Bridging two worlds A growing number of PCs have begun to integrate smart card readers, enabling workers to gain access to their office buildings and log onto their PC desktops with a single smart card. Although adoption of security convergence is just beginning, the trend could transform how organizations manage security — and enable greater levels of protection and efficiency as well as exciting new applications. As confidence grows, more cost-effective and easy-to-implement solutions are emerging, giving organizations more incentives to make the move. For example, HID has partnered with Dell Computer to build readers compatible with HID iCLASS smartcards into select Dell Latitude notebooks. Users can thus carry a single card for facility and network access, and organizations can quickly implement a near off-the-shelf solution. Potential applications include systems that can track whether an employee has entered the office, and deny remote VPN access if the employee is onsite. Or, “green” systems that can activate lights and air conditioning only for the floors where workers are currently present. Indeed, companies are already realizing incredible gains through convergence. According to a recent Aberdeen Group report, best-in-class companies adopting this model are experiencing improvements in both security and efficiency. 83% of those surveyed stated they reduced the number of physical security incidents while 48% reduced virtual security incidents. Read the entire article at ASSA ABLOY Future Lab.