Tag: nfc mobile access
Access control has relied on cards, fobs, and gates/doors to restrict entry to specific areas of a building. With the rise of mobile devices like smartphones, tablets, and smartwatches, access control providers have adapted these technologies to offer enhanced flexibility and security. Mobile access control is an advanced solution for organizations seeking a more sophisticated access control system.
HID Signo Reader 2.0
The HID Signo Reader 2.0 is a cornerstone of the Signo platform, offering a cutting-edge solution for secure electronic access control. These readers are designed to be highly versatile, supporting a wide range of credential technologies, including HID Mobile Access via Bluetooth and NFC.
Ideal for narrow card reader applications, the HID Signo Reader 2.0 is compatible with a broad spectrum of credential technologies in various forms such as cards, fobs, and mobile devices.
Cons: Virtual access cards credits aren’t re-credited to your account once a virtual card is revoked.
The HID readers are known to have security breaches allowing attackers to crack and clone access cards, meaning that if your reader allows other methods of access than Bluetooth, your premises will be at risk.
Linear Bluetooth Readers
The Linear BluePass Mobile Credential Management Ecosystem integrates mobile credentials and multi-technology Bluetooth/Prox readers, providing a more secure and user-friendly solution for credential management. Mobile credentials are managed through a cloud-based system.
BluePass is designed for ease of use and low ownership cost. The “Credentials-to-Go” feature allows administrators to quickly purchase additional credentials, making it a great option for small to medium-sized businesses.
Supplier: Nortek Security and Control
Proxy Mobile Reader Pro
The Proxy Mobile Reader Pro is a mobile access solution compatible with all existing access control systems. It integrates directly with these systems, allowing administrators to manage both mobile access and key cards within their existing workflow.
This solution supports all common cards, fobs, and badges, giving administrators and employees the choice of using either mobile access or their current credentials.
The Hundure PXR-92MSL-BE is a Bluetooth and NFC card reader that requires the Hundure mCard app to be installed on a smartphone to unlock doors using these functions.
This reader supports Mifare unique ID or Block read format and has a programmable key value. It can be installed at a distance using the RS-485 communication interface and has the ability to detect the connection status with the control panel, automatically switching modes when necessary. The Hundure PXR-92MSL-BE is suitable for educational, residential, and banking environments.
ICT Mobile Solutions: tSec Black Mini 13.56MHz Card Reader with Bluetooth® Wireless Technology
ICT’s tSec readers and Protege Mobile app, along with mobile credentials and NFC capability, allow doors to be unlocked using a smartphone.
ICT offers both open and managed credentials. Open credentials provide additional security by tying the credential to the user’s profile. Managed credentials are administered by ICT and registered with a unique global site code. ICT mobile solutions are suitable for commercial, retail, financial, educational, and healthcare facilities.
Cons: ICT has no more distributor in Australia and requires integrators to pass their license, making it harder to find qualified security installers / integrators around Australia.
The Gallagher Mobile Connect: T15 Multi Tech Reader
The Gallagher Mobile Connect App transforms your mobile device into a secure access credential by integrating directly with the Gallagher Command Centre through Bluetooth technology. The app eliminates the need for multiple access cards at different sites by storing access credentials from multiple locations on your smartphone. Enhanced security features such as fingerprint data and PINs ensure secure access to your credentials. Ideal for various settings such as healthcare, retail, residential, and offices.
Cons: Gallagher as a limited number of security integrators around Australia because they require integrators to pass their license, making it harder to find techs.
Their system was designed to be complicated from the start and they’re using a proprietary encryption that can be eventually cracked rendering all existing readers unsecured unlike with open source based encryptions.
Gallagher uses security through obscurity.
Supplier: Gallagher Security
STid Mobile ID
With STid Mobile ID, access cards are moved onto smartphones, providing the option to use them alongside or instead of traditional RFID cards. The app can store an unlimited number of virtual access cards on your mobile device and revoked cards are re-credited to your account unlike other manufacturers, so buy once and for ever.
STid Mobile ID offers 5 different identification modes, including badge mode (swipe your phone on the reader), slide mode (wave your hand above the reader to open the door), tap tap mode (double tap on your pocket where is located your phone to open the door), remote mode (press a virtual remote control on your phone to open the door or parking gate), and hands-free mode (just walk in without having to do anything), making it user-friendly.
Data privacy is ensured through encryption and obfuscation methods using open-source encryption. With its intuitive identification modes and secure data protection, STid Mobile ID is suitable for use in healthcare, critical infrastructure sites, educational institutions, offices and residential buildings looking to stop overcrowding and short-term letting such as AirBnB.
Pros: STID offers a large choice of Bluetooth readers, from narrow readers to normal size but also with integrator scrambling pin pad and more.
Supplier: STid Security
Mobile solutions have revolutionized the way organizations approach security.
With mobile solutions, security measures are more flexible, scalable, and accessible. For example, mobile devices can be used as authentication factors, enabling users to securely access systems and data. Mobile solutions also allow for real-time monitoring of security threats and enable security teams to respond quickly to mitigate risks. Additionally, mobile solutions provide new opportunities for data collection and analysis, enabling organizations to identify potential security threats and vulnerabilities before they become significant issues.
Mobile solutions can improve identity and access management by enabling multi-factor authentication (MFA) and biometric authentication.
MFA requires users to provide two or more authentication factors, such as a password and a fingerprint, to access a system or application. Biometric authentication, such as facial recognition or fingerprint scanning, can also enhance security by providing a unique and difficult-to-replicate authentication factor.
Mobile solutions can also enable remote access management, allowing administrators to revoke or modify user access permissions in real-time, improving security and reducing the risk of unauthorized access.
Mobile solutions can help organizations comply with security regulations by providing secure communication channels, enabling data encryption, and enforcing security policies.
For example, mobile solutions can ensure that data is encrypted in transit and at rest, protecting sensitive information from potential breaches.
Mobile solutions can also enforce security policies, such as password requirements and device restrictions, to ensure compliance with regulations. Additionally, mobile solutions can provide audit trails and logs, enabling organizations to track and monitor security events and demonstrate compliance with security regulations.
Implementing mobile security solutions requires a holistic approach that addresses all aspects of security, from user education and training to technology solutions.
Best practices for implementing mobile security solutions include regularly updating software and firmware, implementing MFA and biometric authentication, using mobile device management (MDM) solutions to enforce security policies and manage devices, and regularly testing and auditing security measures.
Additionally, organizations should provide ongoing security training to employees, educating them on security risks and best practices for protecting sensitive information.
In our last article, we talked about how partnering with a reliable mobile access control systems provider can protect your company’s buildings, employees, and assets. These benefits include state-of-the-art technology, compliance with privacy laws like GDPR, and a range of features to suit your organization’s needs.
This article will address some common misconceptions about how mobile access control systems can impact mobile phone performance and battery life. People who use mobile access control apps on their phones might be concerned that the apps will use a lot of their phone’s memory or CPU, which could affect performance, or that the apps will drain their battery.
First, let’s talk about how mobile access control apps affect phone performance. Then, we’ll look at how they impact battery life.
Does Using a Mobile Access Control System App Impact the Performance of My Smartphone?
Mobile access control system apps are designed to be small, fast, and efficient. They don’t use much memory and don’t affect phone performance much. The app works in the background and doesn’t interfere with other phone functions.
When you use the app to gain access to a space, it uses minimal memory, CPU, and battery power. On a typical 64 GB iPhone, the app takes up only a tiny fraction of the phone’s storage space. The credential (the data that grants access) is even smaller.
STID Mobile is a trusted mobile access control provider. Working with thousands of customers in many countries to open tens of thousands of doors and entries. The app is designed to be efficient and minimize the impact on phone performance and processing time.
Does Using a Mobile Access Control System App Impact the Battery Life of My Smartphone?
Mobile access control system apps are designed to be energy efficient and use minimal memory and processing power. This means they don’t use much battery power.
In tests, we saw as little as 0.0025% battery level consumption when using the app to access a door once a minute for two hours. This means you can use the app hundreds of times without a significant loss of battery power.
You don’t have to worry that using mobile access control systems will drain your phone battery or affect device performance but if you do, you always welcome to turn off your Bluetooth and reactivate it before walking in the premises.
Think of the STID mobile access control system app as a high-end Bugatti. It’s efficient, agile, and fast, like a smartcard. It doesn’t use much energy as it quickly gets the job done. It’s not like a fat SUV that would burden the app’s efficiency. Our customers prefer the Bugatti.
Are you ready to learn more about STID Mobile Access?
Personal Data Misconceptions in Mobile Access
In our last article, we talked about how mobile access control (using your smartphone to open doors) is better than traditional methods and how to restore access if your smartphone is lost or stolen. In this article, we will discuss how companies make sure mobile access apps on smartphones are secure while also protecting the owner’s personal information.
Before we start, here are some main points from the last article:
Smartphones are a popular choice for secure access control because they can replace keys and RFID credentials.
Mobile access is easy to adjust and cheaper to manage than traditional methods.
Mobile access allows employees to enter physical and digital spaces using their smartphone as a credential. It uses NFC or BLE technology to confirm permission.
If an employee’s smartphone is lost or stolen, their access can be immediately revoked to prevent unauthorized access to company properties.
It’s a good idea for companies to have two-step authentication to make sure only authorized people can use the mobile access app. For example, a PIN can be required before using the app.
Is Personal Data Vulnerable When Using Mobile Access Control?
Previously, we discussed what to do if your smartphone is lost or stolen. Now, let’s talk about how companies like Prox Access Security provide a secure mobile access application for your phone.
Some companies worry about their mobile access system being vulnerable if a smartphone is lost or stolen. To help protect against this risk, these companies can require users to unlock their phone and open the mobile access app before the app can be used. This means the user needs to use a PIN or biometric to open their phone, making it less likely that an unauthorized person will be able to use it.
This type of access control feature is especially helpful for “bring your own device” (BYOD) employees who need extra security. It works with corporate policies to provide a consistent experience and manage risk. Employees who bring their own phones to work should follow the same protection rules.
Some employees may be hesitant to install a corporate app on their phone because they think the company will be monitoring them and they want to protect their privacy. For example, they may ask why “location services” need to be enabled on the app. It’s important for them to understand that this is just to allow the app to easily use Bluetooth and provide the best phone performance.
If you have an iPhone, you may know about a feature that lets you locate your phone if it’s lost or stolen. One part of this feature is the ability to remotely erase app data, which will also delete the mobile access app. This works even if the phone is off or appears to be dead.
Look for compliance with security policies and laws, like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe, which protects individual privacy for all citizens. Trustworthy companies will be transparent about the information they collect on behalf of the individual and let their customers know what data is and isn’t collected. These companies can be trusted partners for developing a mobile access control policy and addressing mobile access issues.
The Advantages of Collaborating with a Mobile Access Provider
Ultimately, it’s the phone owner’s responsibility to protect both company access and personal information on the smartphone. If the phone is lost or stolen, the owner needs to tell the company’s system administrator. This is true for keys, traditional access control cards, fobs, or tokens.
The administrator will use tools in their system to prevent unauthorized access to the company’s buildings and systems, while also protecting personal and company data.
Mobile access providers should also help protect company access and employee personal data. They should make sure their mobile access platform has policies and workflows that support customers and all mobile access users.
You can trust global access control providers to help protect company access and personal data. They are partners who can help you solve any access control system problems. This collaboration is good for everyone.
Are you ready to learn more about STID Mobile Access?
Misconception 1: A Stolen Phone Can Be Used to Gain Mobile Access
Mobile access functionality is a new feature in access control that uses the trend of being able to go places easily with your phone or other device to make it easier for people to use access control. Let’s learn about this technology and how it works.
Understanding Mobile Access: How it Works
Mobile access is a feature that allows users to access physical locations or systems using their mobile devices, such as smartphones or tablets, as a form of identification and authentication. This can be used in a variety of settings, such as for unlocking doors, entering secure areas, or accessing systems and services.
Mobile access typically works by installing a mobile access app on the user’s device, which communicates with the access control system via Bluetooth or NFC (near field communication). The user can then use their device to unlock doors or access restricted areas by holding it up to a reader or scanning a QR code. The access control system verifies the user’s identity and grants or denies access based on the user’s permissions and the current security settings.
Comparing Mobile Access to Traditional Locking Systems and RFID Credentials
Mobile access is a newer technology that offers several advantages compared to traditional locking systems and RFID (radio-frequency identification) credentials.
One advantage of mobile access is convenience. With traditional locking systems, users typically need to carry a physical key or card to unlock doors, which can be easily lost or forgotten. RFID credentials have improved upon this by allowing users to unlock doors with a simple tap or wave of their credential, but they still require the user to carry an additional device. With mobile access, the user’s smartphone or other mobile device serves as both a communication device and a credential, eliminating the need to carry an additional device.
Another advantage of mobile access is that it is more secure than traditional keys, which can be copied, and RFID credentials, which can potentially be skimmed or cloned. Mobile access systems can incorporate additional security measures such as passcodes, biometric authentication, or dynamic security codes that change with each use, making it more difficult for unauthorized users to gain access.
Finally, mobile access is more flexible and scalable than traditional locking systems and RFID credentials. With traditional systems, adding or revoking access for a user requires physically issuing or collecting a key or card, which can be time-consuming and costly. With mobile access, access can be granted or revoked remotely and almost instantly, making it easier to manage and maintain access control.
What Happens to Mobile Access When a Phone is Stolen or Lost?
If a mobile phone with mobile access is lost or stolen, the first step is to report the loss or theft to the appropriate authorities and to the mobile access provider. The provider will then typically take steps to revoke access to the lost or stolen phone, making it impossible for anyone to use the phone to gain unauthorized access.
In addition to revoking access, with the STID Mobile Access system, only the owner of the phone can access to the premises, indeed the Bluetooth readers are forcing the phone to ask for fingerprints unlock, making it impossible for the thief to use your phone to enter the premises.
Additionally, it’s important for users to report the loss or theft of their mobile device as soon as possible to the building management or security manager to have your virtual card revoked from the system and a new one sends to you right away
By following some simple rules for managing mobile access, you can minimize the risk of losing access or having your personal information exposed. It is important to have a mobile access system that is secure, convenient, and offers options like multi-factor authentication and enterprise-wide credential rules. In our next blog, we will discuss the measures that mobile access companies take to protect your personal information and address concerns about privacy on smartphones.
Are you ready to learn more about STID Mobile Access?
Keycard and Keyfob Cloning put your premises at risk.
Keycard cloning is a serious security concern that has plagued residential and commercial buildings for years. Cloning allows unauthorized individuals to access secure areas, potentially putting the entire building and its occupants at risk. One type of keycard that has been particularly vulnerable to cloning is the HID iClass card. In this blog post, we will explore the issue of keycard cloning, with a focus on HID iClass cards, and the risks associated with this security vulnerability.
First, it’s important to understand what keycard cloning is and how it works. Keycard cloning is the process of creating a copy of an existing keycard. The cloned keycard will have the same data as the original, allowing the person in possession of the cloned keycard to access the same areas as the original keycard owner. Cloning can be done using various methods, such as copying the data onto a blank keycard or by programming a new keycard with the same data as the original.
One of the most common types of keycards that are cloned is the HID iClass card. HID Global is a leading provider of access control systems and their iClass card is a popular choice for many businesses. However, the iClass card has been known to have vulnerabilities that make it susceptible to cloning.
The vulnerabilities in HID iClass cards are primarily due to their use of a static key. A static key is a digital code that is used to authenticate the card and allow access to secure areas. In the case of iClass cards, the static key is stored on the card itself and is not encrypted with an open source encryption but instead with a proprietary encryption using a rainbow table, this type of proprietary encryption can be found in many other security systems such as URMET FDI, ICT, Gallagher and much more. Ethical hackers and crackers have warned the public for over a decade that using proprietary encryption ultimately gives ways for crackers to decrypt the keycards, it’s also referred to the security through obscurity. This means that anyone with access to the card can easily copy the static key and use it to create a cloned keycard.
Another vulnerability in iClass cards and their readers is the TTL communication between the reader and the door controller, which doesn’t uses RFID technology. RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification, and it’s a technology that uses radio waves to communicate between the card and the reader. However, the communication between the reader and door controller (software management) is not secure, and the data transmitted can be intercepted by anyone with the right equipment, exposing the building facility code (site code). This means that an attacker can easily intercept the data from an iClass card and use it to create a cloned keycard.
Again another vulnerability with HID Global BLE for multiple reader lines, including HID iClass SE and HID Signo…
The risks associated with keycard cloning are significant. When an unauthorized individual gains access to a building or secure area, they could steal confidential information, cause damage, or harm occupants. Additionally, people who clone keycards are often keeping copies for potential clients looking to access the building facilities or to use parking illegally. This is a common practice for many unlicensed service providers, who offer keycard cloning as part of their services. These individuals are not vetted and may have ulterior motives, such as theft or vandalism.
People who choose to clone their keycards are also putting themselves and the entire building at risk. By using an unlicensed service provider, they are allowing a stranger access to sensitive information and secure areas. Furthermore, the cloned keycard can be easily shared or sold to other individuals, increasing the likelihood of unauthorized access and security breaches.
The solution to the problem of keycard cloning is to transition to more secure access control systems. HID Global has already released a new version of their iClass cards, called iClass SE then SEOS, which uses more advanced encryption and secure communication protocols. This makes it much harder for attackers to intercept data and clone keycards but not impossible thus right now the entire iClass credentials can be cloned…
However, the best solution is to move away from physical keycards altogether and transition to mobile access control systems. Mobile access control systems use virtual keycards that are stored on a user’s smartphone. These virtual keycards cannot be cloned and can be easily revoked if they fall into the wrong hands. Additionally, mobile access control systems offer a host of other benefits, such as the ability to remotely manage access and track usage.
In conclusion, keycard cloning is a serious security concern that can have significant consequences so we recommend to look at new solutions and security integrators if your current security integrator failed repetitively to secure your premises or is still using HID global.
Keycard & Keyfob cloning is the process of creating a copy of an electronic access card or fob, which can be used to gain access to secure areas or buildings. In Australia, keycard and keyfob cloning is legal provided it is done for legitimate purposes by authorized persons, such as building managers or security professionals.
When it's done by unknown people in the street or a shop, it's illegal without the correct licencing.
Most keycards and keyfobs use RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology to communicate with the access control system. If your keycard or keyfob uses RFID, it is likely that it can be cloned. However, some manufacturers use proprietary technology that cannot be easily copied. If you are unsure, you can contact the manufacturer or a reputable security professional to determine if your keycard or keyfob can be cloned.
It is unlikely that someone can clone your keycard or keyfob without your knowledge, as they would need to physically access the card or fob in order to clone it. In some instance, it's possible to clone a credential just by knowing its printed numbering.
However, if your keycard or keyfob is lost or stolen, it is possible that someone could clone it before you realize it is missing.
To prevent this, you should report any lost or stolen keycards or keyfobs to the appropriate authorities immediately.
To protect your keycard or keyfob from cloning, you should keep it in a secure location when not in use, and avoid leaving it unattended in public places.
You can also purchase protective sleeves or wallets that block the RFID signal, making it harder for someone to scan or clone your card or fob.
Additionally, you can use a password or PIN code in conjunction with your keycard or keyfob to add an extra layer of security.
While it is technically possible to clone your own keycard or keyfob using off-the-shelf equipment, it is not recommended unless you have the necessary technical expertise.
Attempting to clone your own card or fob without the proper knowledge or equipment can result in errors or even damage to the original card or fob.
It is best to hire a professional security company that specializes in keycard and keyfob cloning to ensure a successful and secure cloning process.
As an expert in security electronic systems for the past 10 years, I have witnessed the evolution of security technology, including the rise of RFID, NFC, and Bluetooth mobile access systems.
While all of these technologies offer various benefits, I believe that upgrading to Bluetooth mobile access systems is crucial for strata buildings in terms of security, convenience, and cost-effectiveness.
In this blog post, I will discuss the importance of upgrading to Bluetooth mobile access systems and provide multiple examples to support my argument.
Firstly, let’s talk about security. Bluetooth mobile access systems offer a more secure and reliable solution than traditional access systems such as keys or fobs. With traditional systems, if a key or fob is lost or stolen, it can be easily replicated or used to gain access to a building. In contrast, Bluetooth mobile access systems use encrypted data transmission and are linked to a specific user’s smartphone.
This means that even if a user loses their smartphone, their access can be quickly disabled and replaced by a new device. Additionally, Bluetooth mobile access systems can be programmed to allow access only during specific times, ensuring that only authorized individuals are allowed in the building.
To further illustrate the importance of Bluetooth mobile access systems for security, let me provide an example. In 2019, a strata building in Sydney, Australia, was targeted by a group of thieves who gained access to the building using stolen keys. The thieves stole thousands of dollars worth of goods from residents’ apartments before fleeing the scene. If the building had been equipped with a Bluetooth mobile access system, the thieves would not have been able to gain access with stolen keys, preventing the theft from occurring.
Another key advantage of Bluetooth mobile access systems is convenience. Gone are the days of fumbling for keys or fobs to gain entry to a building. With Bluetooth mobile access systems, all that is needed is a user’s smartphone. This is not only more convenient for users but also eliminates the need for building managers to keep track of keys and fobs, saving time and resources.
To further illustrate the convenience of Bluetooth mobile access systems, let me provide an example. Imagine a strata building with a large number of residents and visitors. With traditional access systems, building managers would need to issue and track a large number of keys and fobs. This can be a time-consuming and tedious process. With Bluetooth mobile access systems, however, all residents and visitors can be added to the system quickly and easily. Users can also be granted temporary access through their smartphones, further streamlining the process.
Lastly, upgrading to Bluetooth mobile access systems can also be cost-effective in the long run. While the initial investment may be higher than traditional systems, the cost savings over time can be substantial. For example, if a key or fob is lost, it must be replaced at a cost to the building. With Bluetooth mobile access systems, however, users can simply use their smartphones, eliminating the need for replacement keys or fobs. Additionally, the maintenance and upkeep of Bluetooth mobile access systems are generally lower than traditional systems, saving building managers time and money.
To further illustrate the cost-effectiveness of Bluetooth mobile access systems, let me provide an example. Imagine a strata building with 100 units, each with a key and a fob. If each key and fob costs $20 to replace and is lost once a year, the building would be spending $2,000 annually on key and fob replacement alone. Over the course of 10 years, this adds up to $20,000. If the building were to upgrade to Bluetooth mobile access systems, however, the cost of replacing lost keys and fobs would be eliminated, resulting in significant cost savings over time.
In conclusion, upgrading to Bluetooth mobile access systems is crucial for strata buildings in terms of security
Upgrading your strata building's security is important for several reasons. Firstly, it helps to ensure the safety and security of residents, guests, and visitors. Secondly, it can help to prevent crime, including theft, vandalism, and break-ins. Additionally, it can increase the value of your property and make it more attractive to potential buyers or renters.
There are several effective security upgrades for strata buildings, including installing security cameras, intercom systems, and access control systems such as keyless entry or swipe cards. Adding motion sensor lighting in common areas, upgrading locks and door hardware, and implementing security patrols are other effective ways to enhance security.
The cost of upgrading a strata building's security can vary depending on the size of the building, the types of upgrades needed, and the level of security required. Some upgrades, such as installing security cameras or intercom systems, can be relatively inexpensive, while others, such as upgrading the building's access control system, may require a larger investment.
To ensure that security upgrades are carried out effectively, it is important to work with reputable and experienced security professionals who can provide expert guidance and installation services. You can also involve the building's strata committee or owners' corporation in the process to ensure that all residents are informed and have input.
Security systems in strata buildings should be regularly assessed and updated as needed to ensure that they remain effective and up-to-date with the latest security technology. It is recommended to review and assess security systems at least once a year and to make any necessary upgrades or changes based on the results of the assessment.
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Mobile Access Control: Exploring the Significance of Bluetooth Technology
Choosing the Right Communications Protocol for Smartphone Access Control Trends
The use of smartphones in access control systems is rapidly gaining popularity as electronic access control manufacturers promote the various ways in which mobile technology and soft or virtual credentials can be used to replace cards. With the majority of the population owning smartphones, it’s no surprise that many organizations are adopting this new technology. According to Gartner Research, 95% of adults aged 18-44 own smartphones, and 20% of organizations are predicted to use mobile credentials for physical access by 2020.
Smartphones have all three authentication parameters, making them a reliable solution for access control. With the use of biometrics and personal identification numbers (PINs), mobile credentials remain protected behind the smartphone’s security parameters, providing a built-in multi-factor verification system. Since the credential is protected by the phone’s security system, it cannot be accessed without access to the phone. Therefore, organizations are keen to implement smartphone-based access control systems due to their built-in security and availability.
Discovering Why Bluetooth Has Emerged as the Leading Communications Protocol
Why Bluetooth Emerges as the Top Communication Protocol in Smartphone Credential Systems, Compared to NFC
Bluetooth and Near Field Communications (NFC) are the most popular short-range radio wave communication standards used in smartphone credential systems. Before investing in a mobile access system, it’s essential to consider the technology choice, as the installed base of mobile devices can affect the decision. iPhones 5s and earlier do not support NFC, so in organizations with a large base of iPhones and Androids, Bluetooth is the only viable option.
Bluetooth technology is very popular and less expensive, as almost every smartphone already has Bluetooth. In contrast, less than 50% of all smartphones have NFC. Although NFC uses less power, its short read range can be an advantage in eliminating the chances of the smartphone unknowingly being read. However, it can also make the reader seem more finicky.
The longer read range of Bluetooth is a significant advantage, with a range from an inch to over 15 feet. Adjustable read ranges can be provided for various applications, from a three-foot range at the front door to a six-foot range at the facility gate, and up to 15 feet to open parking garage doors or gates. Bluetooth readers can be mounted on the secure side of doors and kept protected out of sight, making them more secure than NFC readers.
Thus, Bluetooth technology has emerged as the leading communication protocol in smartphone credential systems, compared to NFC, due to its wider range and compatibility with a broad range of mobile devices.
Other important information
Access control using Bluetooth technology has become more efficient with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). BLE technology operates at a maximum speed of 1Mbps with actual throughput of 10~35 Kbps and can be powered by a single cell battery for months. This lowers the hardware cost while offering the promise of smooth access control using smartphones.
To get started, a direct connection between the Bluetooth-enabled device and the internet is required, which can be achieved through the cellular data network or a secure Wi-Fi connection. To install a mobile credential, the user needs to have the Wallet app installed on a supported smartphone. After launching the app and selecting the ‘+’ button, a registration key certificate is provided for each credential ordered. The unique 16-character key from the certificate is entered and submitted, and once registered, the new mobile credential appears in the Wallet app ready for use.
With BLE-enabled reader technology, users can authenticate their identity by simply presenting their smartphone, eliminating the need to enter a PIN or password. The smartphone becomes the user’s identity, and the credential is operational as long as the phone is functional.
Two things to keep in mind
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To successfully implement Bluetooth technology in your access control system, it’s crucial to first understand the benefits and potential pitfalls. Make sure to work with a manufacturer who not only has expertise in Bluetooth technology but can also provide guidance during the initial installation process.
It’s also important to consider your cybersecurity responsibilities when using Bluetooth-enabled systems. Some older systems may require users to register multiple times for different applications, which can lead to privacy concerns. Look for newer solutions that offer easier ways to distribute credentials and eliminate the need for additional portal accounts or activation features.
To ensure the security of your access control system, it’s essential to protect against hacking and replay attacks. Work with your manufacturer to choose the best system for your application and ensure that it’s immune to these types of threats.
With Bluetooth-enabled smartphones becoming increasingly popular, it’s expected that they will play a major role in physical and logical access control systems. In fact, they are projected to constitute 20% of all card-based access control within the next 18 months. So, make sure to stay ahead of the curve and embrace this technology for your organization’s security needs.
Mobile Access Control is a system that allows users to use their mobile devices as a means of access control, replacing traditional keys or access cards. This technology allows users to open doors, gates, and other access points using their smartphones or other mobile devices.
Mobile Access Control works by using a mobile app or web-based interface that communicates with an access control system. The system is typically composed of electronic locks or readers that are installed in doors or gates. When a user presents their mobile device to the reader, the system uses Bluetooth, NFC, or other wireless technologies to verify the user's identity and grant access.
Mobile Access Control offers several benefits over traditional access control methods, including greater convenience, increased security, and cost savings. With mobile access control, users no longer need to carry around physical keys or access cards, which can be lost or stolen. Additionally, mobile access control systems are typically more secure, as they use advanced encryption and authentication techniques to protect against unauthorized access. Finally, mobile access control can be more cost-effective, as it eliminates the need for expensive access control hardware and software.
As with any technology, there are potential security concerns with Mobile Access Control. For example, if a user's mobile device is lost or stolen, an unauthorized individual could potentially gain access to the user's access control system. However, many mobile access control systems offer advanced security features, such as two-factor authentication, that can help mitigate these risks.
To implement Mobile Access Control in your organization, you will need to work with a qualified vendor or integrator that specializes in access control solutions. The vendor will typically assess your organization's needs and recommend a mobile access control system that meets your requirements. They will then install the necessary hardware and software, and provide training and support to ensure that your system is up and running smoothly.