If you told people 40 years ago that the doors in your office unlock when they “recognize” you, they’d laugh in disbelief. But today, smartphone-based, commercial building security systems make that possible.

In fact, there’s a lot of cutting-edge access control and commercial security solutions available in 2020 that would blow the mind of anyone 40 years ago. Here are three of the most exciting developments that will make our workplaces more secure in 2020 and beyond.

1. Smartphone-Based Access Control

At large, highly-secure office buildings of the past, everybody needed an ID badge to flash at the front gate security guard. Smaller offices didn’t require a badge because the security guard or receptionist recognized their faces and let them in.

Gradually, electronic keycard-based access systems replaced or supplemented the need for human guards and receptionists for commercial building security systems. However, keycard systems are a hassle to manage and they’re very expensive. A recent study on U.S. student keycards found that 19% of students lose their access control cards each year. With replacement cards costing on average $22, this amounts to $83.6 million in losses each year.

To avoid the security risks, hassle and cost of people sharing and losing their keycards, businesses are turning to smartphone-based technologies to manage access control. With these systems, you just tap your phone on a reader, and the door unlocks. No more losing and replacing cards! Don’t be surprised to find smartphone credentials replacing legacy systems in 2020 and beyond.

2. Biometric-Based Access Control for Commercial Building Security Systems

Biometric-based access control systems use fingerprints, retina scans or facial recognition software to verify your identity. These systems boost the efficacy of an access control system because they eliminate the threat of access card theft.

A Missouri school district is already using facial recognition software combined with a network of special surveillance cameras to boost security. The system tracks the movement of individuals, teachers and students as they enter and exit the schools and move around inside them. In addition, the system uses a law enforcement database to look for the faces of known criminals. It can trigger a school-wide lockdown when necessary to keep the students and staff safe.

A network of high-tech, facial-recognition cameras is expensive to purchase, set up and maintain. But more economical solutions are available—and they’re just as secure. For example, Openpath’s solutions harness the biometric scanning tech native to the smartphone that’s already in your and your employees’ pockets. Before granting access, Openpath asks your employees or guests for a fingerprint or facial scan on their smartphone. That way, you know for sure that only the right people have access.

3. Deep IoT Integration for Access Control

As we move deeper into 2020, the internet of things (IoT) is integrating systems that used to run independently without communicating with each other. Soon you’ll be able to monitor and manage systems—like your access control solution, surveillance cameras, burglar alarms, fire alarms, commercial building security systems, employee records, energy conservation systems, lighting systems, HVAC systems, smart coffee maker and other systems—from a single, cloud-based control hub.

More business owners are now seeing the advantages of smart offices. Imagine what a smart office could do in the event of a fire: - Activate the fire alarm and sprinkler systems. - Call the fire department. - Notify key management personnel. - Close off the fire doors to areas of the office that have sensitive equipment and records. - Keep key doors open so occupants can exit the building. - Activate a fire ventilation system to clear smoke from the premises. - Use surveillance cameras to assist the fire department in locating people trapped in the building.

Of course, a system like this requires the highest levels of end-to-end encryption and multi-factor authentication to ensure that only the right people can log into it. Therefore, along with cloud-based security, we can expect continued advancements in server access control and encryption.

Cloud-based servers also offer cost savings because you won’t need to pay for on-site computer hardware or hire staff to maintain it.

Openpath Offers You All of the Best Security Trends of 2020

Openpath’s smartphone-based access control solutions embrace all of the above access control and commercial building security system trends. Openpath systems co-opt the biometric fingerprint and facial recognition scanners in your smartphone, while seamlessly integrating with existing access control hardware and IoT systems at your workplace—all through a cloud-based, highly-encrypted server setup.

Interested in learning more about the latest in commercial access control technology? Get in touch with the Openpath team for more information.

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