Access Control Systems
Old-fashioned locks and keys leave much to be desired in anything other than a domestic environment, because:
- Standard keys are easily copied
- Each person may require several keys
- Lost and stolen keys represent a major security risk, requiring time and money to solve
- With a modern electronic system these problems are a thing of the past
Electronic systems can provide additional security by enforcing time rules, by raising an alarm in the event of an unauthorized attempt to gain access, and by recording all access movements, in and out, for analysis in the event of later discovery of a security breach.
Is access control difficult to specify and install?
If the customer’s basic requirements are known, then the choice of system can be quickly narrowed down. Basic questions regarding the number of doors people will usually indicate a particular system type. Some customers – if they have an understanding of access control principles – will be able to assess their own risks and be quite positive about what features they require, while others will require guidance.
Is there such a thing as Total Security?
Total security is something we can aspire to, but most commercial organizations – as opposed to the government, the military etc. – have to evaluate how much security is appropriate to the risk, and this will inevitably involve placing a limit on the budget. The best systems are the ones that reduce the immediate risk while allowing for non-redundant expansion as needs grow – not just the need for more doors and more people but also the need for more security. Unfortunately, we do live in a time when each year, the risk increases.
The highest risk will be where there is a combination of the following factors: an un-secured door, with no people about on either side of the door, leading to an area containing something of value.
How much control?
Once you have established which doors need to be controlled, you have to establish how much control to apply. This is rarely a case of “all-or-nothing” – where any person with a card can gain access wherever and whenever they want – and so it’s worth looking at the various enhancements to establish which ones can be applied:
- Access Levels
- Time Zones
- Card + PIN
- Anti Pass-Back
- Man Traps
- Point Monitoring