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March - 2013 - issue > View Point

Using BYOD Smartphones for Physical and Logical Access Control

Tam Hulusi
Senior Vice President, Strategic Innovation and Intellectual Property-HID Global
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Tam Hulusi
Founded in 1991, HID Global is the supplier of choice for OEMs, system integrators, and application developers serving a variety of markets, including physical and logical access control, card personalization, eGovernment, cashless payment and industry. Headquartered in California, HID Global has a workforce of 2,000 employees worldwide.


Companies are increasingly allowing employees to choose to keep their mobile devices as they change employment. Known as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), this phenomenon is growing in popularity, at the same pace as the capabilities of smartphones. We can use our phones not only to access computers, networks and associated information assets, but also to open doors and enter secured areas. Deploying these applications in a BYOD environment requires security assessment, proper planning and the right technology and provisioning infrastructure.


Mobile access control simply involves replacing the plastic card with card emulation software and replicating existing card-based access-control principles. The access decisions are made between the card reader and a central hardware panel (or server) that stores the access rules wired to a central access authority.


Today’s smartphones generate a One Time Password (OTP) for secure access to another mobile device or desktop. Smartphones carry credentials for purchasing items at, say, the company cafeteria, secure printing equipment etc. For mobile access control to seamlessly and securely coexist with existing access control systems and traditional plastic access cards the data should communicate from a smartphone to an access-control card reader.

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