Article by: Isaiah Lewis-Harris
From keeping people out of restricted areas to helping keep track of who enters and exits from a certain area in a building, access control can help take a buildings security to the next level.
What is Access Control?
“Access control is a security technique that regulates who [or even 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” (Lutkevich, 2020). In simpler terms this means that an access control system can regulate who may enter or exit an area. This can be very useful to a business or organization by keeping unwanted people out of a specific area where perhaps money may be stored, valuable information kept, hazardous areas, confidential research rooms or simply providing safety to anything that may be high in value. This is accomplished in by having one of several types of locking mechanism that opens only when the appropriate credentials are presented.
The two most common locking devices are
- Electronic Strikes
- Magnetic Locks.
Electronic Strikes have an electrified door strike that will be released once the appropriate credentials are presented at the reader.
A Magnetic Lock is a locking device that uses a strong magnetic force to lock a door. Once the appropriate credentials are presented to the reader the power will “drop” from the magnetic lock allowing the user to enter the area.
Both of these locks will offer a far more secure option than your typical key and lock to keep someone out of a restricted area.
Access control can also be used for more than just keeping people out of an area. With today’s advancements in technology, access control serves as an innovative way to manage a business or organization’s employees.
The programs that access control systems utilize can tell you:
- Personnel that has entered into an area
- Specific times and duration entering and exiting access points
- Instant identification and credentialing
- Traffic within timeline parameters set by the controller
- Instant notification of set access point entries
This can be a powerful tool to use if ever needing to prove location status of personnel.
The technology has even progressed to the point of an anti-passback system. An “anti-passback” is a feature that can be used to prevent users from passing their credential back for another user to borrow. It also stops users entering an area by simply following or tailgating another user” (Source: ICT). This allows businesses to make their buildings more secure by making sure a person shows credentials at one point in a building before entering into the next one. This eliminates the chance of someone “piggy backing” with another individual into a building. If they bypass the first check point, they will not be able to enter the next check point until they scan their fob or card at the first reader. This is typically used in a government building or higher security buildings since it offers the most secure kind of access control. Although the technology is great for these high security areas, for a normal business, this may be a bit of an overkill. So for normal business owners, the simple magnetic lock or electronic strike would be more than ideal.
If you would like to discuss how Oliver Fire Protection and Security can help you elevate your business or organization’s security, feel free to give us a call at (610) 277-1331 where we have a team of security experts who are ready to assist you!
Sources: ICT. (n.d.). Anti Passback. Retrieved from ICT: https://www.ict.co/anti-passback
Lutkevich, B. (2020, September ). Access Control . Retrieved from TechTarget: https://www.techtarget.com/searchsecurity/definition/access-control