Access Control Systems and Methodology outlines the fundamental requirements for constructing adequate and effective access control limits for an organisation.
Access control can help keep systems, data, physical infrastructure, and people safe by limiting who can enter and what they can see and do.
A company that doesn't properly prepare for, design, manage, and enforce its access control system leaves itself vulnerable to theft and other forms of unlawful entry. Infringements can be committed either locally or from afar. It is essential for you to have this level of understanding as a security professional.
Access control systems are put in place to ensure that only permitted individuals are allowed to enter a building or place of business. Deadbolt locks with matching brass keys were once considered the gold standard in security, but modern businesses require more sophisticated measures.
They want to limit access and keep tabs on who comes and goes. Today, keys are rarely used because of computer-controlled electronic access control systems. Access is quick and easy for those who are authorised, while unwanted guests are kept out.
To gain entry to restricted areas, we now only require access cards and ID badges as opposed to keys. Access control systems are useful for securing a building's workstations, secure file rooms, printers, and even doors.
However, even in larger buildings where the landlord and management agency controls access to the building's exterior doors, the tenant company often has control over access to the building's interior offices.
An outsider looking in might assume that the access control system consists solely of the card or the reader installed on the wall adjacent to the door.
Yet there are other factors at play here, and they all come together to produce the trick that allows the right person to enter. That is the sole focus of this instruction book.
If you read it, you will have a much better understanding of how access control systems function and the terminology to discuss these systems with suppliers.
Elements of Access Control
The purpose of access control systems is to regulate who can enter a restricted area, such as a building or facility. To do this, it is common practise to give various degrees of privilege to certain groups of workers, executives, contractors, and suppliers.
The main entrance may be accessible to anybody with an access card, but restricted areas and data should be kept out of the public eye.
In order to make things easier to understand, we classify the pieces as either being for the end user, being for the administrators, or being for the underlying support system. Let's explore the differences between the three groups.
Directly Addressing the End User
Access control systems are most easily recognised by their most recognisable parts: the cards, ID badges, as well as smartphone apps used to open doors with a simple presentation at a card reader and receive an affirmative beep.
If they contain information about you that a reader needs to know to let you into the building or verify that you have permission to be there, then they are credentials.
Proximity cards, which are used for access control, are not swiped or inserted into a reader but rather held two to six inches in front of it.
The method is the same when developing a mobile app. Credentials are advantageous because they can be tailored to each individual user, making it possible to assign each unlock event to a particular person.
The Administration's Point of View
An organization's IT manager, head of security, or office administrator can control who is allowed in the building and under what circumstances from a central control panel.
Access provisioning mechanisms like a card programming device and a management interface hosted in the cloud are necessary for this.
Complex systems can eventually do away with the need for human labour in manual processes. Automation of provisioning can be achieved in part by linking the access dashboard with the personnel directory (granting and revoking access).
When a new employee is added to the system, their privileges are automatically increased through the use of an API or integrating database service like Google Apps, Microsoft Azure, SAML, or Okta.
"Infrastructure components" are the parts of your building's infrastructure that are essential to its operation. Though the locks themselves are the most obvious part, there are also a controller, server, as well as cables involved.
Pick secure passwords and steer clear of password constraints
- A password is not necessarily a safe method of authentication.
- Weak password protection
- Using many methods of verification
- A Two-Step Verification Process
- A Three-Factor Authentication System
Access Control System Selection Criteria: Features and Functionality
Access control's spread into commercial and domestic contexts has been sped up by the enhanced capability of current systems.
The ability to allow or deny access to a protected area is a fundamental part of any access control procedure, but modern technologies also allow for the recording of attempts to gain entrance, the authentication of individual users, and the modification of authorisation criteria.
Hardware, software, physical barriers, guards, and administrative rules are frequently used together in conjunction with one another to achieve and maintain the appropriate level of security in entry controls.
You need to know what you'll be using the system for, what tasks you'll have to do, and what options there are for putting those tasks into action before you can pick the best system for your application.
Locks With Electronic Access Control
If the door has an electronic lock, then it can be opened with electricity. The majority of the time, they require an external power source. Some waves can be locked by injecting energy into them, while others can be unlocked by the same process.
The former is sometimes called "fail-safe," while the latter is "fail-secure."
The choice between the two is based on the area of impact. Locks on entry doors must be fail-safe so that people can leave the building at every time, even if the power goes out, as required by fire and safety regulations.
It is crucial to have fail-safe wiring because even in an emergency, IT rooms must remain closed. In order to facilitate rapid egress in the event of an emergency, electric push bars should be installed on all doors that are not fireproof.
Keypad Controlled Entry System (or Controller)
The access control panel, also known as the intelligent controller or access control field panel, is typically located in a server room or communications closet, out of sight from most people in the building. The device is wired to all of the locks in the building, so this precaution is essential.
When a valid ID is swiped through the reader, a signal is sent to the control panel, asking it to open a relay connected to the door.
Server for Providing Controlled Access
Access control systems cannot function without a server that stores a database containing information about who has access to what. It acts as the system's "control centre."
The server checks the provided credential against a list of certificates to see if it matches any that have permission to open the door.
The task can be carried out by a server running Windows or Linux on a local machine, a server in the cloud, or a decentralised server. Similarly, the server keeps tabs on all activity and behaviour associated with views, and administrators can view reports that break down all of the data events that have occurred in the past.
When a server is set up in-house, the necessary software is loaded onto a single machine. The presence of the administrator is required for system control.
Growth in the use of cloud-based servers can be attributed in part to the difficulty of coordinating multiple physical locations.
Electricity Transmission Using Low Voltage Cables
Cables are a crucial part of an access control system but can quickly become prohibitively expensive if not carefully planned for beforehand.
The general contractor needs a comprehensive list of all cables to know what to do when building out the space. If the cables aren't planned for now, they'll be a pain to instal later. To instal wiring or plumbing, someone will need to go around and drill into the newly painted walls.
The Value of a Reliable Access Control System
Access control, and in particular cloud-based access control, should be an integral element of any organisation for several reasons beyond the obvious necessity for an extra layer of protection in a facility.
Safety From The Outside
Let's start with the most glaring advantage of access control: better security. An access control system not only helps maintain the security of the building by preventing unauthorised entry, but it also helps deter theft. It also ensures that all other interactions, including those with customers and delivery services, proceed without a hitch.
One more perk of installing an access control system is the ability to keep tabs on and regulate actions taking place in any area of the building. Your job is to keep unauthorised people out of data centres and server rooms (more to follow in the next paragraph about compliance).
The need for organisations to be in compliance has increased the importance of access control in recent years. Many security managers run into trouble when dealing with breaches because they haven't been keeping up with certifications.
The installation of a certified access control system will increase your business's credibility, safety, and security against malware and hackers, and ultimately, your revenue. The following are examples of when an access control system is necessary to guarantee conformity:
- The HIPAA privacy rules must be followed by all healthcare providers and payers.
- The PCI Data Security Standard applies to all businesses, including banks and insurance organisations, that handle credit card information.
- Any business, whether it be a SaaS provider, a data centre, or otherwise, that wants to comply with SOC2 cybersecurity standards.
Management of Operations and Customers
Some methods of security authorisation support integrated directories, which greatly simplify the procedure of adding and removing users. That's great news from the perspective of access management because it means onboarding and offboarding can be handled mechanically. By doing away with monotonous tasks, you're reducing your administrators' workload and the likelihood of making an error.
As we've already established, access control can streamline your facility's guest management by ensuring that only authorised individuals are allowed inside.
The Security of Confidential Information and Intellectual Property
Because of the sensitive nature of the information they handle, businesses like software development studios, law firms, startup incubators, and pharmaceutical companies must strictly regulate not only who is allowed to enter their premises but also when and where.
While modern access systems do provide granular permissions based on group memberships, they also provide insights and analytics, which are often necessary for business and compliance reasons.
Increasing profits isn't a common thought process when discussing access control or other security technologies. However, we've seen that our strategy generates solid returns across a range of circumstances, so we can make that claim with authority. Installing an access control system, for instance, can allow your business to be open 24/7.
With the right security measures in place and authorised access granted to those in your directory, you can leave your building unattended with confidence. As a result, revenue increases while costs decrease, allowing you to maintain your current business hours.
In the case of shared office space, access is also a source of income. It may be inconvenient to have a large number of meeting rooms available at your coworking space.
No additional desks or customers can be accommodated, so the business is doomed to lose money. Improve productivity in the workplace by putting a reader on the door of every meeting room and erecting a paywall.
By charging a fee for the use of the phone booths and conference rooms, the organisation can increase revenue without adding staff or spending money on promotion. We wrote an article to chronicle this situation for future reference.
Authentication And The User Experience
To increase security, today's systems leverage technology to provide a streamlined user experience while giving administrators more power over who has access to restricted areas.
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a modern security measure that mandates users to prove their identity by using a second factor (such as a trusted mobile device) in addition to the primary credential (the primary credential).
Varieties of Security Door Locks
We started this essay by pointing out that modern access control systems must have more features to meet the needs of businesses (and for a good reason).
Having established the two main categories of technology for access control systems, the following section will briefly discuss the three models used by every access control provider: role-based access control, discretionary access control, and mandatory access control (cloud-based vs. legacy).
Comparing On-Premises and Cloud-Based Access Control
The access control market has been relatively stable for a long time, with many companies offering solutions that adhere to the same fundamental principles.
Traditional on-premises solutions (which couldn't talk to the cloud) were the only option for access control before the advent of cloud computing.
The difference between the two is cloud computing. The latter has a significant impact on the two systems' combined upfront cost, recurring costs, and functional limitations.
Server-based access control solutions have traditionally been used, but these can be expensive to implement and maintain while also stifling new ideas.
A cloud-based access control system, on the other hand, can be set up in a matter of minutes and put to use right away, without the need for any additional physical infrastructure. The fact that cloud-based systems are accessible from any location and any device is one of their primary selling points.
For your convenience, we have compared on-premises and cloud-based access management and listed the main differences in a table below.
Inaccessible Door Locks
- Needs dedicated server space.
- Due to the high expense of upkeep and the necessity of having a professional perform it, it is not cost-effective for most households to own or
- Having fewer integrations
- With lower ongoing expenses but higher initial investment,
Cloud-based Access Control Systems
- Reduced initial investment
- Automatically gets newer and better over time
- No need to add employees, and devoted attention to customers
- Compatible with a wide range of applications, identity providers, and records
- A mobile device and authentication details
Versions of Access Control Systems
Permissions Based On User Role
In this model, users have specific roles allocated to them and privileges are delegated to them accordingly. In this setup, management and administration can be handled from a single location, making it a very convenient model.
Discretionary Access Control (dac)
All system files and programmes are under the user's direct command, which is a fancy way of saying that there is only one way in.
Compulsory Authentication and Permission Verification
trast with DAC, which is the other way around. A policy, hardware, or software component is utilised to control access when MAC is the paradigm. This could be a keypad or password.
When Choosing an Access Control System, What to Look For
When comparing service providers, there are a number of things to think about. The following is a rundown of some of the more important things to consider, broken down into three groups: compatibility; features; and upkeep.
It is critical to choose a compatible access control system. Check that the facility specifications match those of the plan you want to buy to save time and money during the installation process. A system with a high degree of compatibility is not only easier to set up, but also more secure. There may be issues with compatibility if...
- Is it free of lock-in and open to third-party hardware?
- Is there compatibility with other security systems, namely surveillance ones?
- Is it simple to set up and use?
- Is there access to a public API?
Functions and Upkeep
Which workplace security system you choose depends on the features you value most. It's not easy to find a solution that satisfies your most fundamental needs and also helps you save time in the long run, especially if you don't know which features to prioritise.
If you're looking for an unlocking solution, a cloud-based system with multiple options is your best bet (not limited to only keycards or fobs).
Guests and workers won't need to wait for new keycards to be issued, saving you time. This decreases the likelihood that an employee will misplace or improperly use their login information.
Finally, a company with good customer service should respond quickly if you have any questions during setup or regular use.
Additional questions to ponder relate to the following features of your concern:
- Is it an IP-based system?
- Does it work in offline mode?
- How about two-factor authentication (2FA)?
- Will a lockdown be accepted? In that case, does it occur at the level of the entrance, the level of the room, or both?
- Which protocols (Bluetooth, NFC, RFID, Power over Ethernet, and so on) does it support?
- Does it accept a variety of authentication inputs (such as smartphone apps, remote unlocks, cards, key fobs, and the like)?
- What percentage of access methods provide full encryption of data from beginning to end?
- Do you offer help for customers as well?
- What kinds of access controls (such as time limits, roles, permission levels, quotas, and so on) are there?
The purpose of installing an access control system is to restrict access to a building or facility to only those who are authorised to be there. Companies leave themselves open to theft and other forms of unlawful entry if they fail to adequately plan for, design, manage, and enforce their access control system. The increased efficiency of modern systems has accelerated the introduction of access control in both commercial and residential settings. The provisioning process can be automated in part by connecting the access dashboard with the personnel directory (granting and revoking access) via an API or integrating database service. All of the doors in the building need to have locks that always allow people to get out.
In the event of an evacuation, the IT room must remain closed; therefore, electric push bars must be installed. Any successful business must incorporate cloud-based access control. A building's security can be kept up to par with the aid of an access control system. It also makes sure that communications with clients and shipping companies go off without a hitch. It is your responsibility to restrict access to computer servers and other sensitive data from those who are not authorised to do so.
The process of adding and removing users can be greatly simplified by using an integrated directory, which is supported by certain security authorisation methods. In addition to allowing for fine-grained permissions based on group membership, modern access control systems also offer insights and analytics. You can keep your current business hours because revenue has increased while expenses have decreased. Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a newer form of security that requires users to provide additional evidence of their identity (such as a trusted mobile device). Without installing any new hardware, cloud-based access control systems can be up and running in a matter of minutes.
To put it simply, dac means that the user has complete control over which system files and programmes are accessible to other users. Contrast DAC with CAPTCHA, which requires authentication but not authorisation. A system with a high degree of compatibility is not only simpler to set up, but safer as well. Finding an unlocking solution is easiest with a cloud-based system that provides several choices. If you have any questions during installation or regular use, a company with good customer service should get back to you quickly. Is it compatible with multiple authentication methods? (such as smartphone apps, remote unlocks, cards, key fobs).
- Access Control Systems and Methodology outlines the fundamental requirements for constructing adequate and effective access control limits for an organisation.
- It is essential for you to have this level of understanding as a security professional.
- If you read it, you will have a much better understanding of how access control systems function and the terminology to discuss these systems with suppliers.
- he purpose of access control systems is to regulate who can enter a restricted area, such as a building or facility.
- Infrastructure"Infrastructure components" are the parts of your building's infrastructure that are essential to its operation.
- You need to know what you'll be using the system for, what tasks you'll have to do, and what options there are for putting those tasks into action before you can pick the best system for your application.
- It acts as the system's "control centre.
- One more perk of installing an access control system is the ability to keep tabs on and regulate actions taking place in any area of the building.
- The installation of a certified access control system will increase your business's credibility, safety, and security against malware and hackers, and ultimately, your revenue.
- Installing an access control system, for instance, can allow your business to be open 24/7.With the right security measures in place and authorised access granted to those in your directory, you can leave your building unattended with confidence.
- The access control market has been relatively stable for a long time, with many companies offering solutions that adhere to the same fundamental principles.
- When comparing service providers, there are a number of things to think about.
- CompatibilityIt is critical to choose a compatible access control system.
- A system with a high degree of compatibility is not only easier to set up, but also more secure.
- Which workplace security system you choose depends on the features you value most.
- Additional questions to ponder relate to the following features of your concern:Is it an IP-based system?
FAQ's About Access Control System And Methodology
System access control is a security technique that regulates who or what can view or use resources in a computing environment. It is a fundamental concept in security that minimizes risk to the business or organization. There are two types of system access control: physical and logical.