Standard metal keys can be easily lost, locks must be professionally re-keyed if an ex-employee fails to return a key, and if a key is stolen and ends up in the wrong hands, your business is at serious risk.
There is a more secure, less feasible solution to securing your business—access control!
If you have ever worked at or visited a large building, facility, or campus—such as a hospital, school, or office—then you may have used or at least seen an access control system.
Unlike a standard lock and key, entryways with an access control system feature an automatic, preconfigured door lock sensor that only permits entry when someone scans an authorised tag.
These systems give you complete control over who can enter restricted areas and when they can enter.
They also generate detailed records of how people move through a protected building, with timestamps indicating each time a protected door is successfully or unsuccessfully unlocked. But access control does more than replacing the standard lock and key.
The access control system provides security by giving flexible control over who is allowed to enter your premises.
The access control system is one of the most commonly used systems in electronic door control using a card or a magnetic stripe which can be accessed by swiping through a reader on the door. These access control systems are used for security purposes.
The areas or organisations which require high-security use different types of access control systems like biometric, RFID, door controllers and card readers etc.
Each access point may be controlled individually as per the requirement of a company or organisation where high security is necessary. Network security is also essential, especially in a company that handles sensitive data.
What Is An "Access Control System”?
Defined, the term "access control" describes any technique used to control passage into or out of any area. The standard lock that uses a brass key may be a simple form of an "access control system".
Over the years, access control systems have become more and more sophisticated. Today, the term "access control system" most often refers to a computer-based, electronic card access control system.
The electronic card access control system uses a unique "access card", rather than a brass key, to permit access into the secured area.
When used within this document, the term "access control system" refers to an electronic card access control system. Access control systems are most commonly used to control entry into exterior doors of buildings.
Access control systems may also be used to control access into certain areas located within the interior of buildings.
The purpose of an access control system is to provide quick, convenient access to those persons who are authorised while at the same time restricting access to unauthorised people.
Many businesses have complex facilities for their activities, and often they can be in multiple locations or even across the globe.
Each facility has a mix of employees and visitors that enter and egress the facility daily, and at more extensive facilities, this can easily number in the thousands each day.
Access control needs often extend further out than just the physical building of the facility. A typical example of this is the parking lot, which usually is designated separately for visitors and employees.
Furthermore, as business occurs continuously, it is pretty standard for these facilities to need to be open on a 24/7 basis.
Keeping in mind the above, this quickly creates a security challenge or even a nightmare.
It is not like upgrading the locks to a more hardened version with a better key, or just making sure that the front door gets locked at night is a reasonable solution at any of these types of locations.
The security concerns also exceed what can be protected with a traditional alarm system that will alarm and call the police should an egress occur.
Even a standalone video camera system, while potentially useful, will not secure much as it will only create a record of the breach, and the odds of knowing that a violation is occurring may not be exceptionally high without some luck involved.
Instead, these complicated facilities, from sports stadiums and airports at the upper end to a small office or retail establishment at the lower back, take a more comprehensive approach to their security.
Instead of having standalone locks for doors, a video surveillance system, and a third separate system for an alarm, integrate all of this into a single system.
Under the umbrella term of an access control system, these disparate functions get synthesised and interwoven into a single system.
These card access control systems allow access to enter the premises limiting people to one side of the door.
In some cases, physical access control systems are integrated with electronic ones by limiting the users to utilise the resources defined on a computer system.
Biometric Access Control System:
The Biometric Access Control System is a time attendance control system with fingerprint access, and it tracks and records data of Visitors and Employees through its Access Software. This is widely used in hidden places for its easy installation and high security.
Biometric Access Control System uses fingerprint instead of card system for access. The Access Control System not only permits entry but also gives the data regarding the entry of persons.
The Attendance Software can be integrated with any existing payroll software, and it provides an automatic record of information generated by the Attendance System, and this saves time and resources in a recording. It increases productivity and profitability for any organisation.
Proximity Access Control System:
The proximity access control system is a more privileged access control system. It ensures a safe environment, and it is widely used in offices, factories, banks, etc. There are about 50 kinds of time zone settings and five open door groups.
Door Access Control Systems:
Access Control Door opening/closing System is a compact, low cost, standalone. It is ready to use as an easy install device.
Any electrician can install it with an electromagnetic lock with simple instructions provided. It is widely used in Offices, Server rooms, Homes, Airports, Defense, Data centres etc.
Access control systems within a building may be linked or standardised based on the size of the organisation and the varying levels of security.
It is suitable for homes, offices and other access control applications. Access control systems were typically administered in a central location.
Besides electronic door locks, there are access control panel models, magnetic door locks with uninterrupted power supplies.
An administrator grants access to a person with the settings built inside the administration software and a key that opens all doors in a building in a door access control system. These update the information within the system, and each user is given a unique identity.
Critical card systems operate on the relationship between a plastic card and electronic access control locks.
It uses a fewer number of components compared to other access control systems. It is as shown in the figure below.
Features of Smart Card Reader
- Compact Designing, ABS Housing
- Up to 50,000 Punch Storage Capacity
- Up to 99 Terminal Networking
- Programmable IN/OUT Setting
- Up to 10,000 Employee Database Can be Stored with Employee name.
- 16X4 LCD Display for Date, Time, Employee Name, Card Number
- Switch Mode Power Supply (SMPS)
- Connectivity Through Rs232, Rs485, TCP/IP, Modem
- Online Data Transfer
- Voice Messaging
Security Access Control System:
There are many options in security access control systems, for example, in a home security system that can be customised to meet each individual and family needs, and they are burglar alarm systems, fire and carbon monoxide detection systems, closed-circuit TV video systems, card access and automation systems.
The systems consist of sensors placed at different locations throughout the house that communicate with a central control unit.
The control unit is connected to an alarm or an automatic telephone dialer or Internet connection to monitor.
These systems are available as monitored or non-monitored, which simply activate a loud or flashing alarm attached to the home, giving homeowners a false sense of security.
In a monitored system, it is connected to a 24-hour central monitoring service, and this service receives an intruder signal.
The home is called within seconds, and the person who answers must give their name and the passcode, whereas, in a Non-monitored alarm system, the call is set to dial the local police directly when the system detects an intruder.
A wired security system is connected by low-voltage wires, and a wireless security system employs tiny radio transmitters which transmit signals to the central control unit.
All these control units have batteries, and if there is a power failure or if the wires are cut, many systems have batteries that automatically recharge when the team is online with the household power.
This is all about the access control system and its types, which provides security by giving flexible control over who can enter your premises.
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Essential Components of an Access Control System
Access control systems vary widely in type and complexity. However, most card access control systems consist of at least the following essential components:
You need a solid access control system to help you coordinate traffic flow through your building, report potential security breaches, and log traffic for later review.
Whether you’re using key cards or biometric scanners, you face the fundamental challenges inherent to any dynamic, context-based system, and you need to know your priorities when it comes to your security settings.
Access control systems can be tricky to understand, but knowing the components of access control is the first step to securing your business.
These are the different parts of an access control system:
- The server – stores and manages the list of approved credentials issued to individuals
- Credentials – can be virtually anything that stores data, such as PIN codes, key cards, key fobs, fingerprints, even smartphones.
- The reader – takes the scanned credentials and converts the data into a Wiegand ID.
- Control panel or controller – compares the Wiegand ID to the allowlist on the server and sends the signal to the door lock to open if the credentials match.
- The door lock – receives the signal from the door controller to open or stay locked.
The access card may be thought of as an electronic "key". The access card is used by persons to gain access through the doors secured by the access control system.
Each access card is uniquely encoded. Most access cards are approximately the same size as a standard credit card and can easily be carried in a wallet or purse.
Card readers are the devices used to electronically "read" the access card. Card readers may be of the "insertion" type (which require insertion of the card into the reader), or maybe of the "proximity" type (which only need that the card is held in a 3" to 6" proximity of the reader.
Card readers are usually mounted on the exterior (non-secured) side of the door that they control.
Access Control Keypads
Access control keypads are devices that may be used in addition to or in place of card readers. The access control keypad has numeric keys which look similar to the keys on a touch-tone telephone.
The access control keypad requires that a person desiring to gain access enter a correct numeric code.
When access control keypads are used in addition to card readers, both a valid card and the correct code must be presented before entry is allowed.
Where access control keypads are used in place of card readers, only a correct code is required to gain entry.
Electric Lock Hardware
Electric lock hardware is the equipment that is used to electrically lock and unlock each door that is controlled by the access control system.
There are a wide variety of different types of electric lock hardware. These types include electric locks, electric strikes, electromagnetic locks, electric exit devices, and many others.
The specific type and arrangement of hardware to be used on each door is determined based on the construction conditions at the door.
In almost all cases, the electric lock hardware is designed to control entrance into a building or secured space.
To comply with building and fire codes, the electric lock hardware never restricts the ability to exit the building at any time freely.
Access Control Field Panels
Access control field panels (also known as "Intelligent Controllers") are installed in each building where access control is provided.
Card readers, electric lock hardware, and other access control devices are connected to the access control field panels.
The access control field panels are used to process access control activity at the building level. The number of access control field panels to be provided in each building depends on the number of doors to be controlled.
Access control field panels are usually installed in telephone, electrical, or communications closets.
Access Control Server Computer
The access control server computer is the "brain" of the access control system.
The access control server computer serves as the central database and file manager for the access control system and is responsible for recording system activity and distributing information to and from the access control field panels.
Typically, a single access control server computer can control a large number of card-reader controlled doors.
The access control server computer is usually a standard computer that runs special access control system application software. In most cases, the computer is dedicated for full-time use with the access control system.
Access Control System Set-up and Operation
The security coordinator will have day-to-day responsibility for managing the system. Before the system can be used, Mary must set up or "define" the access control system software.
Set-up of the access control software is accomplished at the host computer.
Set-up of the software involves setting various access control system parameters to meet the specific requirements of the building in which the system is installed.
Access cards to each of the tenants who will have access to the Administration Building. The first step in setting up the access control system is to "validate" each access card. To validate the access cards, access control system at what doors each of the cards can be used, and at what times.
The access control system allows a great deal of flexibility in "tailoring" the access privileges assigned to each card:
- Doors: The system can allow the card to work at all card reader controlled doors or only at specific entries.
- Time Of Day: The system can allow the card to work 24 hours per day; or only during specific periods (7:00 P.M.- 12:00 P.M. only, for example)
- Day of Week: The system can allow the card to work seven days per week, or only on certain days (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday only, for example.)
- Holidays: The system can allow the card to work differently on days defined as holidays.
- Start and Stop Dates: The system can allow the card to only work during specifically defined time ranges (June 1 through June 15, for example.)