If an organisation manufactures, designs or develops something, there will be the intellectual property of interest to other companies or people. Most importantly, organisations have a responsibility to keep their employees safe at work. For all of this, you can use access control systems to secure parts of a building, site or estate.
Access control isn't, however, limited to ‘keeping the bad guys out. It may also be used to ensure that employees are kept safe.
Imagine, for example, a plant where chemicals are handled or manufactured, and lots of dangerous equipment is in use. In this instance, we may want to ensure that only people who have had specialist training for the equipment can gain access to that area.
Today’s organisations face many security threats, from theft to vandalism to violent crime and even terrorism. Whether you are a healthcare provider, school, university or a business, you will constantly seek ways to achieve better security across your sites. Many different actions have to be taken into account when assessing your current security options and ensuring you have the best solution possible.
In this blog, we will explore the reasons why door Access Control is a must when considering your organisation's security. The lock and key mechanism served us well, but it’s time to make way for a more streamlined, high-end electronic door access control system.
10 Reasons You Need Electronic Access Control
There are many reasons why you need to adopt electronic access control. Here are our top 10:
In today’s world, anything can happen. As technology advances, we continue to grow more concerned about the security of our virtual world. But that does not mean we should ignore the growing threats to our physical world. Door access control can help. With an access control system like Genea, we can maintain that only the people we WANT to have access to our facility do indeed HAVE access to the facility.
With a standard lock-in key, it can be challenging to customise which doors specific people can access. On top of that, it is impossible to limit the times at which that physical key will work. With an electronic access control system, you can give certain employees access to particular doors at specific times. Other types of users, such as admins, might have 24/7 access to every single door at all times.
Access control makes it difficult for unauthorised users or intruders to gain access to your space. Using commercial grade locks and implementing the proper hardware can allow you to monitor when an intruder forces a door open. Coupling a CCTV system with your access control system can further increase the protection and security of your building or office.
Need to generate a report for HIPAA compliance? Need to create an account for SOC compliance? Access control is going to make this possible! With a system like Genea, you can get an in-depth look at your building’s traffic and pull a comprehensive audit trail of what entry points a specific person uses. You can remove a report of every person in the building from one particular period. If an incident occurs, you can go back and pull an account that matches the time frame of the incident to get a better idea of what happened.
Maintaining a traditional lock and key is expensive and time-consuming.
If you have been the administrator responsible for maintaining access to specific doors with a traditional lock and key, you know this process can be insanely expensive, time-consuming, and downright tedious. Facilities with high turnover can see financial returns from adopting an electronic access control system. According to a 2012 Unisys report, it takes 26 hours for the average person to report a lost wallet (potentially containing an access card). Still, only 68 minutes to write a lost cell phone. Saying the loss of a phone and changing credentials is likely to happen much more quickly than if the owner loses an access card, thereby ensuring the integrity of the room’s security.
Have you ever had a house key copied for $2 at a Home Depot? That is the price of security when it comes to physical keys. Even crucial cards and fobs today are easily copied and hackable. That is why Genea uses smart cards and mobile credentials. These cannot be copied, unlike magnetic stripe or proximity cards. If a smart card is misplaced or lost, it can be replaced without duplication or misuse concerns.
Hyper security for sensitive data and information
Does your company store the financial information of its customers? Do you host sensitive contact data on-site? Do the tools you provide your customers require an extra layer of security? Or perhaps you have hundreds of laptops in your office, and you would prefer to have additional protection. With electronic access control, two-factor authentication can be used to add a layer of security. It comes in many different forms.
The keyholder can be required to use their card, plus something they know, such as a pin code. It can also be a keycard, plus something they are, such as a fingerprint. This prevents intruders from stealing a person’s keycard and gaining access. This type of security is reserved for those that adopt electronic access control.
Consolidate security across multiple locations
Do you have multiple locations? Do you have employees that frequently travel to and from different backgrounds? If so, I would guess that giving them access to all of these other places is not an easy process. They probably have to be added to several different access control systems or given a physical key. Systems like Genea allow companies to consolidate security across an entire enterprise and maintain one credential for multiple locations, streamlining security across your organisation.
One of the most significant aspects of modern access control systems is the ability to integrate your access control with other tools and software products. Maintaining a database of keyholders can be a full-time job. What if you could automatically give new hires a key by integrating with your company’s HR platform or record systems, such as Active Directory or Okta? Even better, when an employee is fired, they will automatically be revoked access. This is one of many different types of integrations that can streamline your business. Genea can integrate with just about any service with an open API, and we are adding new integrations every month.
Peace of mind
It does not matter if you are the CEO, the Head of IT, a Facilities Manager, or an Office Manager; knowing that the people you are responsible for are safe and secure is very satisfying.
Access Control System- Why You Need One
Restrict Access to your business premises
There may be any number of reasons why your business would benefit from restricting access to your premises. Midlands Electrical Fire & Security Ltd can advise you on the best way to achieve this for your business. We offer a range of Door Access Systems to suit any business, from small companies with one central access point right through to large multi-site companies with hundreds of employees.
Ensure your business meets the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act.
The Disability Discrimination Act stipulates that a disabled person cannot be restricted from gaining access to a site to obtain goods or services at any public building. Midlands Electrical has worked with several local businesses, landlords and care homeowners over the last ten years, installing access control systems designed to give disabled people easy access.
A Networked Access Control System allows you to manage the Access Control within your business centrally. Each employee is issued with a keycard or fob unique to them; this makes it easy to monitor the whereabouts of your staff and digitally log their attendance and hours. You can also grant specific access permissions so staff can only gain access to certain areas of the building.
Prevent Misuse of Machinery
The right Access Control System can ensure that only fully qualified technicians can operate your specialist machinery. Your competent staff are issued a Keycard that turns the machinery on for them and no one else.
A Networked Access Control System combined with our Energy Saving Lighting solutions can save you money; lighting is only activated as personnel enter the room, rather than being left on 24 hours a day.
Benefits Of An Access Control System
How can an access control system help your business? No matter the sise or industry, automated access control can protect employees and let administrators know who accesses the premises. The most significant benefits of access control systems are:
The User Experience
An employee who wants to enter an access controlled location presents their credentials. Credentials could be physical, such as an access control key card, or digital, such as information on a mobile device. A person makes an unlock request at a card reader, which then sends the data to an Access Control Unit, then authorises the user and triggers the door to open.
The System Manager Experience
On the administrative side, an access control system has a management dashboard or portal. The control portal allows office administrators, IT managers or heads of security to specify who can access the premises and conditions. The manager can create settings based on shifts, time of day, the employee’s rank or job title and more. This system may also include a physical component, like a card-programming machine.
The System Infrastructure
The infrastructure of an access control system covers electric locks, card readers, door status for monitoring traffic and request to exit devices, all reporting to the control panel and then the server:
- Electric locks: Fail-safe locks, which will lock when supplied with power, and fail-secure locks, unlock when filled with passion. Fail-safe locks are necessary for doors on fire escape routes, and fail-secure doors are for rooms that need to be protected in the event of an outage, such as an IT office. Fail secure doors will still need push bars that allow people to exit but not reenter in the case of an emergency.
- Access control panel: The control panel is usually set up in a secure location, such as an IT room or an electrical closet. Whenever someone’s credentials are scanned, the signal is sent to this control panel, which then sends the authorisation to unlock the door.
- The access control server: The server stores the access control system’s data and permissions. This system opens a door for a specific user and tracks data for who enters and when. Servers can exist on a dedicated computer, a cloud-based service or in the card reader itself.
Increase Ease Of Access For Employees
An access control system allows you to “set and forget” who has access to each area of your business. Once you authorise, employees can access all the places they need to get their jobs done. With the scan of a key card or input of a PIN, the employee can get to wherever they need with ease.
Get Rid Of Traditional Keys
The use of traditional keys has a few drawbacks. Restricting access to particular areas requires individual keys. The larger the building, the more locks you need. For an individual like a janitor or a high-clearance individual, this can mean a bulky key ring and confusion about which keys do what. An access control system saves time for those accessing restricted areas and saves you visits.
Also, keys can be duplicated, leaving you vulnerable to unauthorised access. If an employee doesn’t turn in their key before leaving your company, you leave yourself unprotected or must get your locks changed. Access control security does away with this.
Save Money And Energy
With access control security, you save money on locks and security personnel. An access control system can verify a person’s identity without the need for a security guard.
Access control systems can also be integrated with lighting, heating and cooling systems. Lights can turn on when there are people in a room and will shut off when they leave. You can also adjust temperatures when no one is in an area to save on energy costs.
Keep Track Of Who Comes And Goes
An access control system gives you data on who enters and exits a building or room and when. You can ensure people are working when they are supposed to be. If theft or an accident occurs, you know exactly who accessed a specific area at the time of the incident.
Protect Against Unwanted Visitors
A large company creates an opportunity for visitors to go undetected. One of the benefits of using access control systems is that unauthorised people cannot get in. Since doors need credentials before they unlock, only those you’ve given certificates to can access the area. With this system, you can be sure everyone in your building is supposed to be there, whether you know them or not.
Who Uses Access Control Systems?
An access control system simplifies security in many ways. So, anyone with security needs can benefit from an access control system. Typically, in a rented office space, the landlord controls access to the building itself, and the tenants manage the access control for their areas. There are a variety of industries that can gain from access control systems, such as:
Those in the healthcare industry use access control systems to follow HIPPA regulations for health data confidentiality. Doctor’s offices, insurance companies and hospitals alike protect patients with access control systems. Access control systems can protect IT rooms or even equipment racks from unauthorised access, helping keep digital data secure. It can also safeguard physical files, examination rooms and equipment like MRI machines.
If you store chemicals or biomedical waste, access control systems can prevent untrained individuals from getting hurt.
For local and state governments, security is a top priority. Government buildings are subject to homeland security regulations, which may mean restricting entry. Access control systems can verify employees and limit access to departments, confidential information and more while maintaining public access to other areas.
Any business that accepts and processes credit cards must meet PCI credit card data regulations. Access control systems can also limit access to IT rooms and servers. They can track who accesses specific data and when further protecting the information.
Schools, especially universities with large campuses, have multi-location security needs. Access control systems make managing entry a breese. Access control can keep students out of faculty parking lots, unauthorised individuals out of dorm rooms and more. If you have lab equipment or expensive computers, access control systems can be programmed to ensure only those registered for related courses can access these areas.
In sanctuaries and spiritual centres where all are welcome, balancing security and accessibility can be difficult. Access control makes it easy, keeping doors open during services and locked at other times. Churches, temples, synagogues and mosques can track employee’s comings and goings. They can also keep areas like schools, daycare centres, and offices secure while keeping the rest of their facilities open to all.
Small And Medium-sised Businesses
Key cards and access control systems are for more than big corporations with thousands of employees. Small and medium-sised businesses can reap the benefits of using an access control system, too. Access control is scalable, so small businesses can find solutions that work for their sise and budget.