"That’s the way we have always done it."

Having this attitude toward access control and physical security installs is not only costly, but also dangerous. With new access control innovations constantly coming to market, it may be easier to stick with legacy technologies. But necessity is the mother of invention, which is why the adoption of new access control technologies leads to more secure buildings and lower long-term costs.

One such innovation on its way to wide-scale adoption is the use of Open Supervised Device Protocol (OSDP), the alternative to Wiegand and Clock-and-Data communications between readers and panels. This standard is maintained and further developed by the Security Industry Association (SIA) and is publicly available. With its anti-tampering awareness and encryption, OSDP is more secure than its forefathers.

Not only can OSDP help security teams future-proof their facilities, but security professionals can also expect additional cost savings when implementing OSDP-compliant devices for their access control systems.

Here are five benefits of modernizing organizational access control through the use of OSDP.

1. Fewer hacks

Each time a business is hacked, there are both tangible and nontangible costs. For example, property may be stolen, data assets could be compromised and a more robust access control solution will need to be installed. Furthermore, there is loss of reputation for both the company and the security practitioner involved. And when it comes to enterprise cybersecurity, a key area of concern is physical security systems.

Modern systems powered by OSDP have stronger cybersecurity than those that leverage antiquated protocols. Because OSDP makes use of bidirectional communication, the wires constantly “supervise” one another to protect against tampering.

2. Lower service costs

Traditional systems require field service any time they need to be updated. New standards like OSDP have two-way communication and file transfer capabilities that greatly reduce the need for calls to a service provider. Instead of requiring a service technician to manually update every reader on site, OSDP allows firmware updates to be pushed out remotely.

3. Standards mean more business competition

Because OSDP is a standard adopted by a variety of access control vendors, there is diversity allowed when it comes time to purchase a system. Access control manufacturers are invited to take advantage of the communication protocol and craft innovative devices to fit varying needs. The interoperability offered by OSDP bodes well for the end-user, as they can mix and match devices from different vendors.

4. Retrofit and new construction cost savings

It is entirely possible to craft an OSDP-compliant access control solution without undergoing an entire rip and replace. While older standards use anywhere from six to 11 wires, OSDP only requires two data wires, known collectively as a “twisted pair.” When transitioning existing readers from Wiegand to OSDP, security leaders may find existing wires running from the panels to the readers can be reused. The ability to reuse existing infrastructure is key to keeping retrofit costs low.

OSDP also offers cost savings for new construction. In a multidrop architecture, multiple access control readers can be installed on the same communication. With the ability to daisy-chain multiple readers to one controller, gone are the days of individual reader-to-panel wiring. For expansive job sites, savings come in the form of money saved on materials and time saved during install.

5. Leveraging an access control system for on-campus communications

Older access control systems often use stand-alone readers, but they are sometimes combined with signage. With legacy installs, these kinds of applications either required additional wiring or simply were not possible. Today, security leaders may want to provide wayfinding messages or use a green light to indicate that access has been granted. OSDP supports those signals, so there is no need for dedicated wiring to add these sorts of capabilities. With the remote configuration offered with OSDP, reader capabilities can be adjusted and readjusted off-site as needed.