How Mobile Credential-Based Access Control Will Win In Higher Education

Move over, proximity cards! Mobile credentials are here for the long run as higher education’s preferred access control solution.

What makes mobile credentials so attractive to colleges and universities?

First, it eliminates the burden of having to issue physical cards to students. Beyond a logistics issue, however, security is also at risk when using anything other than mobile credential-based access control, as evidenced by the privacy concerns that arise with biometric solutions, for instance.

As such, we can expect to see the following mobile credential-based access control trends:

  • Biometrics and multi-factor authentication: most smartphones use both biometric and/or pin-based unlocking systems, which prevents users from compromising their privacy and allows for multi-factor authentication without the need for extra hardware.
  • Customizable: with a smartphone app, features can be added to make credentials multifunctional and unique to each system.
  • Flexible distance options: a smartphone’s location services can be used to specify the distance from which a user can gain access to a location, which means someone doesn’t need to hold their phone inches away from a reader.
  • Emergency and mass notification: mobile phones, when integrated for access control, can disseminate information, which would prove useful in emergencies and for updating students about day-to-day information.
  • Easy to cancel: mobile credentials allow for access to a particular device to be revoked remotely, saving organizations the time and cost of having to manually revoke access privileges.
  • No cost to upgrade: virtual credentials allow you to push upgrades without having to replace hardware.

Higher education institutions are interested in automated rules around event-based access control. That means that when there’s a special event on campus, the system will know who to let in and who to keep out. The entire system is automated, so after installation, there’s no human intervention needed.

When you add video surveillance to the mix, you can integrate customized features, which add a security layer and support versatility:

  • Provides security staff with information about those who accessed particular entry points
  • Video analytics used for the automatic verification of visitors, eliminating the need for staff to check the video
  • Set up complex alerts when someone tries to force a door open or holds a door open for too long

These types of custom integrations offer efficiencies in terms of time and human resources as these relate to the management of an entire campus. With so many various systems installed, it would be optimal to integrate all the campus services and leverage the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) concept to maintain the existing mobile infrastructure and eliminate the costs of issuing plastic ID cards.

For more information about video surveillance, access control, mobile credentials, and visitor management, contact your local Higgins Identity Expert.