Access control is a broad topic. From door locks and keypads to card readers and biometric security, there are a lot of ways to validate visitors and keep your property secure. To help owners who want to take their business security seriously, here are some of the most frequently asked questions about access control for business.
What Is Access Control?
Access control is the process of determining who has permission to do what. Whether it’s entering a restricted area or accessing a computer terminal, access control is how you manage what and where your employees and visitors are allowed to do and go.
The secondary definition of access control is to validate visitors. It’s one thing to keep unathorised people out of secure areas, it’s another to makes sure the authorised people are who they say they are.
Access control systems are the physical deterrents that prevent people from going where they’re not supposed to. For example, access control is not letting strangers into your main office. An access control system is the keycard reader that only opens for authorised personnel.
What Is the Most Secure Form of Access Control?
The most secure form of access control is a biometric security system, which can scan fingerprints and identify people based on facial recognition. The second definition of access control is to validate visitors and to ensure they are who they say they are. Keycards can be lost or stolen, and PIN numbers can be shared. It’s impossible to share a fingerprint or a face — unless you’re James Bond — which makes biometric security the absolute highest form of access control.
But just because it’s the most secure, doesn’t mean that every company needs a biometric access control system. The other forms of access control can be just as effective, easier to set up, and cheaper to install. It all depends on your business’s unique needs. What’s necessary for a top-secret government facility might not be necessary for a retail store.
Can Access Control Systems Be Integrated with Other Security Systems?
Yes, most forms of access control can be integrated with existing security systems. Many companies integrate their access control system with their intercom system and/or CCTV security camera system. All your various security systems can work together to make sure your property is protected.
What Are the Most Common Methods of Access Control?
There are dozens of different methods to achieve access control. Some of the most popular are:
- Card readers
- PIN pads
- Smartphone controlled locks – either through Bluetooth or data-driven mobile app
- Intercoms (with or without video)
- Biometric systems
Some methods are more secure than others. Depending on your need, you might opt for a method with more flexibility rather than higher level of security. In general, cloud-based smartphone locks with mobile keys will be more flexible and user friendly than a full biometric system but offer somewhat decreased security.
Can Access Control Systems Be Upgraded After They’re Installed?
Of course! Most access control systems are scalable, which means you can keep adding and upgrading as much as you need once they’re installed. You can also continue to integrate them with your existing and new security systems.
In general, wireless access control systems will be easier to upgrade than wired systems once installed. Because wired systems require the running of wires, obviously, they’re going to take more effort to install than a wireless system, which could cost more money. Cloud-based wireless systems will be the easiest to upgrade, even over multiple locations.
What Costs Are Associated with an Access Control System?
There are three expenses that you should consider when deciding on an access control system. Some systems will cost more in one area and less in another than a different system.
- Initial cost – the cost of the physical access control equipment like PIN pads, card readers, and biometric scanners. Typically, the more high-tech the system, the more expensive the initial upfront cost. A biometric scanner is going to be more expensive than a simple PIN pad.
- Installation – once you purchase the equipment, it needs to be installed. Most of the time, wired systems are going to be more expensive than a wireless system because wires need to be installed throughout the building. The most cost-effective time to install a wired access control system is during construction of a building. Installing a wired system in an existing building can get pricey if you have to tear down walls for the wires.
- Maintenance – the cost of keeping your access control system running. Maintenance is divided into two costs: monthly fees and physical maintenance. Most access control systems require a monthly fee to operate. For cloud-based systems, this is a monthly subscription to the cloud service company. On-site systems require monthly licensing fees for the software. The physical maintenance costs are things like repairs. Maintenance on wireless systems is generally going to be slightly higher because of the need to change batteries.
Access Control with Four Walls Security
If you still have unanswered questions about access control for your business, the experts at Four Walls Security are standing by to offer all the help and support you need. With years of experience serving the Brisbane area, we can help you choose the right system, install it in your place of business, and ensure that your new access control system is working properly. Contact us today to learn more about access control options for your business.