“Physical security is key to keeping online data safe from breaches” asserts Abloy UK

Security expert Abloy UK has highlighted the importance of physical security to protect against digital data breaches following the recent approval of a new standard that offers the ability for end users to add tangible authentication to secure online accounts.

WebAuthn, which has now been approved by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), standardises an interface for the secure authentication of users in web-based applications and services.

An extension implemented in this standard is the Credential Management API, which allows users to authenticate using ‘something’ other than a password, such as a gesture, a biometric reading or a key.

Most of the major browsers have already implemented support for this standard in anticipation of its approval, which is something that Abloy UK has welcomed in line with its own view that having something physical to rely on as well as electronics is inherently more secure.

Pip Courcoux, sales and product manager for CLIQ Systems at Abloy UK, explained: “In many ways, security against cyber attacks is similar to security against physical attacks. For example, a stolen password is a stolen credential, while a phishing attack is similar to wireless credential cloning. If you can be close enough to the individual and garner enough data you can fill in the gaps and recreate the identity. Although passwords have become more complex and harder to duplicate, they may just not be good enough alone.”

With this in mind, Abloy now offers PROTEC2 CLIQ, a state-of-the-art locking solution based on detainer disc cylinders and electronic identification. PROTEC2 CLIQ provides mechanical security and allows for flexible control of keys and access rights, as well as complete audit trails via a web-based management system.

This system’s mechanical key has been developed over generations to be one of the most secure mechanical platforms in the world. Combining this with the CLIQ microelectronics platform introduces an additional layer of security and flexibility through advanced encryption and time-based access principles.

Courcoux added: “As the big tech companies continue to develop Artificial Intelligence and Quantum computer chips, the digital world will face new threats. Passwords and encryptions could be broken in milliseconds. When electronic security fails, Abloy UK’s customers will sleep soundly knowing they’re ahead of the curve, having chosen a balanced approach to their security where mechanical and digital work in harmony.”

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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