As we do more with our phones and increasingly demand anywhere/anytime online access, there is the opportunity to better protect these activities while creating a more satisfying, mobile-centric security experience at home, in the office, on the road and online. Phones and other mobile devices are now being used alongside ID cards to secure access not just to the door, but also to data and to cloud applications, while providing a seamless user experience. There will be new opportunities throughout system deployment and ongoing identity management for installers and distributors to provision a combination of cards and mobile credentials for both facility and information security applications.

Over the past several years we’ve turned phones into ID cards, keys and computer logon tokens, while plugging security holes that mobility had initially introduced. Moving forward, continuing advancements will enable a new, more secure identity lifestyle built around the convenience and ubiquity of our ever-present mobile devices. There will be a much greater focus on the user experience, which will enable the industry to close the gap between security planning and user compliance. 

Security technology will no longer define office habits and personal lifestyles but adapt to them while empowering new capabilities, making it easier — and even attractive — for users to comply with requirements. Users will also have more options for presenting secure identities for authentication. It is already common to use any choice of an ID card, phone or other mobile device, or biometric factor such as a fingerprint. The coming years will bring even more options, and other traditionally frustrating authentication elements like passwords, challenge/response questions and logon tokens will disappear. They will be replaced by better ways of securing mobile banking channels, authenticating to corporate data, apps and Web services, and accessing healthcare and other sensitive personal information.

We will also enter into a new era of secure connected identities that will not only make us safer but also fuel innovation in how we work, shop and play. There will be greater reliance on many digital versions of our identity, used in many different ways across all walks of life. We will connect our identities to an expanding solution ecosystem of products and services for secure access to doors, data and cloud-based services and applications, accelerating the need for unified identity management systems and processes. The more we use these connected identities to secure so many aspects of our lives, the more it will fuel innovation in everything from the way we bank and purchase items to how our businesses, hospitals, schools, manufacturing plants and other facilities are built and operated.

These changes will significantly impact the security sales channel. In addition to the traditional round of onsite ID card provisioning and periodic follow-on replacement provisioning, there is the new opportunity to remotely provision physical access credentials to smartphones and other mobile devices. Users will be provisioning credentials to both cards and phones for a broad range of applications: opening doors, secure print management, time and attendance and cashless payment applications, among others. 

Additionally, the same ID card that is used for these physical security applications can now also replace dedicated one-time password (OTP) solutions for permitting access to computers, data, applications and cloud-based services. So while users previously only required a single credential for opening doors, they might now need a half a dozen or more remotely provisioned credentials across a growing range of applications. Provisioning this combination of credentials significantly increases revenue opportunities for dealers and integrators. Yesterday, issuing a single credential might represent $5 in per-user revenue for the dealer/integrator; but now, adding a phone credential for each user can bring in incremental new revenue. The number is doubled if the user is issued both a personal and business phone, each needing a credential. Plus, there is the opportunity to sell cloud authentication services for logical access control at a per-user annual rate. Helping a customer deploy an infrastructure featuring both cards and mobile IDs across all of these applications could conceivably triple or quadruple per-user revenues.

Users will need help deploying these solutions and provisioning and managing a broader range of credentials. They will need to decide who in the organization needs mobile access on smartphones for opening doors, and how to implement the solution.  They will need to evaluate new technologies. They will also need help managing multiple ID numbers for multiple applications on multiple devices. It will no longer be feasible, for instance, to assign a single ID number to each user for all applications. The identity management system will need to support multiple application identities with different lifecycles, while also enabling different groups within an organization to independently take responsibility for their own application and identity lifecycle needs. 

Security dealers and integrators can provide help in all of these areas as they move into a new, expanded role. Mobile security presents users with important decisions not just at deployment but over time with ongoing system and credential management. The organizations that help their customers solve these challenges and realize valuable mobile security benefits have the opportunity to significantly increase revenues throughout the credential lifecycle, across a rapidly expanding range of access applications. — Contributed by HID Global