Access Control Systems come in many formats, from the most basic solutions to sophisticated, state of the art technology - the choices can be overwhelming.
We asked our security design expert Paul Howard to demystify access control systems and help you choose the best solution for your business.
Whether you are a small-to-medium business owner or larger enterprise, this blog explains the various types of access control systems available.
Access control systems are suitable for businesses in the logistics and distribution industry, hotel and leisure industry, retail industry, education and public sectors or commercial, biotech and pharmaceutical industries.
In this blog, Paul will cover:
- What is access control?
- Why does your business need access control?
- Which access control system is right for your business?
- Types of access control technologies and their benefits
- Find out more about the best access control solution for your business
What is access control?
Access control is a form of physical security that restricts or permits an individual’s access to physical locations such as business premises, buildings, sites or specific rooms and areas.
It enables you to protect your premises and business assets at an individual level across certain locations and specific times.
Access control systems come in a wide range of formats from basic keypad and swipe card systems to high tech biometrics and proximity sensors.
Why does your business need access control?
Your business needs access control if you have employees, suppliers or other visitors and you want to control the entrant’s access a certain location, room, area or site or limit that access to certain times or days.
With an access control system, authorised people may enter a site or building and a specific area at defined times. Unauthorised people have restricted access. Most importantly, an access control system should not prevent the flow of authorised personnel but restrict unauthorised people from entering and assist to secure your premises.
Which access control system is right for your business?
There are several different types of access control systems, depending on your business needs and security goals.
Basic or standalone access control system?
A basic or standalone access control system is a simple way to control one or two doors and is not connected to any other systems. This consists of a physical server and connected computer on the business premises with all the required software and information to control access to the different business areas and the access rights that individuals can have. Smaller businesses or specific locations with no need to connect to other sites would typically require a basic or standalone access control system.
Networked access control system
A networked access control system can be two or more systems networked over a building, several sites, across the country or between continents. Businesses with many offices or sites requiring access control may need a networked access control solution. The networked access control system is managed from a central location with a data server and networked computers.
Local cloud-based Access Control System
A local cloud-based access control system enables basic features so that the system can be accessed remotely through a web browser via a smartphone or tablet. The data is held in an on-site server and accessed via a portal website. The system is accessed through the cloud from anywhere, and the key card readers and other physical access hardware are on-site. A local cloud-based access control system is ideal for smaller companies requiring a basic access control solution.
Cloud-hosted access control system
A cloud-hosted access control system moves the access control server to an off-site data centre, with the physical access control such as key card readers still in place on-site in the business premises. Cloud-hosted access control would be required by businesses that prefer to outsource the management and maintenance of a networked access control system or need the flexibility to manage many remote sites.
Fully managed cloud access control
A fully managed cloud access control involves a monitoring centre providing real-time building access and fully managing your access control remotely. This solution is entirely cloud-based and enables a remote security company to manage the complete system for you.
Types of access control technologies and their benefits
Access control proximity systems – restrict an individual’s access to specific doors at specific times. They consist of a key fob, key card or other device and use traditional radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology. The user presents them to the reader, which determines the access permitted. These systems integrate with your access control system and are very reliable and affordable.
Near Field Communication (NFC) and Bluetooth – these are short-range wireless technologies that enable devices to communicate with each other. They can turn your smartphone into your access ID instead of using a key card. It uses a mobile app and reader that extends or replaces RFID access systems. This is a highly secure, vandal-proof and scalable solution that gives you access control without constraints.
Biometrics and Facial Recognition – uses fingerprints, voice patterns, facial characteristics, or the iris or retina pattern in the eye for security authentication. You can restrict access to only registered users for specific areas or rooms while removing the need for PINs that can be overlooked or forgotten. Biometrics readers are becoming more affordable and provide a very high level of security while reducing the costs of producing and maintaining key cards.
Find out more about the best access control solution for your business
STANLEY Security offers many different types of access control solutions, tailored to meet your business needs and budget, for small-to-medium businesses to large multi-national enterprises.
Our access control solution team will be happy to talk you through the options that are best suited to your business and answer any questions you may have.