Integrating Mobile Access Control With Cloud Infrastructure: Is It Safe?

Discover if today’s cloud infrastructure is secure enough to replace your building’s legacy access controls with mobile-first technology.

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People often overlook the benefits of cloud infrastructure in building security, especially those used to operate outdated systems.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.

Sentry Mobile Access – Scalable cloud-based mobile entry system

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.

Smart card door key lock system in hotel. Hotel electronic lock on wooden door. Entrance door with electronic card lock security. Digital door lock security systems for access protection of hotel
Legacy bluetooth key card system | Photographer: Kanpisut

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.

Sentry Interactive’s cloud access security standard certifications

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.

William Bainborough

Board of Directors

William is an experienced British entrepreneur, founder, and accomplished board executive and advisor for a number of businesses. He is the CEO and co-founder of Doordeck, the world’s only true cloud-based access control aggregator. He is also the managing director and founder of Group Secure, a leader in providing security, CCTV, and access control solutions, products, and installation for high-net-worth individuals in the UK. 

William established his first business at just seventeen and brings 20-plus years of in-depth experience and industry knowledge. He has a proven track record for building businesses from the ground up—and then leading them to profitability and a successful exit across a myriad of sectors including hospitality, retail, security, telecommunications, and e-commerce. William’s leadership, vision, and experience in creating cutting-edge SaaS-based technology platforms will prove invaluable for Sentry Interactive moving forward.

Denis Hébert

Denis Hébert


Hébert began his career at Honeywell International where he held several leadership positions including Managing Director for the Automation and Controls business in France and eventually President of the NexWatch Corporation from 1999-2002. Hébert led HID Global as President & CEO over a transformative 12-year period from 2002-2015, where he provided strategic guidance and grew the business tenfold through a mix of strong organic and acquisitive growth. Most recently, Hébert was President of Feenics Corporation which is a cloud-based access control company that was successfully sold to ACRE LLC at the end of 2021. Hébert also served on the Board of Directors for the Security Industry Association (SIA) from 2009-2020 and was nominated to be Chairman of the Board for SIA from 2016-2018. He is currently Chairman of the Board for Nightingale Security based in Newark, CA.

Stephen Taylor Matthews

Board of Directors
Stephen is a very accomplished attorney, member of the Texas State Bar, licensed commercial real estate broker, and an avid philanthropist. He is an experienced executive board member, serving in leadership positions for more than 20 community councils and corporate boards—ranging from Boy Scouts of America to the ABBA Business Leaders Council, and most recently the American Bank BOD, the Real Estate Council of Austin, and the Marbridge Foundation BOT. With more than 35 years experience, Stephen and his firm, Barrond & Adler, L.L.P. are devoted to eminent domain cases in Texas.

Jon Davis

Board of Directors

Mr. Davis is an Experienced corporate board member, having served on boards of public, private equity-backed, and venture-backed companies. Jon possesses deep industry expertise in dairy, food processing, food technology and manufacturing, and food, beverage, and entertainment services. 

During Jon’s tenure of 25 plus years, he’s led operations, research and development, and mergers and acquisitions. He’s served as CEO and has been the founder and active board member for many successful enterprises—from startups to billion-dollar corporations. While COO and CEO of Davisco Foods International, Jon built a state-of-the-art cheese plant which was awarded the United States Dairy processing plant of the year in 2005 by Dairy Foods magazine. Currently, Jon is active with several non-dairy projects, including investments in local real estate, the Wayzata Brewworks, and his latest venture the new CōV restaurant in Edina’s Galleria.

Joe Caldwell

Founder and Chairman of the Board

Joe is an American entrepreneur, investor, and accomplished executive. He has co-founded, founded, and led many successful businesses, including US Internet, a leading fiber internet service provider, Securence, a leading provider of email filtering software, and Ravon, an industry-leading digital voice communications service. 

It was Joe’s venture, Municipal Parking Services (MPS), that inspired him in 2020 to start Sentry Interactive, an advanced touchless and staffless detection platform.

Caldwell currently serves as CEO and Chairman of the Board for Municipal Parking Services (MPS), a global tech company based in Austin, TX responsible for inventing and patenting technologies that assist in parking and security enforcement.

Joe was named one of Minnesota’s 500 Most Powerful Business Leaders for the past two years—and is a seasoned corporate board member. He’s served on boards of public, private equity-backed, and venture-backed companies—and has deep industry expertise in all aspects of digital technology.

Jason Bohrer

Jason Bohrer

Board of Directors

Jason Bohrer is one of the visionaries behind our mission to bring people back together safely and securely, in any environment, through Sentry’s advanced digital communications and detection platform. With over two decades of senior leadership experience, Jason’s track record of success spans across sales, operations, product innovation, strategy, and technology for domestic and global companies like Bexar Technology Partners, CPI Card Group, HID Global, and Motorola, Inc. Prior to launching Sentry Interactive, Jason was actively involved with several key technology transitions across multiple industries, including the contact and contactless EMV transitions in the U.S. payments industry and the adoption of smart card and mobile technologies in the global access and identity market. Jason was an inaugural member of the University of Chicago Executive Institute and holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Texas at Austin. He also serves as the Executive Director for two industry-leading not-for-profit organizations: the Secure Technology Alliance and the U.S. Payments Forum.
Brent Terry

Brent Terry

Chief Operating Officer
Brent Terry leads the operations and solutions organizations at Sentry. This includes all product innovation, development, and operations management. A veteran in the technology space, Brent has more than 30 years of experience across a myriad of industries, like physical security technology and building automation, SAAS, hardware and software product development, internet, digital TV, interactive TV, digital media, telecommunications, and medical products and services. Prior to Sentry, Brent has spun up successful startups and led high-performing teams for some of the biggest global, Fortune 500 companies, including ARRIS, Conerco, Motive Communications, SeaChange International, and IBM. Brent holds a BS in Computer Science from the University of Louisiana. He also is the committee Chairman and Program Director for a non-profit organization responsible for the rollout of smart cards for physicians and first responders.