When looking at access control systems, there are key points that need to be considered before making a final decision. Cost, of course, is a major consideration along with the type of security you need and who will be using the system to gain access.
Access control systems come in various types that differ in complexity and ease of use. Some involve little more than entering a simple code on the keypad while others use advanced biometrics for user access.
Allowing employees or approved visitors to gain access without accidentally arming the system should also be incorporated as part of the decision-making process. An access control system that requires too many steps or causes user confusion when trying to gain access all too often results in false alarms or an inability to enter the building.
For this reason, an access control system that is intuitive and easy-to-use is generally recommended. Learn more about access control systems below or speak with a security expert from Security Camera King for additional information.
Understanding Access Control Systems
When deciding on the type of access control system suitable to your security needs, the overall size of the property will be an important factor. Additionally, in business offices, there are many locations with varying levels of access to consider first before designing an access control system.
Mapping out who should have access to particular areas of the business will help with determining things like how many zones will be required and how complex the system should be. Generally, there are specified areas that require higher security levels and tighter access control.
Designated areas like data centers, safes, or other locations with sensitive documents or information should have restricted entry for most people. Doing so ensures that sensitive information is not accessible to those unauthorized to do so.
Having different levels of access is usually determined and controlled by entries in a centralized database. Access to the database should be limited to only the administrators or personnel responsible for managing the system.
Minimizing access to the database provides tighter security for the entire overall system. Since the database is integral to the control of the system, administrative functionality should only be granted to a select few.
Different Types of Security Systems
Most security systems for small offices or residential applications involve the use of keypad entry. Although keypad entry systems are economical, these types of systems are usually not recommended for businesses or organizations with a significant number of visitors who will require regular access.
This is because the code required is often shared amongst employees or written down and left in obvious places. With so many different people aware of the access code, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain security as visitors leave the facility.
Biometric technology and card or fob readers are a much more viable solution for such applications. Biometrics or bio readers, use fingerprints, iris scans, or some other physical identification that is unique to each individual. The unique biometric information will be incredibly difficult to reproduce and makes removing access simple in the event someone leaves the company.
Another popular choice for business access control systems is an access control reader which uses fob or card readers. Each employee is given a personal object that can either be slid through the reader or waived over a proximity reader.
Both the proximity and slide reader have their own pros and cons. For instance, the proximity reader does not require as much contact as the regular slide reader. By contrast, the slide reader does require contact and operates in a similar way to swiping a credit card.
Using a centralized database, each zone or reader is designed to permit access to specific users depending on administrative preferences. Typically, an ID badge will have an employee’s picture on it for identification purposes, which can be useful for security personnel that can identify employees by matching the person with the badge’s picture.
In access control systems for small businesses, a basic keypad that requires code entry to access the building might be suitable. This can be an economical and easy-to-use solution for small businesses that have a minimal number of employees.
However, there are certain protocols that should be used to keep the system secure, For instance, it’s always recommended to change the entry code after an employee departs from the company. Keypad entry systems are also popular for residential access control.
How an Access Control System Works
All access control systems work by releasing a locking mechanism when accessed, such as when a badge is swiped, a bio reader recognizes information, or an entry code is entered. There are two types of locks that are generally found in access control equipment.
The first type of lock works with an electric strike that releases the lock once access is granted. Electric door strikes are generally cheaper and can be used for areas that do not require verification upon exit.
Electromagnetic locks are the second type of locking mechanism. Magnetic locks are best suited for areas that do require security clearance for visitors entering or exiting a secure area, which is a common practice in many offices where people are searched before leaving in order to prevent anyone from leaving with valuable assets or sensitive data.
When shopping for access control equipment, it’s important to consider the nature of the business and the sensitivity or value of the data and products throughout the premises. Knowing the security risks will largely determine what type of access control systems are the most appropriate for the applications characteristic of the property.
If you need help selecting from the available access control equipment for sale we offer or wish to learn more about what access control system is best for your security needs, contact Security Camera King for assistance.