There is a lot of talk about mobile credentials and their impact on the future of authentication, but the details are often unclear. Whether you’re just starting out in the world of mobile authentication or looking for ways to improve your current system, this guide has everything you need!
What are mobile credentials?
Mobile credentials are electronic identification documents stored on a mobile device, such as a smartphone or a tablet. They can be used to authenticate a user’s identity and provide access to online services, applications, and data. Businesses, government agencies, or educational institutions typically issue them.
How do mobile credentials work?
Mobile credentials combine :
- Something you know (such as a password or PIN)
- Something you have (such as a smartphone or a tablet)
- Something you are (such as your fingerprint).
This improves security because a would-be hacker would need all three pieces to gain access to your account.
When using mobile credentials, the first step is to enter your username and password into the authentication app on your device. Once you have been authenticated, the app generates a one-time passcode (OTP) that can be used to log into websites or applications that support two-factor authentication.
Sometimes, your fingerprint or other biometric data may be required to confirm your identity. This is known as multifactor authentication and provides an even higher level of security.
How have mobile credentials transformed traditional access control?
Mobile credentials have transformed traditional access control in a few key ways. The adoption of mobile credentials in the United States has been remarkable, particularly in the education sector. According to International Security Journal, approximately 80% of American universities and colleges have either already implemented mobile credentials or have plans to do so in the coming years. This strong momentum demonstrates that the next generation of workers will continue to be at the forefront of driving this mobile trend.
- First, they make access control more convenient and user-friendly. Users no longer need to carry a physical key or an ID card. Instead, they can simply use their smartphone or tablet to unlock doors, log into systems, and more.
- Second, they make access control more secure than traditional methods. They require multiple factors of authentication, making it much more difficult for hackers to gain access.
- Finally, they make access control more scalable. With traditional methods, organizations need to purchase and maintain a large inventory of physical keys or ID cards. In contrast, with mobile credentials, organizations can issue and revoke access remotely, scaling their access control system up or down with ease.
Here is a quick comparison between traditional & mobile credentials access control.
What are the benefits of mobile credentials?
Mobile credentials are not only more convenient than traditional credentials but also more secure as they use multiple factors of authentication, and they can be used to access a variety of online services and applications.
One of the most significant benefits of mobile credentials is that they offer a high level of security without sacrificing convenience. It is relatively easy for hackers to get ahold of traditional credentials, such as a username and password, and gain access to an account. However, with mobile credentials, a hacker also needs the user’s physical device, which makes security breaches much less likely.
Another benefit is that they can access various online services, including email, social media accounts, and even online banking. Users can keep all their essential information in one place and manage their online activity conveniently.
Finally, mobile credentials can be revoked and renewed as needed. This provides greater control over security and allows users to keep their information up to date.
In the realm of access control, the concept of flexibility is paramount. Mobile credentials embody this principle by offering the ability to revoke and renew access permissions as needed. This feature not only enhances security control but also empowers users to keep their information current and accurate. This adaptability is a cornerstone of mobile credentials, contributing to their growing adoption across various industries. It bolsters security, efficiency, and user experience in access control systems, making it a compelling choice for modern security needs.
- Convenience: Mobile credentials eliminate the need to carry physical cards or badges, as users can store their digital credentials on their smartphones, making access more convenient and streamlined.
- Enhanced Security: Mobile credentials often incorporate advanced security features such as encryption and biometric authentication (e.g., fingerprints or facial recognition), providing a higher level of security than traditional access control methods.
- Flexibility: Mobile credentials offer flexibility in managing access permissions, allowing administrators to quickly grant or revoke access rights remotely without needing physical card collection or replacement.
- Cost Savings: By eliminating the need for physical card production, distribution, and replacement, mobile credentials can significantly reduce costs associated with traditional access control systems.
- Integration Potential: Mobile credentials can be seamlessly integrated with other systems or applications, enabling additional functionalities such as time-based access, location tracking, and integration with visitor management systems.
- Remote Management: Administrators can remotely issue, activate, or revoke mobile credentials, saving time and effort in managing access rights and providing efficient control over access permissions.
- Improved User Experience: Mobile credentials offer a more user-friendly and modern experience, as users can easily present their smartphones for authentication, eliminating the need for physical card swiping or manual entry.
- Data Analytics and Insights: Mobile credential systems can capture and analyze access data, providing valuable insights for security monitoring, access patterns, and auditing purposes.
- Sustainability: Mobile credentials contribute to environmental sustainability by reducing the production and disposal of physical cards, aligning with eco-friendly practices.
- Future-Proof Technology: Mobile credentials leverage the advancements in mobile technology and are well-positioned to adapt to future innovations and security enhancements.
What should we consider before deploying mobile credentials?
Anyone interested in deploying mobile credential technology needs to make three key decisions.
- Decide which mobile credentials you want to use: physical or soft tokens. Physical tokens, such as USB keys or smart cards, must be inserted into a reader to gain access. Soft tokens, such as those that use an app, generate a one-time password that can be used to log in.
- Decide which authentication factors are most appropriate for your needs. You could choose a password or data entry token or rely on physical devices such as smart cards and fingerprint readers. Depending on the desired level of security, you may use one, some, or all of these authentication factors.
- Select a mobile credential management system that meets your needs. This software allows you to issue, revoke, and manage mobile credentials. Few vendors live up to their promise of secure physical access. Still, OLOID provides a frictionless way to access buildings with contactless biometrics or mobile credentials, making the workplace safer for smartphone users—and those who don’t own smartphones—with full GDPR compliance.
From social media to online banking, we increasingly share sensitive information online, making security more important than ever before. Mobile credentials offer a convenient and secure way to manage that online activity. By using a smartphone or other mobile device as a credential, users can enjoy the convenience of biometric authentication and the peace of mind that comes with knowing their data is safe. In addition, mobile credentials can be revoked or suspended at any time, providing an extra layer of security in the event that a device is lost or stolen. As the world continues to go digital, mobile credentials are likely to become the new standard in online security.
Mobile access control systems provide large enterprises with a quick, easy, and convenient way to control access to their premises. The systems allow authorized personnel to use their mobile devices to unlock doors and gates without the need for physical keys and cards. In addition, mobile access control systems can be integrated with other security systems, such as CCTV cameras and intruder alarms to provide a comprehensive security solution tailored to each enterprise’s needs.
How does mobile credential access control work?
Mobile credential access control combines something you know (password/PIN), something you have (smartphone), and sometimes something you are (biometrics) for secure authentication and access.
Are mobile credentials secure?
Yes. Mobile credentials are secure as they often employ encryption, biometric authentication, and other advanced security measures to protect against unauthorized access.
Can mobile credentials be used for multiple access points?
Yes. Mobile credentials can be used for multiple access points, enabling seamless and convenient access across different areas or facilities.
Can I remotely manage and revoke mobile credentials?
Yes. Mobile credential management systems allow remote management, enabling administrators to issue, activate, and revoke credentials from a centralized platform.
Can mobile credentials integrate with existing access control systems?
Yes. Mobile credentials can integrate with existing access control systems, allowing compatibility and interoperability with other security infrastructures for a comprehensive solution.