requiring stringent security measures in a time of increased cyber threats, and for those wanting the cost and time savings of completely wireless deployment. The solution also offers hybrid setup, meaning it works with a business’ existing access control system so that they can plan their migration easily. To learn more about SmartOffice Access, visit www.sangoma.com/access-control.
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