Tony Ball wants to make security easy. The president of the identity and access management business at HID Global says the security industry has dropped the ball when it comes to user experience.
“It’s not convenient enough, nor is it as user friendly as it needs to be,” Ball explains. “We need to make the user experience number one and make it so people don’t have to jump through hoops.”
The key to improving user experience is the mobile device, Ball says. “If I’m in the building why can’t I use the same mobile device to login to the network that I used to get into the front door?” he asks.
While the mobile device has long been touted as the credential of the future, Ball says it’s time has come and it’s forcing security companies to move quicker. “The mobile is going to make us move a lot faster,” he explains. “We need to have the ability to get the phone activated to where someone can use it for security, access to networks and applications in seconds.”
For example, a new employee arrives for the first day on the job and reports to human resources. The employee gives HR the driver license or passport, which is scanned and loaded into the corporate network. An email address is assigned and the mobile device is provisioned for corporate access on the spot.
The new employee can download an app and have the necessary credentials loaded that will grant them access to the necessary doors as well as logical resources, all without having to take the phone out of their pocket. Ball says that Bluetooth Low Energy is the underlying technology that will enable both physical and logical access.
Authentication can also be added to this scenario depending on the risk of a transaction or location. Employees can be prompted to enter a PIN or biometric if more security if required, Ball adds.
A crucial next step to making this happen is education, Ball says. Facility managers, CIOs and the employees running these systems need to be aware that employees are walking around with highly secure endpoints, and they should take advantage of it.
Solving usability issues can go a long way to improving security. “Unless you’re making it simpler and easier you’re not moving the needle,” Ball explains.