Delivering peace of mind in unsettled times for access control

April 4, 2024


access control

TDSi’s Managing Director John Davies on the importance of deploying effective access control.

Whilst the turbulent geopolitical situation continues to evolve and change, the integrated access control and security sector has so far proven to be an altogether more settled affair in 2024.

From a UK perspective the market continues to grow and develop and as a UK manufacturer we are also finding that key export markets such as the Middle East and Southeast Asia have opened up again as COVID restrictions have finally eased.  

Naturally though, the UK security market doesn’t operate in isolation. Factors such as the ongoing war in Ukraine, the continued unrest in the Middle East and the ever-present pressures of the escalating climate emergency, along with the UK’s dip into recession all have a strong socioeconomic influence.  

With a UK General Election also looming in 2024 we all need to be alert to the potentially unexpected political and economic changes and pressures ahead, ensuring that the security industry at least continues to provide welcome stability.  

Here are some of the current key trends to consider and understand. 

Increased reliance on NFC and mobile credentials  

The popular adoption of Apple Wallet and Google Wallet has been impressive.

Highly secure, cost-effective, and exceptionally convenient, these technologies are ideal for granting access to workplaces, hotel rooms, short-stay accommodations (like Airbnb), leisure facilities, and secure delivery/collection points.

At TDSi, for example, we are exploring additional applications of access control systems and integration with other building services, leveraging smartphone authentication as a key.

With the growing popularity and user familiarity of these systems, their usage is expected to expand significantly in the coming years and beyond. 

Greater cooperation with PropTech systems 

The utilisation of PropTech (Property Technology) systems in property management, construction, smart buildings and real estate analytics presents an obvious synergy with integrated security systems.

Hybrid working patterns, evidenced by Office for National Statistics figures indicating 44% of workers engaged in home or hybrid working, significantly impact not only workplaces but also people’s choices in where they live too. 

Property owners are facing mounting pressure to distinguish their offerings and adopt greater flexibility in leasing arrangements.

The data and insights produced by security systems, including occupancy levels and facility usage, can also be invaluable for optimising utilities management.

Moreover, the integration of more flexible and user-friendly access control systems, such as mobile device authentication and credentials, enhances property management capabilities. 

On a larger scale, the successful implementation of smart cities hinges even more on appropriate security systems, a consideration that forward-thinking security providers must acknowledge and accommodate in their strategies moving forward. 

Complete intelligent solutions 

Whilst security integration is not a new concept, the rapid advancements in AI and Machine Learning have made complete intelligent security solutions more accessible and functional than ever.

By integrating Access Control Systems, Surveillance Systems (CCTV), Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS), Perimeter Security, Alarm Systems, and Smart Building Technologies with AI-powered technology, automated facilities management has reached unprecedented heights. 

As property management evolves and the utilisation of properties changes, the importance and necessity of this level of automation increases.

It streamlines numerous repetitive and labour-intensive tasks traditionally handled by operators (tasks that humans often struggle to monitor effectively), whilst enhancing accuracy and responsiveness.

Moreover, these systems are cost-effective, making them particularly suitable for times of heightened economic constraints and reduced budgets. 

Increased adoption of cloud-based security systems and Security as a Service 

One of the most significant transformations in business systems since the pandemic has been the considerable shift towards Cloud-based solutions, a trend that has also extended to security systems.

Migrating security systems to the cloud offers numerous key advantages, such as swift and seamless scalability, extensive accessibility, cost-effectiveness, heightened cybersecurity measures, robust disaster recovery and redundancy capabilities, and user-friendly interfaces. 

Cloud hosting also facilitates the implementation of Security as a Service (SaaS), which aligns perfectly with the needs of our rapidly evolving world.

With a fixed monthly fee providing the appropriate level of security without the burdens of overheads or periodic capital expenditure costs, SaaS is particularly well-suited for industries like real estate and for organisations adapting to flexible hybrid working models.

Its rapid deployment capabilities ensure that security providers can remotely monitor and address issues with minimal disruption, especially crucial in a world grappling with global political and economic uncertainties.

The further expansion of SaaS deployment certainly is timely in the current landscape. 

Greater emphasis on the security of national and critical infrastructure 

Undoubtedly, safeguarding national and critical infrastructure — including areas like national security facilities, nuclear facilities, military installations, hospitals, healthcare centres, data centres, and utilities — remains paramount.

Yet, in an era marked by increased global instability and economic strains, it becomes imperative for security protocols to adapt to potentially heightened threats. 

The conflict in Ukraine serves as a stark reminder that even critical civilian infrastructure remains a prime target for malicious entities, necessitating top-tier security measures to fend off potential attacks.

Whether stemming from unfriendly foreign powers, terrorists seeking to apply pressure or extortion, or criminals aiming to exploit valuable assets or resources, the need for robust security measures cannot be overstated. 

Furthermore, the growing integration of cyber and physical security systems introduces the risk of cyber-physical attacks, wherein malicious actors exploit vulnerabilities in both cyber and physical components to compromise critical infrastructure.

Insider threats, where individuals with access to sensitive areas or information may pose intentional or unintentional risks by compromising security measures, also loom large.

Moreover, non-human threats such as natural disasters and industrial accidents pose significant risks to essential facilities if not adequately secured.

In a world grappling with diminishing resources, the security of essential infrastructure has assumed unprecedented importance. 

Bridging the uncertainty 

Whilst the world may appear to be in a somewhat precarious state now, this is exactly when people look to the right security to add reassurance.

The intelligent and targeted deployment of appropriate security systems helps to deliver a greater sense of stability and the ability to integrate these with other business and management systems is almost limitless.

As integrated security systems become more closely aligned to other related systems (such as PropTech for example) and cutting-edge technology such as AI/Machine Learning, the solutions we deliver take on another level of importance to society. 

Good security systems work in harmony with the people and property they protect, and the increasing adoption of mobile device credentials and cloud-based solutions are great examples of this.

The further use of SaaS and its ability to seamlessly adapt with the needs of our customers will ensure that the security industry continues to offer the levels of protection, convenience, and value for money that our customers need. 

This article was originally published in the April Edition of Security Journal United Kingdom. To read your FREE digital edition, click here.

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