Access control is a fast-moving market, growing at a rate of around 10.6 percent every year. And as new innovations and trends, such as Wi-Fi connectivity and remote access, continue to impact the industry, best practices for designing and installing these systems keep evolving.
Here, we cover three of the key practices for value-added resellers (VARs) in 2017:
1. Prioritize data security.
As data security becomes increasingly important, it must now become part of every access control project. A growing number of access control devices are Web-enabled. As part of the enormous Internet of Things (IoT), these technologies must be carefully secured from hacking attempts. Any device that resides on a customer’s network could be hacked, providing access to the company’s entire digital world, complete with customer and employee information, product data, and more.
And it’s only getting worse: With every passing year, hackers are targeting Internet-enabled devices more than ever before. In fact, AT&T reported that, in 2016, there was a 458 percent increase in the number of times that hackers prodded IoT connections for potential vulnerabilities. There’s no doubt that cyber criminals are looking for ways to access your customers’ networks; by prioritizing data security, you can ensure that your access control solution won’t become their key to the kingdom.
Be sure you are carefully securing each customer’s access control data. Use technology that includes built-in digital safeguards and firewalls and consider connecting all physical security devices to a network that is separate from those used by the customer’s other systems. Finally, look for devices that use multi-factor authentication, including PINs, user names, and biometric markers. These will be more difficult to hack because they require more than one piece of information.
2. Focus more on training.
Access control technologies are growing increasingly complex, as vendors add new features and capabilities to continuously improve security. Meanwhile, VARs more often rely on integration to deliver the all-in-one physical security solutions that customers demand.
In 2017, more customers will invest in integrated security solutions and those with cloud capabilities, IT integration, and remote/mobile access. To get the most out of these systems, most customers will require at least some training.
Offering system training as part of your services benefits both you and your customers. You get the chance to round out your service offering, and your customers can feel confident that they are using their new technology correctly and to its full potential.
It’s especially important to train any security personnel or other employees who will be in charge of monitoring and managing the physical security technology. But your customers may also benefit from end-user training, because it is important for all employees to know how to use the access control system, both on a day-to-day basis and during an emergency situation.
3. Incorporate new technologies when they will benefit the customer.
Newer innovations, such as Wi-Fi enabled readers and managed access control, offer a wide range of potential benefits to your customers. However, these advanced capabilities aren’t for everyone.
Some customers may be better off with a traditional access control system, while others will actually achieve a higher degree of security, greater reliability, or reduced costs through new technologies. Be sure to incorporate these devices or features when they make sense—not simply because they are the newest innovations available.
What access control trends do you think will take hold in your market in 2017?