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.
When a field inspection team member taps his or her mobile phone to a trusted tag on a piece of equipment, it identifies both the person and item, opens a service ticket, authorizes the technician, and provides service level agreements (SLAs), service history and manuals. This model improves billing accuracy by more easily tracking the service start time, duration and status of completion. From the initial tap to initiate service to the final tap that closes the ticket, the previously manual process is now fully automated, improving workflow while minimizing any disruption of equipment productivity.
The same approach can be used to streamline process monitoring and other activities while providing full reporting and audit trails in the IoT. In these examples and others, less secure asset management solutions were previously expensive and difficult to deploy because they required that ID readers be installed in a trusted environment.
Now, the ubiquitous mobile phone acts as the trusted ID reader, and the mobile network provides a closed-circuit authentication environment in which all tag and ID transactions can be similarly trusted because they are protected by end-to-end encryption. The trusted cloud-based model is especially valuable for organizations that must manage programs at many geographically dispersed facility locations.
Innovative Applications Streamline and Automate Processes
A diverse range of organizations are taking a closer look at technologies that help streamline and automate processes to increase efficiencies and productivity. For example, hospitals are a prime candidate for connected asset management solutions. These solutions provide a simplified IoT platform for managing the hospital’s physical assets and quickly locating equipment, including beds, crash carts and medical devices. Hospitals are also adopting the use of trusted tags, cloud-based authentication platforms and mobile phones for processes that require trusted “proof of presence.”
For example, hospitals are a prime candidate for connected asset management solutions. These solutions provide a simplified IoT platform for managing the hospital’s physical assets and quickly locating equipment, including beds, crash carts and medical devices. Hospitals are also adopting the use of trusted tags, cloud-based authentication platforms and mobile phones for processes that require trusted “proof of presence.”
The ability to simply tap a phone to a trusted tag to prove you were there and have completed assigned tasks is having a profound impact on how healthcare professionals do their jobs and manage complex processes as they more effectively connect, monitor and manage patients, mobile clinicians and staff.
It is particularly effective for electronic visit verification (EVV) in home healthcare scenarios. Solutions that combine trusted tags, mobile phones and authentication services add trust to EVV, helping to streamline in-home patient visits and eliminate billing fraud by making it easier to document the time, location and accurate delivery of prescribed care. Upon arrival, a caretaker can simply tap his or her phone to a patient’s wristband or to a trusted tag embedded in the home. The caretaker taps again to log the completion of his or her shift.
Another ideal use for proof-of-presence applications is automated security officer tour and key management. Trusted tags can be affixed to mechanical keys to automate the key checkout process; tags can also be positioned at locations throughout a facility to more accurately track security rounds completed at designated checkpoints and instantly dispatch guards for quick response to and reporting of fraudulent activities throughout the building. Replacing manual sign-in processes with automated patrol stops enables officers to complete their tours more easily and efficiently. With a simple tap of their mobile phone to a secure trusted tag, guards can digitally prove that a security patrol took place at the proper location, at the proper time.
Moving forward, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) will likely be an option for these and other trusted tag applications. BLE’s longer read range will deliver many advantages that will drive innovation and new applications, and its two-way communication capabilities will offer the ability to do more than just read data off a tag. The technology will also help advance existing secure proof-of-presence capabilities so they include predictive analytics and other functionality enabled by location-based technologies. Organizations will be able to streamline processes and operations using a combination of real-time location systems, presence- and proximity-based location functionality and condition-monitoring solutions, as well as cloud infrastructure, gateways, beacons and Software-as-a-Service models.
The issue of protecting people and assets in the smart building will continue to move to a strong experience-driven focus.
Using trusted identities in these smart environments promises to make systems and applications much easier for organizations, teams, and people to use as IoT applications increasingly become the norm. These applications will make entire processes much more seamless and easier to manage from initiation to follow-up, resulting in a more responsive and productive mobile workforce.
In the not-to-distant future, smart buildings will deliver a comprehensive trusted identity experience that underscores the need for security to be an integral yet seamless feature of a secure and connected environment.
Julian Lovelock is the vice president of innovation and platform strategy at HID Global.
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