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How to Modernize
Access Control Systems

How to Modernize Access Control Systems

For any organization, managing physical access to their facilities is the first step to ensuring the safety and security of their staff, data, and assets. Today's security access systems that mainly use cameras, RFID cards, keypads, or fingerprint sensors to authenticate users are more often subject to security breaches and failures. Criminals are constantly coming up with new ways to beat these systems, which forces companies to enforce their security. The pandemic has given another reason to rethink access control policies in order to make them safer from a health perspective.

In response to the increased risks, many organizations are now turning to AI. By and large, we can see a tendency to modernize access control through integrating AI video analytics into existing systems and implementing multi-factor identification to verify both employees and visitors. It results in increased safety and security and improves employee attendance control and visitor management. More to that, it helps transform building access into a seamless experience and provides extra business benefits. Let’s see how it works in more detail.

How AI video analytics works with access control systems

To put it simply, video analytics is integrated into cameras that monitor entrance and exit points and other locations. It utilizes computer vision and automated machine learning algorithms to review and validate entries. The system matches an image of a person entering a site to their identity in a database, checks their access permissions and either grants them entry or not. It also sends an alert in case a person from the watchlist has been detected. The latest AI video analytics software is easily integrated with different access control systems, which means that it requires neither any replacement of the existing security infrastructure nor any specialized knowledge or training to operate it.

The value of integrating AI video analytics into access control systems

more robust security for organizations

First and foremost, such integration provides higher security level due to the increased visibility into a real-time situation and a faster response. It’s becoming increasingly important for companies not only to check the credentials of those entering the organization’s spaces but also visually verify their identity. Utilizing video surveillance cameras and AI-powered facial recognition technology, this task can be carried out easily. Due to automation, verification goes faster, security personnel are notified about potential threats in real time and can respond to incidents more efficiently. Due to the unprecedented accuracy of advanced video analytics, the system doesn’t produce many false positives and triggers alarms only in case of a real threat.

Integration of video analytics also works well to tackle such security-related events as misuse of cards or tailgating. That is when an unauthorized person gains access to a building or any protected area, usually by waiting for an authorized user to pass through the entry point.

Using AI-powered facial recognition as an element of multi-factor authentication is another growing trend for access control. It means that a person will gain access only by proving their identity via at least two methods or credentials. Such approach strengthens the security level and helps prevent unauthorized entry. Take, for example, one huge Armenian industrial complex, where the badge method is supplemented by Scylla facial recognition solution, which allows the site security to have increased real-time visibility into who moves and circulates through their spaces, better manage employee attendance and control visitor access.

flexibility, scalability and centralized data and control

Advances in cloud computing have made video-based access control affordable even for smaller companies, enabling them to process and store a large amount of video data offsite. While eliminating the need to buy and maintain servers, cloud deployments have made it easier for organizations to scale according to their needs and stay nimble and flexible. What is more important, it has allowed them to control access to multiple sites under a single system. With all data and controls centralized, admins can manage access levels from a single dashboard, adjust permissions in real time, and even unlock the door for a user remotely if needed. This provides not only convenience and ease of use, but also results in strengthening security and gives a more complete view of security across every access point and location. Besides, cloud storage and bandwidth costs for cloud-based systems are much lower compared to on-premise models.

AI video analytics

seamless experience

Another important benefit that AI video analytics can bring to access control is the ability to transform building access into a seamless experience, no matter whether it comes to business offices, manufacturing sites, educational establishments or sports venues. Apart from being secure and accurate, access control identity authentication is expected to be fast and smooth. Leveraging facial recognition technology is ideal for this purpose.

Harnessing the power of computer vision and AI, facial recognition software is able to process a huge amount of data within seconds and identify thousands of faces simultaneously, even within dynamic and unstable environments. That makes verification speedy, reduces wait times at entry points and provides a frictionless access experience. It is a must-have solution for event organizers as it can facilitate a check-in process and make it both more efficient and more secure.

Implemented mobile technology for access control is beginning to come into common use. Let’s take mobile applications utilizing face recognition to implement seamless ticket-free entry to venues. For example, Scylla’s Face as a Ticket system allows organizations to streamline the check-in process for events, minimize the number of staff involved in the entry process, and provide a fast and safe entry experience.

touchless approach

The pandemic highlighted the need for safer ways to manage access control and led to a new trend towards using touchless solutions that can ensure the workplace is safe and healthy. Therefore, contactless access control solutions are now more critical than ever. According to a new report from Future Market Insights, the market for contactless biometrics technology in North America region is expected to grow at 16.7% CAGR during 2022-30. U.S. contactless biometrics technology sales is expected reach 3.4X by 2030.

Many organizations now rely on either mobile technologies or facial recognition solutions for a more hygienic way of authentication. It doesn’t require physical interaction, thus reducing the risk of spreading infection and providing greater peace of mind for users.

extra business benefits

The benefits of using video analytics for access control extend beyond safety and security. AI gives organizations the opportunity to utilize the data from access events and surveillance footage to get extra business benefits. By gathering relevant data patterns, the system provides actionable insights, footfall analysis and heatmaps, which can be used to better manage employee attendance, control visitor access and staff performance, and even boost productivity in the workplace. Such analytics is also essential to making smarter business decisions and ultimately, reducing costs and increasing ROI.

reduced costs

Integrating AI video analytics into access control systems is beneficial from a financial perspective as well. Cloud and edge processing has made face recognition software practical. It doesn’t require replacement of the existing hardware and can work with various access control and video monitoring systems. Additionally, organizations can cut costs on issuing physical credentials. Utilizing Facial recognition technology eliminates the need for cards entirely, which means significant savings on costs due to their damage or loss.

Savings will also come from optimizing human resources. With a legacy system, large rooms filled with dozens of screens streaming video and access control feeds from all access points as well as multiple teams of security guards to monitor them are required. The matter is no different with physical credentials. Different cards are needed to gain access to different facilities. With a centralized access control integrated with video surveillance, one team of security guards can keep an eye on all entry and exit points. They don’t even need to be glued to monitors all the time, as analytics is performed automatically and the system alerts the staff in the event of unauthorized access. All the events are seen on the unified dashboard or right on the phone, and they can respond to them in real time.

Final Takeaway

More and more organizations are realizing the benefits of investing in video-based access control. Integrating AI video analytics into existing access control systems allows businesses to enforce safety, create touchless entry experiences and provide extra benefits for business operations. It also gives the powerful advantage of having all data and controls centralized on a single, remotely accessible dashboard, which makes managing multiple sites much simpler and more efficient. That means they can do more, faster and with greater accuracy.

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