Protecting company assets and employees is a concern every business has regardless of their size. Security is a greater concern than ever and advances in access control technology have moved well beyond the traditional lock and key method. Electronic access control provides improved security and better management of your facility access by utilizing secure IDs that can be tracked at every doorway. Control who as access to your building and never have to change a lock again.
An access control system needs to have the right set of security features without getting in the way of day to day operations. Having the right combination of management software and access hardware is an important decision to ensure the greatest level of security while being easy to operate. An access control system is an effective and convenient way to control who has access to your facility at any time.
What are the Key Benefits of an Access Control System?
An integrated access control system provides safety and accountability in any business.
- Prevention – Control access rights by user to stop theft before it can happen.
- Security – Set alarms, notifications or area lock downs to keep your business safe in all situations.
- Visibility – Run a variety of reports to know who accessed what and when.
- Peace of Mind – Know that your business assets and employees are protected.
What is Access Control?
Access control is a part of a general security system that is focused on managing all the entrances to a facility or specific rooms. With a centralized access control system you can quickly assign access to a variety of users, support guest access and will have a reliable record of all the movements throughout your building. In today’s climate, the concern for security has become a priority for many businesses and a well planned access control system is an easy to implement first line of defense.
In the past, access to your building and rooms would have been handled with traditional locks and keys. While this may have served its purpose at one time, managing the issuance and return of keys is very problematic. In cases where keys were not returned or lost the only solution was to change the lock on the door and issue a whole new set of keys. Modern electronic access control systems completely do away with these difficulties and make managing your entry points much easier all from a central point.
In every system, instead of issuing out physical keys each user will have an ID access card. This card has a unique identifier that allows you to set specific access rights to that user. When a user comes to an entry point they wave their card in front of the reader and if the system has their ID listed as an authorized user for that specific door then it would unlock. In this case, you can assign each user a customized set of access privileges through a simple software interface. This helps in cases where an ID is lost or when a user is no longer part of your company since a couple clicks in software will retire their ID from every entry point. You can also easily support guest access that could even automatically expire after a given period of time.
Beyond the convenience of day to day operations, an electronic access control system also has the benefits of recording every movement and is able to integrate with other systems. Every time someone accesses any entrance you will be recording who it was and when it occurred. This level of accountability helps deter misuse of your facility and theft. If there is ever a breach at an entry point you will have a record of who accessed the room and will be able to trigger alarms or send email notifications. You can even tie a surveillance system to access control to record video with each entry for even greater insurance.
With properly integrated software and hardware, an access control system will provide complete security for your facility that a single person can easily manage. Don’t leave anything to chance or due to simple mistakes when protecting your business and employees.
What Should You Address When Making an Access Control System?
When putting together an effective and suitable access control system there are a few key questions to answer:
- How many entrances are there to your building?
- Do you need specific rooms to be secured?
- How many users do you have? Will you accommodate guest access?
- Have you issued ID access cards already?
- Do you want to record every access transaction?
- Will your users have variable access throughout your facility?
- Will you interface the access control system with a surveillance system?
- Do you need to trigger alarms or send email notifications on specific events or breaches?
What are the Components of an Access Control System?
An access control system consists of four essential components:
- Access Control Management Software – Monitoring and tracking of all the entry points in your building is managed by the software you implement. Options for remote viewing, notifications and reporting will determine which application is best fit for your business.
- Door Reader – Every entry point will need a reader to allow access to your users. Readers are available with a variety of scanning technologies to support Prox or Smartcards and even biometric fingerprint reading.
- ID Access Cards – Each employee or guest will have a unique ID access card they will use throughout your facility. Since each card will have a unique identifier, you can set who has access to each entry point and track their usage.
- Control Panel – In some cases you will want access to your system away from a management PC. While not as comprehensive, a control panel can help manage a specific room or area from a single point. They also allow for password based access for even greater security.