Open architectures & standards for access control systems

The Open Supervised Device Protocol (OSDP)!

Open architectures and communication standards increase application possibilities for physical access control systems.

Physical access control systems are the standard solution for securing access to buildings or offices. But they are also increasingly becoming the linchpin for controlling operational processes, says Global, the world’s leading provider of trusted identity solutions. This development is made possible by open architectures and communication protocols, especially the OSDP standard.

The latest access control solutions are based on open architectures and standard communication protocols, which ensure high product interoperability and implementation flexibility, while allowing easy and cost-effective upgrades to new features. The solutions contain all the necessary functions for connection and interaction with other security systems, services and applications of an enterprise.

The Open Supervised Device Protocol (OSDP), which is increasingly becoming the new standard for communication between controller and reader, plays a central role. The benefits of OSDP are far-reaching, as the OSDP specification is designed for high compatibility, scalability and security. Highly secure bidirectional communication is ensured by AES-128 encryption, which makes hacker attacks much more difficult.

Above all, OSDP also creates an open and interoperable architecture with support for IP communication. This allows a company to use the access control system for additional areas of operation and applications and also to flexibly expand system functionality when requirements change.

A company can use an access control system modernized with OSDP support for the following deployment scenarios, among others:

  • Optimized physical access control: The access control system identifies people and grants them access to the areas for which they have authorization – from the parking garage and building access to elevators, floors, offices or meeting and common rooms. Areas that require stricter access control can be enhanced with a biometric verification level if required.
  • Seamless user authentication: Employees are not only given physical access, but also logical access to the corporate network and cloud applications such as Office 365 with the same credentials they used when they entered the building. As an additional layer of security, multi-factor authentication can be added, requiring a PIN or biometric data.
  • Staff time recording: When an employee enters or leaves a building, the same badge that opens the door can be used to record the time an employee enters or leaves the building via an integrated time and attendance system (workforce management).
  • Flexibility for the agile workforce: Office space management with hot desking is increasingly replacing traditional offices as many companies seek to reduce costs and optimize work options for their employees. With their proof of identity, employees can ensure that they do not have to forego the advantages of an individualized workstation when using their PCs.
  • Secure printing: Centrally managed printers with embedded readers and updated firmware allow printing only after proper user authentication
  • Cashless payment: Payments in canteens or at vending machines can be made via a secure, closed payment system without the need for cash or credit cards.

“Standardization via OSDP is of considerable benefit to users. It offers high scalability, security and flexibility, for example when using the most suitable controller or reader for one’s own requirements”, explains Markus Baba, Area Sales Manager DACH at HID Global.

“And finally, thanks to its interoperability, OSDP can also form the basis for connecting the most diverse systems and applications and thus contribute to the harmonization of operational processes: from physical access control to logical access control to use cases such as time recording, secure printing or cashless payment”.