Constructing a comprehensive security solution for a commercial building is no simple task. The impact of poor physical security can affect an entire organisation.
It can damage the company’s property, the loss of confidential data, threats to employee safety, and ultimately financial collapse.
That is why office access control systems are so important. The first line of security defence is always going to be at your entrance and exit points.
Commercial specific office building security systems address actions you can take to protect buildings, property, and assets against trespassers.
An effective physical security system requires various security methods integrated to create a unified operation powered by innovative technologies, features, and capabilities.
Office buildings unprepared for physical intrusions increase the risk of employees being harmed or equipment and data being stolen.
Physical prevention is the first layer of security that needs to defend against this. To ensure that potential access points are reinforced, the appropriate access control systems need to be employed.
Office building access control systems are the first line of defence to ensure all your entryways and exits are blocking the perpetrators before they can cause damage.
Access control can be as simple as using your fingerprint to unlock your smartphone. Your phone will check the scanned prints against the ones saved in your phone. If they match, your phone will unlock. If not, it will give an error and remain locked.
The most basic form of door access control in offices is a simple check-in sheet at the entrance, monitored and cross-checked by a receptionist.
However, this is not a very effective security practice, hence using access control systems for offices.
Access control systems provide an efficient way to control and manage who enters an area of a building or office, allowing only those who are authorised to be there.
They are a keyless door entry system that, in addition to providing authorised access, also help establish access permissions for different areas of the premises. The user's identity is authenticated via credentials entered into the system, which are checked against a database saved in the access server.
Office Access Control Systems
If an unauthorised person can make copies of your keys undetected, then you have a severe security weakness.
That is why access control systems are an excellent advancement for any office building to keep the right people in and the wrong people out.
The purpose of access control systems is to prevent unauthorised entry and to create a clear distinction between public and private property.
Access control systems can control the flow of building traffic while also preventing unauthorised intruders from gaining access to sanctioned areas.
Security systems can include many access control components, including security doors, turnstiles, credentials, card readers, and other integrated security equipment to ensure only authorised individuals are using the entrance.
These systems not only control the entry and exit of individuals but also provide live and ongoing data.
They track who and when someone enters and exits an access point, as well as identifying possible security threats through multi-scan denial and tampering.
An additional aspect to consider securing access control in your office facility is elevator floor access.
This part of implementing an office access control system is excellent to avoid wanderers and threats from lingering on your office’s floor.
Elevators are a crucial point of entry that can provide access to various areas within a facility. They must be adequately secured for multi-floor facilities to allow privacy for companies leasing specific floors.
This task is accomplishable through implementing access control authorisation within elevators so that only employees and authorised personnel are permitted to access clear floors.
What Is A Commercial Access Control System?
A commercial access control system is a system that enables property staff to control who can access a building and specific areas within.
Commercial door access control systems allow you to keep doors locked for security while providing a way for authorised tenants to gain access quickly.
They put building owners and operators in control of deciding who can access the space and when.
In offices, businesses, and other commercial properties, access control systems improve building security and convenience.
Tenants and staff who work in the building can quickly enter with a credential — but doors remain locked for anyone without a valid certification.
Some access control systems also provide a way for visitors to request property access from tenants.
Components Of A Commercial Access Control System
There are many types of access control systems designed for commercial buildings and offices, but most share four key components.
These four components are:
The access control panel stores all the information about tenants and their credentials, which have been programmed by property staff.
Access Card Reader
The reader is the part that scans or reads a tenant’s credentials. After reading a certificate, it then sends the encrypted information to the control panel.
An access credential is an object that tenants scan at the reader to gain property access. Depending on the system, a certificate could be a mobile app, a key fob, or even a tenant’s fingerprint.
Once a credential has been approved, the access control system instructs the door release to unlock the electric or magnetic lock.
Types Of Commercial Access Control Systems
There are many types of access control systems designed for offices and businesses. Here are the five most common commercial building access control systems:
- Key fob and critical card systems
- Mobile access control systems
- Cloud-based commercial access control systems
- Commercial video intercom systems
Key Fob and Critical Card Systems
Key fob and critical card entry systems are some of the most common types of commercial access control. They’re a more convenient alternative to the traditional lock-and-key system.
Instead of using keys, tenants use small electronic devices — either a fob or a card — to gain access.
Tenants hold their device up to the access control reader, which scans it and checks their credentials. If the system recognises that fob as an authorised credential, it grants building access.
Most key fob systems use RFID technology. That means each fob or card contains a small RFID tag, which communicates wirelessly with the reader.
Although fob access systems are more convenient than locks and keys, they’re still cumbersome and expensive.
For example, any time a tenant loses or breaks their fob, property staff must replace it. Plus, anytime an employee joins or leaves the business, property staff must distribute or collect a fob and program or deactivate it accordingly.
Keypad access control consists of a device installed at the door with a numeric keypad. Each tenant and staff member receives a PIN code, which they enter at the keypad to gain access.
Keypads are convenient for office and business tenants because they eliminate physical keys and fobs.
Tenants don’t have to carry around a device that they could lose or forget. Instead, they enter their PIN code to access the building or room.
Additionally, staff can easily grant or revoke tenants’ access permissions through cloud-based software.
Some keypads also pair with a mobile app, allowing tenants to open doors through their smartphones.
Keypads with mobile apps are incredibly convenient because they offer more than one way to open the door.
Mobile Access Control Systems
A mobile access control system is an excellent investment for an office or business because it allows tenants to open doors right from their mobile devices.
Smartphones, tablets, and even devices like Apple Watches instantly become access credentials.
Perhaps the most significant benefit for property staff is that you no longer have to program fobs or hand out physical credentials.
Since tenants use their own devices, all you have to do is manage access permissions from a cloud-based dashboard.
Cloud-Based Commercial Access Control Systems
A cloud-based access control system is any system that enables you to manage and grant property access from an internet-connected device remotely.
Traditional access control systems require you to install and maintain a server onsite. In contrast, cloud-based systems store data in the cloud.
As a result, cloud-based access control systems are far simpler and more affordable to maintain.
Commercial Video Intercoms
A commercial video intercom system is the best way to manage access at your building’s front door or gate.
In addition to providing a seamless way for tenants to enter your building, a commercial video intercom also enables visitors to request property access quickly.
There are many kinds of commercial video intercoms, but we recommend wireless systems with a mobile app.
Wireless commercial intercoms are more accessible and more affordable to install. And a commercial intercom with a mobile app empowers tenants to open doors for themselves and visitors from their smartphones.
Why Your Building Needs A Commercial Access Control System
Investing in a commercial access control system means that you can ditch outdated locks and keys in favour of a simple, cost-effective, keyless entry system.
Commercial access control offers countless benefits for tenants, property managers, and building owners alike.
Here are the top five reasons why you need a commercial access control system:
- It has enhanced building security. A commercial access control system is a sophisticated security solution that lets you keep doors locked without preventing tenants from accessing them. Some systems also have a built-in camera, which can take photos every time someone enters the building to create an audit trail.
- Simplified access for tenants. Access control enhances the tenant experience at commercial buildings by providing a seamless way for tenants to enter the building and rooms within.
- Ditch the hassle and expense of traditional keys. The reality is that tenants lose keys all the time. And when someone loses a key, building staff must spend time and money to replace the lock and issue new keys to every tenant.
- Better control over who has access to specific rooms at certain times. With a commercial access control system, property managers can decide who has access to certain rooms. They can even limit access to specific times of the day.
- Integrate with other systems. Many commercial access control systems integrate with other innovative tech solutions and software, such as Google Workspace.
Access Control Insights For The New Digital Workplace
Mobile and home-based workers now make up 80% of the global workforce, totalling over 2.7 billion people worldwide.
Does this mean the end of commercial office space? Not exactly, but it is the beginning of a new digital workplace where touchless technologies are increasingly becoming a top priority.
For commercial buildings, the new setup starts at the entrance. Yes, hand sanitisers, air filtration systems, and video conference centres are necessary, but access control will play an important role. Here are five access control insights for property managers to consider as they adjust to the new digital workplace.
Time to Embrace Cloud-Based Access Control.
There is no doubt that the pandemic accelerated cloud adoption on a massive scale.
Worldwide end-user spending on public cloud services is currently projected to grow 18.4% in 2021 to a total of $304.9 billion.
Regarding physical security, cloud computing is enabling commercial buildings to implement formidable access control cost-effectively. The benefits of moving to cloud-based access control include:
- Off-premise data centre to strengthen business continuity and resilience.
- Security applications can be managed by a professional security integrator.
- Minimise IT infrastructure expenses.
Integrate Touchless Access Control Systems.
Post-pandemic, commercial buildings are increasingly incorporating touchless technologies to support their safety efforts.
A recent report from Market Research Future stated that the global touchless sensing market would reach $18 billion by 2023.
Touchless access control systems enable commercial buildings to maintain a strong security posture while reducing the contact points throughout the facility.
Some of the most notable benefits of adopting touchless access control are:
- Unlock doors without touching them. Touchless access control systems provide an easy and safe way to enter any building or office by simply using your face or phone.
- Enhance visitor check-in. Grant visitors touchless building access by providing a QR code in their email invite that they can use to enter your space.
- Reduce the number of physical keys, keycards, and other legacy access control hardware.
Video Intercom Systems Are Super Helpful
Workers returning to the office will be very cautious about their touch surfaces, starting with the front door.
Video intercom systems that provide reliable two-way audio and video options are vital for building to foster a touchless environment.
In 2021, few commercial buildings will continue to screen visitors face to face. Instead, they will opt for touchless solutions that address security as well as safety concerns.
Video intercoms enhance a building’s overall access control by enabling administrators to:
- Screen and grant access while maintaining safety guidelines.
- Control access to spaces beside the main lobby, such as the parking lot.
- Eliminate package theft while increasing tenant security awareness.
Mobile Access Control Is the Way to Go.
Even before the pandemic, a survey by HID estimated that 54% of businesses have upgraded or will upgrade to a mobile access control system.
Commercial buildings are quickly adopting mobile access control, and for good reasons.
Mobile access control enables commercial buildings to address security challenges that traditional access control measures create, such as constantly losing badges, misplaced vital fobs, and overall movement friction.
In the new digital workplace, commercial buildings will continue switching over to mobile access control to:
- Grant access at a distance without needing face-to-face communication.
- Strengthen security by leveraging the usage of mobile devices.
- Reduce cost by eliminating access badges and expensive printing.
Remote Access Is Essential to Business Resiliency.
If 2020 taught security professionals as well as property managers anything, it was the importance of being able to administer security systems remotely.
Cloud-based systems enable administrators to operate security technology without having to be physically present.
This includes video surveillance, access control, and HVAC systems. When it comes to access power, remote access is a force multiplier because it enables an administrator to:
- Manage touchless technologies from anywhere with a secured internet connection.
- Oversee multiple sites for a centralised location.
- Update systems and make real-time adjustments.
Effective And Aesthetically Pleasing Access Control For Office Buildings Integrated With Visitor Management
Border designs, supplies, and installs complete access control systems, which are aesthetically pleasing for upmarket office building reception areas.
The system can combine easy to establish biometric readers with on-the-spot visitor card printing and visitor management, which work seamlessly with attractive biometric turnstiles or barriers using Power over Ethernet technology.
Visitor Pre-registration And Reception
Visitor Management enables authorised staff to pre-register visitors via a simple web application.
This allows visitors to be vetted before the visit with improved security, faster throughput and a reduction in congestion at the visitor reception. Unexpected visitors can be booked in on arrival at reception.