How Access Control Systems Work And Their Selection Criteria

Access control systems not only grant access to buildings or certain areas of buildings but can also be used to control access to privileged information and resources. 

If you're new to access control, you might be wondering if it's a worthwhile investment in your business. Generally speaking, virtually any business can benefit from using an access control system. However, the requirements of individual businesses may vary greatly, and therefore, a tailored approach to access control is needed to meet the demands of every business.

Continue reading to learn how access control systems work and the main considerations for choosing the right system for you.

Understanding How Access Control Works

While different access control systems work differently, they're all designed to perform the same function of restricting access to buildings, facilities, or privileged data. An access control system is made up of the following 5 main components:

  1. Credentials: This refers to the keycard or keyfob that you need to swipe at the door in order to be granted access to a room or a building. It can also refer to biometric authentication such as fingerprints, facial recognition, retina, and iris. In recent years, smartphone apps are increasingly being used to grant access to restricted areas of buildings.
  2. Reader: This is the device that scans and converts submitted credentials into a format that can be processed by the control panel. It is typically located at the door entrance and can be virtually anything from door lock scanners to biometric scanners.
  3. Server: This is where all the information on who is allowed to access a building or facility is retrieved when someone tries to access a restricted area.
  4. Control Panel: It analyzes the submitted credentials to determine whether to grant access or not.
  5. Door Lock: Stays open or locked depending on the communication it receives from the control panel.

In short, if the credentials entered into the reader are incorrect, the area that someone wants to access will remain locked. If the credentials match those stored in the server, access will be granted.

Key Factors To Consider When Customizing Your Access Control

Many factors come into play when selecting an access control system for your business or facility. Some essential factors to mull over when customizing your access control include:

  1. The size of the system: Assess your current and future needs to determine the size of the system that is right for your business or facility.
  2. The level of security desired: Consider your business's specific security problems and concerns to choose a system that will provide the desired level of security.
  3. The upfront cost of the system: The more complex a system is, the higher the level of security it will provide. However, it will also cost you more upfront. It's financially prudent to choose a system that provides just the right level of security while avoiding a budget overrun. 

No matter what your business's security needs may be, there's an access control system for you. Contact a company like Got Security to learn more.