Streamlining Campus Mobile Security in the Age of IoT

With the Internet of things, smartphones can be leveraged to manage a whole host of mobile security processes, including access control, alarms, asset tracking, building automation and more.

Streamlining Campus Mobile Security in the Age of IoT

With campuses becoming more mobile, the IoT brings valuable benefits but also creates potential security threats. Many organizations have adopted additional layers of security such as trusted identities to open doors.

The Internet of things (IoT) is changing how organizations manage their buildings and assets, while also spurring a transformation in the modern facility. As offices, healthcare institutions and university campuses ad mobile campus security, the people using these facilities are becoming more mobile and connected. Combining connectivity, trusted identities and the IoT brings valuable benefits but also introduces potential threats to an organization’s security.

As offices, healthcare institutions and university campuses all get smarter, the people using these facilities are becoming more mobile and connected. Combining connectivity and the IoT brings valuable benefits but also introduces potential threats to an organization’s security, processes, and operational integrity.

The facility manager’s greatest concern is that the links between systems and assets will be compromised in the IoT. This fear has been mitigated in access control applications by adding trust to identities used for opening doors, as well as ensuring secured communications between access control devices (such as readers and panels).

Today’s trusted identities are communicated over protected channels using the latest cryptographic algorithms, and readers and credentials have essentially become trusted devices that are connected to the facility’s access control system.

More recently, smartphones have similarly become trusted credentials that can be connected to these systems through the cloud. A natural evolution is to connect these mobile devices to authentication within the IoT. This makes it possible to provide the missing link between physical assets and a trusted ID ecosystem so that IoT applications are more secure and easier to use.

Trusted identities will increasingly be employed to help secure, customize and enhance the user experience across a growing range of industry segments that are embracing the power of the IoT.

For instance, new and emerging energy efficiency, productivity and safety-oriented applications in the enterprise need to identify the occupants in a physical space.

For these and other use cases including temperature control and environmental management, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)-based identity credentials will be an enabling technology. It will also be used in trusted identity solutions for a variety of building management tasks, such as coordinating meeting room scheduling, auto-configuring audio visual equipment, and facilitating emergency mustering and alarms so organizations can determine who is in the building in real time.

IoT Applies to Building Automation, Access Control, Asset Tracking and More       

One early example of how access control and the IoT are merging in the smart building is the use of mobile security access technology to help facility managers efficiently control HVAC systems. These HVAC and other energy management systems automatically adjust settings based on people entering or exiting a suite or common area using their mobile IDs — for example, lights are turned off when the last person leaves the area. For example, smartphones have been used for building entry and access to internal doors (including common building areas, elevators, individual suites and apartments).

Trusted identities can also be used in IoT applications for a variety of asset management activities in the smart building.

A prime example is automating maintenance management systems that are physically linked to fire and safety equipment, heating and cooling systems and other critical, high-value assets. RFID transponders have been used for decades to connect these physical assets to business applications so that organizations can manage and track inventory levels and improve operational process efficiency.

Now, mobile devices can be combined with trusted tags and cloud authentication to protect company assets while extending the life and performance of capital equipment using secure cloud maintenance management software (CMMS) applications.

In this scenario, equipment is tagged to connect it to the Internet, and technicians use their mobile devices to simply tap the tag in order to access the cloud-based CMMS applications. With this model, they can easily initiate work orders and service calls, automate technician deployment, monitor and track service events across multiple geographies locally, regionally or globally, and authorize and secure technician and inspector transactions using strong authentication credentials.

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