The future of office security doesn't only reside in servers, software and firewalls. Advancements in access control can keep facilities safe in the real world by limiting traffic in sensitive areas to unwanted persons. Though key cards and fobs serve their purpose admirably, engineers and security experts seek out new methods for granting access that have greater reliability and won't weigh down a person's wallet or keychain. What game-changing security innovations can businesses expect in the near future?

Near-field communication and a flick of the wrist
A 2015 Pew Research study found nearly two-thirds of Americans own smartphones. Looking around your social circle, you might find yourself say, "That few?"

"Near-field communication turns any smartphone into a radio transmitter."

While these devices help us check email on the go, photograph our food or save the planet from space invaders, it's about time they assisted in keeping our offices safe. Near-field communication turns any smartphone or compatible electronic device into a radio transmitter. Receivers will then recognize a device's unique signal and grant access accordingly.

Seems easy enough – in fact, almost too easy.

Security experts agree two-step verification can make it more difficult for trespassers to enter premises. John Fenske, vice president of product marketing, identity and access management for HID Global, told Campus Safety Magazine gestures could act as a supplementary component to NFC technology. Certain movements could even perform different tasks like locking, unlocking, opening and closing.

Budding biometrics
You've seen them in movies, television shows and from out the annals of science fiction, but things like retinal scans or voice and facial recognition don't feel as miraculous in real life as they do on the silver screen. A word to the wise: Give it a few more years.

In the coming years, your personal biology will become the strongest password you've ever owned.In the coming years, your personal biology will become the strongest password you've ever owned.

Many believe innovations in biometric technology could still be the answer to preventing hackers from infiltrating secure systems. After all, a safeguard is only as strong as its weakest element, which in most cases would be its password. A billion-dollar security system can be thwarted easily if it grants access to anyone who can figure out "1234." Worse yet, entering a system without corrupting it leaves no trace for owners to uncover how the breach occurred in the first place.

One might believe many would fear biometrics as a harbinger of an age without privacy, but convincing people to trade PINs for biological data may not be such a difficult task. Security Magazine reported 38 percent of Americans consider biometrics a viable option for enhancing security. Additionally, while only 15 percent of smartphones in 2015 offer biometric-based security, by 2020 the number may reach 50 percent, according to Once the feature finds its way into pockets worldwide, it's only a matter of time before it's used to secure office buildings and the like.

Security equipment and surveillance industry piece brought to you by Marlin Equipment Finance, a nationwide provider of commercial lending solutions for small and mid-size businesses. Marlin's equipment financing and loan products are offered directly to businesses, and through third party vendor programs, which include manufacturers, distributors, independent dealers and brokers in the security, food services, healthcare, information technology, office technology and telecommunications sectors.