Embracing and leading change in the access control infrastructure

The ability to embrace the positive aspects of change requires an access-control platform that can meet today’s requirements

Facility consolidation: If a company is moving or adding a building, new credentials will have to be issued for that location. This is an ideal time to look at access control for the entire organization. It may be time to standardize all locations into one system.

Re-issuance process: As new employees join, many organizations manage costs by purchasing additional cards that work with their old technology. Some organizations may also need to change their cards due to a new brand image or logo, at which point they can upgrade to newer technology.

New card applications: Organizations that want to add new applications such as time and attendance, secure print management systems or cashless vending functions will need to issue some type of associated card to users. They can migrate to a contactless smart card that combines access control with these other functions, enabling employees to carry a single card for many functions. Administration of these functions is centralized into one efficient and cost-effective system. Organizations also can seamlessly add logical access control for network logon to create a fully interoperable, multilayered security solution across company networks, systems and facilities. In the future, they can migrate to the convenience, flexibility and security of carrying digital keys and credentials on smartphones and other devices.

Risk-management improvement: Either due to insurance requirements or to improve risk-management costs by reducing liabilities, moving from an outdated system to a current one can dramatically improve the security in an organization.

Changes in security requirements: As a result of new legislation or regulatory requirements, an organization may be required to increase its security. Similarly, if a company acquires a new client that requires a high level of security, it may need improved access control. A new building tenant may also trigger the need for greater building or campus security, either to protect the parent organization or to comply with the tenant’s requirements. They also might want to add new visual-security technologies to prevent counterfeiting.

Security event: The reality is that sometimes it takes an unexpected event or security breach to move an organization to make the investment in a new access-control system. Ideally, an organization should migrate before there is a problem, especially if the system is still low frequency, which can be easily cloned.

There is significant value that can be derived from shifting the traditional way of thinking about change, and looking at it as a leadership opportunity rather than something initiated in response to an adverse event. With the right approach, users can easily and inexpensively expand and upgrade their systems to meet changing needs while taking advantage of new technologies. By using dynamic rather than static technologies, security becomes independent of hardware and media, and the infrastructure can evolve beyond current abilities with the adaptability to combat continuously changing threats. Making the right technology decisions today will also help organizations meet new requirements with the confidence that they will be able to preserve investments in their existing infrastructure.


John Fenske is vice president of product marketing identity and access management with HID Global