Market for card-based EACS to reach $8.6 billion by 2018

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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The global market for card-based electronic access control systems is projected to grow from $5.1 billion in 2012 to $8.6 billion by 2018, driven by increasing concern about security breaches at government and enterprise facilities, according to a new report from Global Industry Analysts.

The San Jose, Calif.-based research company said the government sector has proven to be one of the major verticals for card-based EACS, with implementations across local, state and federal jurisdictions. Key applications include administrative buildings, electrical utilities, transportation, defense research laboratories, and prisons and detention centers.

“Although not completely tamper-proof, card-based access control systems score over password-based access control systems for the simple reason that user credentials are kept hidden and users can just swipe or place the card in front of card readers instead of typing the user ID and password,” GIA said in the report.

While large multinational companies, particularly in the banking, IT and hospitality industries, have been early adopters of card-based EACS in the private sector, small-scale enterprises are increasingly adopting the technology as well to protect data. New regulatory mandates to safeguard privacy have accelerated that trend in many countries.

“Incidents of unauthorized individuals breaking into enterprise computing devices and networks in order to destroy critical business and customer information for competitive gains, or use the same for financial gains, have increased,” the report said. “Such security breaches typically bring major financial losses for the company while also tarnishing the company image.”

GIA said the top challenges to growth in card-based EACS are a lack of awareness among potential end users; increasing competition from sophisticated biometric security solutions; high implementation costs compared to traditional access control solutions; and a lack of regulatory commitment in developing countries.

The United States is the largest global market but sales are growing fastest in the Middle East, with a projected CAGR of 13.2 percent over the analysis period. Smart cards are the fastest-growing product segment with a CAGR of 10.7 percent.

GIA researchers told Security Systems News that the U.S. market has benefited from a strong security culture and a greater emphasis on public programs to increase security awareness. The recent mass shootings in Aurora, Colo., and Newtown, Conn., will drive “significant demand,” they said.

“The U.S. additionally has legislated some of the toughest airport security rules in the world, and the new security measures and requirements generate business opportunities for physical access control systems, particularly for smart-card-based EACS,” the researchers told SSN.

To take advantage of the growth, GIA analysts said installers and integrators need to focus on expanding security analysis and design as opposed to traditional installation and service agreements, “which typically have low profitability.”

The focus should also include “contactless” card-based EACS, adopting simpler systems that shorten installation times, and providing “end to end” customer service, the researchers said.