Defining Physical Access Control Standards


By Terry Gold, Founder, IDAnalyst LLC — I engage in a variety of conversations with manufacturers, integrators, and end users in the physical access control space about systems that must live for a decade or two. Traditionally, technology decisions have been made with heavy influence from existing relationships, cost sensitivity, and feature sets from the perspective of those that will operate these systems.

But for end users conducting long term strategic planning, that conversation is changing and part of this new conversation surrounds physical access standards.

Physical security professionals have to make decisions that serve the overall organization rather than a closed group.

Their decisions are being driven by the need to offer value and become more than just a corporate cost center.

Physical access control systems need to reduce risk and cost, increase efficiency, and add value. They also need to collect better intelligence and enable collaboration with other departments for improved incident response and remediation.

These requirements aren’t unique to physical access, as they reflect a common maturity cycle for organizations mandated to increase profitability.

In turn, these pressures place demands on vendors to design products that enable this goal.

The legacy challenge:
Years of regional decision-making and acquisitions have led to a collection of disparate physical access control systems.

The physical security industry has an uneven record when it comes to driving interoperability with the implementation of standards, which has resulted in silos of infrastructure.