The Future of Access Control: Top Trends to Watch in 2024


November 07, 2023

In a world transformed by rapid technological advancements and shifting work dynamics, security and access control in 2024 has never been more crucial. As we move towards a post-pandemic era, where remote and hybrid work models are the new normal, the convergence of safety, security, and convenience is of utmost priority. 

In terms of access control, companies are looking for technology and features that incorporate security into our new way of working and boost productivity and safety while transforming building access into a frictionless experience. 

Traditional barriers are giving way to innovative, seamless, and user-centric solutions designed for the evolving needs of the modern workforce. With 2023 coming to an end, we dive deep into the pioneering trends that are redefining the future of access control in 2024, blending the lines between physical and digital realms and ensuring a resilient, agile, and inclusive environment for all. 

Top Trends in Access Control 2024

  • Improvements in biometric access control 
  • Remote management 
  • Merging IT, cybersecurity, and Physical Access Control Systems (PACS) 
  • Cloud-based access control 
  • Touch-free technology 
  • Mobile-based access control 
  • Machine Learning and AI access control 
  • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) 
  • Smart automation & analytics 
  • Zero-trust security model 
  • Upgrade legacy systems 

Improvements in Biometric Access Control 

The landscape of security has always been an amalgamation of trust and technology. Over the years, biometrics, a technology rooted in our biology, has emerged as a forerunner. As we steer into 2024, biometric access control is not just ascending—it’s evolving. 

Biometric modalities, from fingerprints and facial contours to the intricate patterns of our irises, are firmly etching themselves as the go-to solution for paramount security environments. And for a good reason. 

What’s new in 2024 biometric access control: 

  • Speed and precision: The heart of any biometric system is its underlying algorithm. Enhanced computational models in 2024 mean these systems can discern identities with unmatched accuracy, drastically reducing false identifications. 
  • Diverse modalities, one system: ‘Multi-modal biometrics’ isn’t just a buzzword—it’s the future. By amalgamating different biometric measures (think facial scans with fingerprints), the resulting authentication becomes robust, patching potential weak points. 
  • Data privacy: The quest for security shouldn’t jeopardize personal privacy. Recognizing growing data privacy apprehensions, next-gen biometric access control devices are bolstered with sophisticated encryption and fortified data protection mechanisms. 

Biometrics isn’t a novelty; it’s a burgeoning reality. The ongoing refinements in facial recognition and iris scanning underline their burgeoning trustworthiness and dependability. 

Remote Management 

With so many employees now working remotely, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to manage access from a central location. Remote management allows you to connect to your access control system from anywhere in the world and make changes or updates as needed. Remote access and security management allow enterprises and smaller organizations to stay agile and flexible while completing day-to-day tasks without being on-premises. This access control solution paved the way for productive hybrid work models and will continue to gain traction as new tools and technologies are developed to make remote management easier and more efficient. 

Merging IT, Cybersecurity, and Physical Access Control Systems (PACS) 

The best way to approach security within hybrid workplaces is to integrate IT, cybersecurity, and PACS. It’s important to look at spaces holistically to ensure a seamless, secure, and safe office environment. New access control trends lead to strategies that include knowing who is unlocking doors and accessing the network and how data is being shared across several devices. For companies juggling multi-site management, having all IT, cybersecurity, and physical access control data on a single platform ensures a better understanding of how spaces are utilized and how to improve their security. 

Cloud-Based Access Control 

A recent report by Zippia notes that 94% of companies today have systems running on the cloud, and this shift is gaining more and more momentum in the security sector. Cloud-based access control systems offer several advantages over traditional on-premises solutions.  

For one, they are much easier to deploy and manage. They also provide users with real-time data over multiple sites in a central location and insights that can be used to improve security protocols. Cloud-based access control systems also enable better responses to security breaches and incidents. With recent advancements and broader spread adoption, cloud-based access control is now more cost-effective.  

While there are many advantages of cloud-based access control systems, some companies have been reluctant to fully migrate since they can be inoperable with existing legacy systems. Hybrid cloud solutions may be the solution allowing companies to take advantage of centralized access to data across locations in the cloud without having to replace all existing hardware. 

Touch-Free Technology 

The pandemic led to a profound shift in our perception of touch-based systems. Today, a touchless automatic entry system is a necessity for almost every space. Apart from the topic of hygiene, touch-free technology is more convenient. As security systems continue to rely on mobile and digital technologies, creating touchless entry experiences becomes easier. Using mobile credentials and cloud-based platforms eliminates one less touch point in the office, which reduces maintenance and routine wear on physical hardware. 

Mobile-Based Access Control Technology 

The symbiosis between our physical and digital worlds continues to intensify, fueling a collective call for solutions that aren’t just secure but also intuitive and user-centric. At the vanguard of this transformation in the realm of access control are mobile credentials and touchless entry systems. 

Advantages of mobile-based access control: 

  • Instantaneous access: The ubiquitous smartphone now doubles as a digital key. With mobile credentials, users can seamlessly enter secured areas, eliminating the need for tangible keys or cards that can be lost or duplicated. 
  • Hygiene-centric touchless solutions: The pandemic underscored the imperative for heightened hygiene. In response to this call, touchless systems offer a pristine, contactless means to navigate through entrances, eliminating commonly touched surfaces. 
  • Robust security protocols: These aren’t just fancy tech novelties. Beneath their sleek interfaces, they often embed stringent security layers such as multi-factor authentication, ensuring that access is a privilege strictly reserved for the authorized. 
  • User-centric design: Today’s access systems aren’t just about security; they’re about the user. Modern designs prioritize intuitive interfaces that even the least tech-savvy individuals can easily navigate. 

Historically, there was a perceived trade-off between security and convenience—however, the dawn of 2023 and beyond heralds a fusion of these once-divergent paths. As mobile and touchless solutions become even more entrenched, we’re witnessing a future where security is not just about barriers but intelligent, user-friendly gateways. 

Machine Learning & AI Access Control 

As we tread further into the age of digital transformation, Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) continue to be heralded as pivotal technologies. Drawing a parallel, the rise and impact of platforms like ChatGPT highlight the pervasive nature of AI, leaving virtually no industry untouched. The realm of access control and security is no exception. 

Key benefits of ML & AI-based access control solutions: 

  • Predictive intelligence: Gone are the days when security systems merely responded to incidents. AI-enhanced platforms now possess the ability to anticipate them. These systems identify patterns by continuously analyzing vast amounts of data, flagging inconsistencies and potential breaches. This foresight alerts property managers and security personnel instantly, facilitating rapid response. 
  • Enhanced video surveillance: Modern commercial security setups have pivoted from passive monitoring to dynamic surveillance. AI goes beyond recording footage; it has the ability to interpret. It discerns the mundane from the unusual, allowing real-time differentiation between routine movement and potential threats. 
  • Seamless integration: AI’s adaptability is one of its strongest suits. Rather than necessitating a complete overhaul, AI-driven solutions can mesh with pre-existing security architectures. This interconnected ecosystem offers businesses an avenue to upgrade their security measures without the upheaval of replacing foundational systems. 

AI’s unparalleled analytical prowess enhances access control, detecting nuances that might escape human attention. For instance, an AI system could red-flag repeated failed access attempts in the late hours, an irregularity that could otherwise be overlooked. 

However, over-reliance on AI carries its set of challenges. Technical glitches in an AI system could lead to security lapses or false alarms, so it’s essential to implement it cautiously. 

The ideal scenario isn’t an AI takeover but a harmonious collaboration between human discernment and AI precision. While AI can flag an anomaly, human judgment is crucial in evaluating the context and determining the appropriate response. 

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) 

The access control landscape is changing, and with it, how we authenticate users. In the past, a single password was enough to grant access to sensitive data and areas. However, as hacking techniques have become more sophisticated, it’s no longer enough to rely on one layer of security. MFA makes it more difficult to use cloned credentials or passwords to gain unauthorized access. A multi-layered approach to security and access control effectively prevents common vulnerabilities identified in recent security breaches in the news. 

Smart Automation & Analytics 

As access control systems become more innovative, the demand for features that provide automation and analytics has increased. Advancements in AI analytics make it easier and faster for organizations to identify data patterns and take mitigating action across all security and building systems. By automating access control processes, businesses can reduce the time their employees spend managing access rights. Additionally, access control automation can help to improve security by reducing human error. Automated access control systems integrated with business intelligence analytics can also provide valuable insights into making smarter business decisions. 

Zero-Trust Security Model 

In a digital world with ever-evolving threats, traditional security perimeters can no longer be the sole defense. Enter the Zero-trust security model—an architectural approach that’s not just transformative but, for many organizations, indispensable. As we look toward the future of access control 2024, this model stands tall as a paragon of modern security thinking. 

Historically, organizations trusted internal networks and doubted the external, leading to a clear demarcation: inside is safe, and outside is perilous. Zero-trust security obliterates this binary. In its paradigm, trust is never implicit; it’s continuously earned and verified. 

Features of zero-trust security: 

  • Continuous authentication: Unlike static security measures, zero-trust mandates persistent authentication. Whether an entity is inside or outside the organizational boundary, their credentials and activities are perpetually vetted. 
  • Least privilege access: In a zero-trust model, entities—be they human or machine—get only the access they need and nothing more. This granular control curtails potential breach points and dampens insider threats. 
  • Micro-segmentation: Instead of vast, permeable security perimeters, zero-trust champions creating numerous, isolated segments within networks. This ensures that its potential damage remains contained even if a breach occurs. 
  • Adaptive Policies: Leveraging AI and machine learning, the zero-trust model can adapt in real time. If suspicious behavior is detected, access can be instantly revoked or modified, fortifying defenses dynamically. 

The days of implicit trust are waning, replaced by a security model that demands continuous validation. As organizations large and small grapple with multifaceted threats, the zero-trust model offers a cohesive and robust defense strategy. 

Upgrade Legacy Technology 

A lot has changed in the access control landscape since the days of traditional on-premises access control systems. As access control technology continues to evolve, businesses need to stay up to date with the latest trends and solutions.  

Upgrading legacy access control systems can be a daunting task, but it is crucial for businesses to future-proof their security. The risks of relying on dated technology have grown too great to outweigh the costs of investing in more efficient, secure, and modern access control systems. When upgrading access control systems, it is important to work with a reputable provider, like Access Professional Systems, that can help to ensure a smooth transition. 

Final Thoughts: The Future of Access Control Technology 

As we look at the future of access control in 2024 and beyond, adaptability remains paramount, but not at the expense of security. Key innovations in access control systems go beyond protecting data and restricting unauthorized access. Access control solutions that prioritize scalability and flexibility enable businesses to adapt to constantly changing environments without compromising the safety and security of your employees and office. If your organization isn’t taking the necessary steps to future-proof your security and optimize your workplace, it’s time to start. 

Access Professional Systems is proud to have delivered customized solutions with superior service to over 14,500 customers since our inception. Our commitment to providing top-tier customer service and outstanding results sets us apart. Contact us today to get started! 

How do you know you’re in good hands with APS? We’ve successfully installed equipment and services in more than 14,500 projects.  Get a free estimate today or call us at 853-223-9982 (CA) or 602-737-2081 (AZ).

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