HID Global Completes NFC-Enabled Smartphone Pilots that Open Doors in the Enterprise

Participants Cite the Improved Convenience and Security of Using Their Phones to Open Doors


IRVINE, Calif. – HID Global, a worldwide leader in secure identity solutions, announced its completion of two pilot programs that validate how mobile access control using Near Field Communication (NFC)-enabled smartphones can allow employees to conveniently open doors with a mobile device without compromising physical enterprise security.  The pilots were conducted at the headquarters of Netflix®, the world's leading Internet subscription service for enjoying TV series and films, and Good Technology™, the leader in secure enterprise mobility solutions, using HID Global’s iCLASS SE® platform including iCLASS Seos™ credentials that are portable for use on NFC-enabled smartphones. 

Pilot participants highlighted improved security among the many benefits of using smartphones to open doors.  “I love the idea of mutually authenticated reader-badges – it reduces the threat of badge skimming and replay attacks,” said Bill Burns, director, Netflix IT Networking & Security.  Netflix desktop analyst David Tsai added, “Technically, the physical security is better since it requires that a person know the phone can be used as a key, know the passcode to get into the phone, and know how to activate the key.”  Similar feedback was provided by Netflix helpdesk support technician Lynn Chikasuye, who said, “People will rarely lend out their phone, which prevents unwanted use.”   

Good Technology also cited the security benefits of mobile access control as compared to photo ID badges, along with improved user convenience for today’s highly mobile workforce.  “Our customers are always looking at new ways to enable mobile worker productivity and efficiency without having to take security risks,” said Michael W. Mahan, SVP Special Markets, Good Technology.  “This pilot proved that using both a layered security approach and smartphones to provide secure physical access to buildings is a great way to meet their goals of adding security without complexity.”

Pilot Details

HID Global’s multiCLASS SE® readers replaced proximity readers at selected locations in both the Netflix and Good facilities, and pilot participants at each company were given Samsung Galaxy S III handsets.  The handsets were equipped with NFC capabilities and HID Global digital keys, so they could securely store and emulate user credentials and open doors by presenting the handsets to the HID Global readers. 

Netflix has traditionally used keyfobs for access control, and wanted to evaluate the benefits of provisioning digital keys over-the-air to its staff’s smartphones to further streamline the new-employee on-boarding process.  The company also believed that digital keys could be a valuable addition to smartphones in its bring-your-own-device (BYOD) mobility environment.  By the time the pilot was launched, almost half of the participants were already socializing the mobile access experience by using proximity tags affixed to the back of their current phones to open doors.  The pilot was intended to test the concept of a true mobile access experience with over-the-air provisioning capability that also delivered improved user convenience and security.  

In addition to testing this basic over-the-air mobile access control capability, Good Technology and HID Global extended Good’s mobile access pilot to also evaluate the use of an NFC-enabled SARGENT® SE LP10 lock on the door to an executive’s office that colleagues use as a temporary conference room when he is away.  This allowed the executive to control access to his office – offering it only to select members of his team during specified times – as well as run reports about who was using his office, and when.

Pilot Results

Results from a third-party survey of participants included:

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