The ongoing shift from legacy access control systems toward more sophisticated cloud infrastructure has registered considerable gains in visitor convenience and operational efficiency. Yet, some building managers are still on the fence about adopting this new technology. The main stumbling block for them is the potential ramifications of connecting critical building security systems to online data warehouses.
In theory, bringing access control systems online makes them more vulnerable to data breaches or hacks. So, it’s reasonable to question the benefits of adopting cloud infrastructure and wondering whether it’s really worth the risk. Much of this confusion surrounding the risks involved is due to a general lack of information regarding the technology. Most people haven’t yet gotten to grips with the novelty of digital-first visitor management solutions and their meaning.
To resolve this conundrum, let’s have a more detailed look at the challenges, risks, and benefits of migrating security systems to the cloud.
Advantages of Cloud-Based Door Access Control
People often overlook the benefits of cloud infrastructure in building security, especially those used to operate outdated systems. However, not only are cloud mobile access control systems more convenient, as tenants, visitors, or employees can use their phone credentials, but they’re also more cost-effective and scalable.
Moreover, the system doesn’t require the added expenses of hardware, manual software updates, and ongoing maintenance. In fact, this advanced technology is extremely intuitive—meaning users don’t require as much assistance to navigate the system. Most importantly, security staff can get a more comprehensive view of the buildings’ access system at a glance under a ‘single pane of glass’. This allows security personnel to conduct rigorous and sensitive monitoring from anywhere, at any time.
Contrary to popular belief, cloud-based building data storage provides even greater security in many ways. This is down to most legacy systems’ lack of online connectivity, making them a potential security threat.
For instance, a legacy system has an issue or requires an update. The building manager will need to wait for maintenance to show up and resolve the issue onsite. At the same time, there are cloud-based access control systems offering remote support and automatically taking care of updates.
On top of these security benefits, cloud infrastructure can leverage the power of advanced security measures. These include encryption, multi-factor authentication, and sophisticated network security features. The prevailing fears surrounding data privacy and security in the cloud may have been realistic a few years back. However, current technology has improved to the point where many of these concerns are no longer applicable to present-day cloud-based systems, due to data now being encrypted at banking and military grade levels in the cloud.
Streamlined Access Management and Control
One of the greatest security benefits that cloud infrastructure brings to visitor data management is centralization. This lets building security management teams leverage the remote accessibility of the cloud to control multiple locations in real-time.
Advanced systems like Sentry Interactive’s mobile access control solution use near-field communication (NFC) wireless door credentials. As a result, users can use their smartphones as an active NFC reader to tap the wireless NFC door credential, which sends a signal to the cloud, to access entry points securely. On the back-end via the cloud access management system, staff can then monitor user entry times and volumes through the system’s dashboard.
Additionally, remote controls enable security teams to revoke or adjust permissions instantaneously. There’s no lag between a change in access authorization and its implementation, unlike legacy systems. This lays the foundation for a much more secure environment.
Assessing the Risks of Insecure Bluetooth and Legacy Card Readers
Both building and data security must be robust to create a strong ecosystem overall. To this end, it’s important not to consider the technological infrastructure supporting the security system and the physical elements used in the building.
Card readers have long been the standard for physical access control. However, as effective as they once were, these outdated systems are astonishingly easy for hackers to break into in the era of digital security. A case in point is the open-source hacking tool Flipper Zero, which can read and store RFID key card information then replicate it to open any door the original card had access to.
Unfortunately, alternative access methods, such as Bluetooth, are equally insecure. Hackers have a wide variety of strategies they use to gain access to data and devices. For instance, they can intercept communications, exploit vulnerabilities in the software stack, and manipulate the pairing process to infiltrate private devices.
Considering both methods’ inherent security deficiencies, sophisticated mobile access systems such as Sentry Interactive’s avoid using card readers or Bluetooth. Instead, they leverage the advanced security protocols built into NFC cloud-based access control.
Challenges and Considerations for Secure Integration Within the Cloud Infrastructure
Cloud infrastructure can be exceptionally secure. However, that depends on the specific tools a building leverages. To illustrate, although unsecured communications may be a potential weak spot, using software with robust encryption protocols can protect data during transit.
Another common vulnerability is failing to update infrastructure to combat the latest security threats. However, buildings that source their infrastructure from a leading manufacturer can rest assured that these threats will be addressed. In addition, implementing tools with identity control measures, such as multi-factor authentication, can mitigate other potential threats.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Cloud-Based Access Control System
There are key criteria a cloud-based system must meet to qualify as highly secure. Namely, the cloud infrastructure’s compatibility with existing systems, its encryption protocols, features such as multi-factor authentication, and integration capabilities with other security solutions are all paramount.
You want a system provider that maintains a comprehensive set of policies and standards to ensure alignment with ISO27001 working practices. You want a company that complies with best practices and regulations when it comes to personal data to ensure utmost privacy and protection. You also want a provider with dedicated automated systems in place to protect against Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks as well as man-in-the-middle attacks.
In this context, Sentry’s secure cloud access solution stands out as an ideal choice thanks to its robust compatibility, strong encryption standards, and support for multi-factor authentication. Further to offering a secure and seamless access control solution, it’s designed to support multiple security ecosystems.
Mobile Access Solutions for Cloud Infrastructure
The perception of cloud infrastructure as vulnerable is outdated. Buildings that leverage advanced cloud-based solutions are actually upgrading their security status. Added to that, they’re providing visitors with a more intuitive and convenient system.
That said, the level of security a system provides depends on the quality of its technology. Therefore, it’s crucial that you source infrastructure from a leader in this space.
Sentry Interactive is the smart solution for seamless and secure access control. With its advanced compatibility, strong encryption, and multi-factor authentication, Sentry Mobile Access ensures top-tier security for any building.
Get in touch, to learn how Sentry Interactive can elevate your buildings’ security today.