Access control is one of the most important elements of any security system. It’s the process of determining who’s allowed to do what within your business, home, or organisation. The secondary definition of access control is validating visitors and ensuring they are who they say they are. Whether it’s entering a room or accessing a computer terminal, access control is what keeps the bad guys out.
Why Is Access Control Important?
To keep your property secure, it’s important to know who’s coming and going. Without an access control system in place, anyone could walk right through the front door and steal, spy, and vandalise to their heart’s content. An access control system can stop intruders in their tracks before they’re allowed to do any harm.
For businesses, access control systems can ensure that only employees enter certain areas, while keeping visitors in designated areas. Some systems can even restrict employee access to certain areas based on job title or on a case-by-case basis. At home, they can keep your family safe by preventing intruders from entering your property.
Types of Access Control Systems
There are a four popular types of access control systems, and there are pros and cons to each. Choosing which system is right for you will depend on the level of security and flexibility that you require.
Discretionary Access Control (DAC)
This is the simplest and most flexible of the access control systems. In a discretionary system, the owner or system administrator is responsible for deciding who has access to which facilities. Access control lists are created for each restricted area, designating the people or groups who have permission to enter. These lists can be updated or changed at any time.
With such flexibility comes less control. Since one person has the power to allow or deny access to anyone, that power could potentially be abused. Because of that, discretionary access control systems also tend to be the least secure.
Mandatory Access Control (MAC)
On the other end of the spectrum, mandatory access control systems are the most secure. Users are individually classified and given permission to access places or equipment. The system then provides access to the users based on unchanging, established security guidelines. No one can change these guidelines except the owner, which also makes the system quite inflexible.
MAC systems are used in places that require the utmost security. They’re the preferred systems for the military and government agencies.
Role-Based Access Control (RBAC)
Role-based access control systems (RBAC) are becoming very popular with homes and businesses across the world because of how easy they are to use and update. Instead of assigning access permissions to everyone individually – which could take a lot of time for larger companies – with a RBAC, permission is given by job title.
If only upper-level management is allowed near the safe, you can set the system to only allow employees with that classification. When someone gets promoted, just change their classification in the system and go about your day.
Rule-Based Access Control
Rule-based access controls add another level of security to your property by only allowing access based on specific conditions. If your business closes on the weekends, then nobody needs access Friday afternoon through Monday morning. With a rule-based system, you can set a rule in which access is denied for everyone for that time period. Rules can be set for any date or time that the system administrator chooses.
Access Control Features
Access control comes in many different forms. Technically, your front door is a form of access control; it keeps people out. For homes and businesses looking for something extra, solutions range from intercom systems to swipe cards to biometric scanners. It all depends on the level of security that you need.
Some access control systems can be managed remotely, either from a web browser or a designated smartphone app. You can open doors and unlock gates from the palm of your hand. Most can also be integrated into your existing security system, like your CCTV cameras.
Access Control Means Peace of Mind
It’s always a lot easier to sleep knowing that your property is protected. Access control ensures that only the people you trust will have permission to enter areas of your home or business.
Choosing the right system that will fulfil your unique needs might seem like quite the undertaking. That’s where the experts at Four Walls Security come in. We’ll be with you throughout the entire process, from helping you choose a system to installation to making sure it’s up and running, offering all the knowledge and support that you’ll ever need. If you have any questions regarding access control systems for your home or business, don’t hesitate to reach out.