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Illustration by iStock; Security Technology

Edge Computing Unlocks Innovations in Access Control

When it comes to access control, software is playing a greater role in customers’ lives than in the past. There used to be a much bigger focus on hardware, but innovations in software are improving the everyday user experience for customers.

In keeping with this trend, modern access control systems are becoming more sophisticated, both in terms of hardware and software. Edge computing devices for access control are an exciting new addition to the menu of options available to customers with open-architecture security solutions. New products entering the market combine hardware and software in one unit.

The software and hardware companies in these partnerships work in close collaboration to ensure the solutions are easy to deploy and maintain, frictionless, and cybersecure.

Simplifying Installation

Installation and maintenance of software for access control systems previously required IT expertise, as well as skill in physical security deployment. New solutions that combine hardware and software in one unit simplify the installation process.

Integrators can offer easy-to-deploy hardware pre-loaded with industry-leading access control software. This reduces the friction of traditional integrations, decreases maintenance requirements, and enhances cybersecurity at both the hardware and software levels.

The device can continue to operate and keep the area secure even if the connection to the network is disrupted.

Plus, non-proprietary, open platform solutions provide customers with maximum flexibility to scale as their physical security needs evolve. Integrators can work with customers to implement their system in phases or evolve their system as needs change.

Harnessing the Power of Edge Computing

Access control can be a hardware-heavy solution, but edge computing reduces the hardware footprint and creates more flexibility for end users. A key benefit of these new devices is the ability to harness the power of computing at the edge. Data does not have to travel from the device to a server in another location to complete a task. This also reduces the risk of failure points along the way.

Access control systems can play a significant role in your organization's cybersecurity plan.

Edge devices are high performing with rich storage capacity and network capabilities. Devices can quickly process data and make decisions closer to where the action happens. This reduces the risk of a breach, requires less cabling, and takes less time to install. Other benefits include reduced latency for faster system response, improved bandwidth efficiency, and enhanced reliability. The device can continue to operate and keep the area secure even if the connection to the network is disrupted.

Initiatives that distribute processing into containerized, hybrid edge structures increase available computing power for complex applications. Expect to see ongoing innovation in this direction. Manufacturers and software companies will continue to partner to introduce a wider range of edge devices in the coming years.

A More Cybersecure Solution

Access control systems can play a significant role in your organization’s cybersecurity plan. Selecting a system that is automatically updated with the latest protection measures and best practices makes it easier to defend against cyberattacks.

When access control hardware is pre-loaded with security software, end users know both manufacturers are working to meet high standards of security over the long term. A close partnership ensures product and firmware improvements, new features, and important cybersecurity updates can be automatically delivered to ensure they are always secure and up to date.

More than a Lock

Today’s access control systems can do far more than lock and unlock doors. Unified, open architecture systems not only make it easier to manage who’s coming in and out but also to gain meaningful business insights. 

Access control data can be used to optimize everything from HVAC systems to office space needs and even the layout of stores or warehouses. These actionable insights provide a return on investment that goes beyond access management. While the initial investment to upgrade a legacy system may seem high, the benefits are significant. Over time, these operational insights can prove to significantly enhance operations.

Technology is evolving quickly to meet changing customer needs and incorporate innovations. Solutions that combine hardware and software in one device present businesses with an additional opportunity to enhance their operations and cybersecurity while decreasing their total cost of ownership.

Despina Stamatelos is senior commercial manager, Access Control, Genetec, Inc. She is responsible for both product marketing and product management for access control. Stamatelos guides the development of the right offering to meet market needs and constructs go-to-market strategies and positioning of these solutions.   

© Despina Stamatelos, Genetec