If you’ve been assigned the job of finding a security solution for your company, you’ve probably done some research into the different types of security measures that are available. You’ve most likely come across information on things you’re familiar with (i.e. video surveillance, alarms, etc.), but you’ve also probably stumbled upon things you’re unfamiliar with.
As you may already know, you need to be able to make an educated decision about what kinds of security measures your company needs and remain within your budget. We want to help you understand the basics of one of the main, and one of the most common, components of a security system: access control.
The name pretty much gives away the general definition of what it is: a system that controls who has access to your property and when. The truth is, you’re already using access control in its most basic form, which is typically a lock and key. You control who gets the key and only those with the key can access your facility. There’s a major downside to traditional lock and key access control, though. We all know the headache of having to call a locksmith to come and rekey all of your locks when one of your employees loses their key.
While locks and keys are a basic form of access control, a more efficient and secure way would be to utilize an electronic access control system. A combination of different components, with unique features, designed to make your business more secure. Depending on the level of control you are seeking, your system may require any combination of the following credentials:
- A key card or a key fob (similar to what you use to get into your hotel room)
- A pin code entered into a keypad
- A smartphone app
- A biometric scan—the scan of an iris or fingerprint
- Facial recognition
There are two main components of an access control solution—software and hardware.
Think of the software as the “brain” of your access control solution—it tells the hardware what to do. The software can be programmed to allow certain people access to certain areas based on their role in the company. For example, a cashier in a store may have access to the employee entrance, the breakroom, etc. They probably wouldn’t need access to the boss’s office or the server room; on the other hand, the boss would probably have access to all areas of the store.
The software of an access control system also allows you to grant or deny access remotely. For example, if an employee forgot their credentials to access the building, you can remotely grant them access on your laptop or smart phone through the software.
Programming your access control software is an important step. Hiring a security consultant who is an expert programmer is crucial to ensure only specific people are allowed to access your property.
The hardware is the physical aspect of access control. The combination of a reader and an electric lock is an example of hardware. When an employee presents a valid credential, the reader will send a signal to the door that the employee is authorized to enter. The door will then unlock itself and allow the employee to enter.
Now that you know the basics about access control technology, you’re probably wondering—does my business actually need access control?
Yes! Every business can benefit from implementing an electronic access control solution.
There are many advantages of incorporating electronic access control into your security solution. Here are just a few:
- You get to decide who has access to your property—and when. If you don’t want employees to be able to get into the building after hours, your security consultant can program your access control system to allow access only during certain hours.
- In the event of an emergency, you can remotely lock down your site.
- You can track who accessed each area, and at what times. For instance, if there is suspicious activity going on in the stock room and inventory is mysteriously going missing, you can check your access control system to see who has been in the stock room, when they’ve been in there, and how many times.
- We can configure a notification to be sent to you when anyone attempts to enter an area they are not authorized to. This can trigger an internal investigation as to why that particular stakeholder attempted to enter that door.
- We are presently installing facial recognition units that also read the body temperature of the stakeholder as they are attempting to enter and will only unlock doors when an acceptable reading is noted.
One of our favorite access control solution providers is RS2 Technologies. We recommend an RS2 solution because they have been a long-time technology partner of ours, and we find their solutions to be user-friendly, convenient, and reliable.
We offer a cloud solution where software and servers are not required and we can manage the access control system for you remotely.
If you feel that your company is ready to experience the benefits of access control, we’d love to talk to you and get to know what your concerns are so we can help you design a security system that fits your business’ unique needs. Please click the button below to fill out our form and someone will be in contact with you shortly!