We spoke to Prabhuraj Patil, Director, PACS, South Asia, HID Global to understand his organization’s views on how the pandemic has disrupted the Indian security industry, the new tech they are betting on to be more relevant in the changed scenario, focus areas for HID in the year 2021 and key industry verticals that they’re going to target with innovative security solutions.
Interviewed by Adeesh Sharma
1. Your organization’s views on how the pandemic has disrupted the Indian security industry?
As more and more employees return to workplaces, it is important to adapt to new requirements. As employees consider a return to the physical workplace, companies must adapt to new requirements, implement new procedures, and leverage technology to alleviate their employees’ concerns. Investing in the right Physical Access Technology will play a critical role in creating a safe back-to-work strategy. Organizations can leverage contactless physical access technologies — including mobile credentials along with Bluetooth solutions and visitor management tools to provide employees with an experience that supports a healthy and safe work environment.
2. Which new tech are you betting on to be more relevant in the changed scenario?
Contactless access control will definitely be one of the biggest bets. Additionally, over the air credentials will soon catch up. The pandemic has made it necessary for a new era of technology to be introduced and match-up to dynamic market expectations.
Let me get into a little more detail on two technologies that will be key to the sector:
Contactless Access Control: Human to object contact is something that we would all like to avoid as much as possible to manage the risk of contamination, especially in workplaces. Technology should move beyond scanning for entry or sliding doors with thermal sensors, coupling these with contactless credentials will minimize contamination. Using long-range capable readers that leverage Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) connections to deliver read performance at a distance would be beneficial. As the read range spans up to several meters, BLE can further distance employees who might otherwise crowd up around readers and doors.
Mobile access likewise reduces the need for employees to physically touch cards and communal readers. Organizations that rely on keypads or two-factor authentication will find mobile credentials and mobile capable readers to be a hygienic alternative. Adoption of mobile access is expected to see significant growth. Touchless credentials, including mobile-based, shouldn’t be limited to opening doors. Organizations also may find that these credentials support more hygienic protocols for logging in to networks, paying for vending, or activating printing.
- Over the air credentials: Most credentialing processes generally rely on a high degree of human-to-human interaction. The whole process is long-drawn and cumbersome. If we look at something as simple as card access, it’s not just scanning it over the biometric. There will be someone who prepares the card from IT or the card office team. The card is then passed on to HR or front desk and finally the end user, and when a card is lost or stolen, the process repeats. Whether it is an employee or a visitor, the credentialing process is typically a high-touch operation.
What we are aiming at is to make that provisioning an over-the-air process, rather than continuing with human-to-human interaction. Today’s modernized systems can accommodate this type of provisioning, with the ability to send credentials to any authorized device, anywhere. This will curtail waiting in a crowded reception area, employees and visitors can have their credentials delivered contact-free.
Over-the-air provisioning minimizes contact for those seeking credentials, and it can drastically bring down the human-to-human contact for the administrator charged with assigning credentials.
In order for successful efforts to reduce contact at shared surfaces, these technologies need to be implemented in tandem with clear policies and supporting signage.
3. What shall be the focus areas for HID in the year 2021?
We will continue our efforts to bring the contact less access control solutions to more industry verticals and key clients. We would also focus on building and popularizing over the air credentials technology.
4. Which are the key industry verticals that you’re going to target with your innovative security solutions?
We will continue to target banking and finance, healthcare, education, Commercial Estate and enterprise sectors. Working with the government to aid them in any possible way will also be a key focus area of us.
As the needs of the ecosystem changes, we are prepared to tackle any challenges and continue to provide quality and innovative solutions. True to our goal, at HID Global, we secure places of all kinds to make life better for their occupants and visitors.