An access control system is a necessity if you have an office building or any other commercial space. It’s essential to know what access control systems do. It’s also vital to understand how much security it provides before investing in one.
In essence, an access control system is a way of monitoring who enters and leaves your building. It can also serve as a way to restrict access to certain areas. You can even use one to allow only authorized personnel with appropriate credentials to enter specific spaces.
You may need to update your existing access control system. Alternatively, you may need to install an access control system for the first time. In either case, we’ll give you the basics of access control systems and their features to help you make informed decisions.
To learn everything you need to know about access control systems, keep reading.
What Are Access Control Systems?
An access control system is a key element for securing your business. It enables you to control access to your business space.
For many business owners, cybersecurity is at the forefront of their minds. However, controlling who enters your business is the first line of defense.
Access control protects your company from thieves and intruders. It can even protect you from potential employee misconduct. Accordingly, you’ll want to choose a system that protects your staff, your data and your assets wisely.
An access control system is any kind of keyless entry technology that limits ingress into your business space. It can also establish levels of access in areas of your office. Some systems even allow you to manage access to specific devices.
This kind of system authenticates the identity of users. It will cross-reference this information against a database.
The system will query the database for users’ access authorization levels. It will then approve or deny access based on this query—all in a matter of seconds and in real-time.
Types of Access Authentication
Many companies use something as straightforward as a sign-in sheet for access control. For instance, they might have a front desk monitored by a receptionist.
However, this is not a solid security practice by today’s standards. There are many more advanced systems available.
These systems include technology that identifies individuals who want access to an office or restricted area. The system will only allow access to people whose responsibilities are aligned with predefined permissions.
There are several kinds of access control systems that perform this kind of authentication. For instance, you may already know about the familiar key fob or access card. It’s a physical card that users swipe or scan for entry.
You may have also seen an access control system that requires a password or pin code. With this kind of system, users must enter information into a keypad.
However, biometrics is a relatively new kind of access control. This technology involves using facial or fingerprint recognition to identify whether a user has access.
Even newer technologies used mobile apps and a barcode. This access control system requires that users download an app on their phones. They can then generate a barcode to enter a restricted area, much like with a key card.
The Changing Tide of Access Control
There are many benefits of newer, advanced forms of access control. These kinds of systems allow you to turn off user access immediately if needed.
For example, an employee might leave your company. Alternatively, you may have terminated an employee in need to revoke their access.
Historically, companies have relied on security guards and receptionists to maintain perimeter control. However, technology speeds up this work. It eliminates the tedious process of employees waiting their turn in line to gain access to a restricted area.
An advanced access control system is also preferable during emergencies. If needed, you can use this kind of system to lock down a property quickly.
You can also use an access control system to save money. For example, many systems allow you to tie into your HVAC system. In this way, you can use it to manage resources more efficiently.
For example, you can turn off the HVAC system or lighting as desired. You can minimize the use of these resources when no one’s using specific office space. This capability is great for the environment—and your bottom line.
What’s the Current State of Your Access Control System?
It’s important to ask yourself whether your system aligns with your current challenges. Here, you want to assess the adequacy of your control system. More importantly, you need to evaluate whether it meets your current needs.
Things have most likely changed since you implemented your existing access control system. Your business, environment—and even your industry—have most likely evolved.
As a result, you’re probably facing new challenges. With this point in mind, there are a couple of things you may want to consider.
Managing External Threats H3
First, you want to think about external threats. Here, you want to think about things you may not have considered when you originally installed your access control system.
Of course, you’ll always want to seriously consider risks such as burglary and intrusion. However, it’s also important to think about the changing competitive and political environment.
These circumstances bring new challenges. For instance, in light of the recent pandemic, limiting unnecessary access is more important than ever before.
Also, you may now have more at stake compared to when you first launch your company. Accordingly, you could face a heightened risk from threats such as industrial espionage.
Managing Internal Threats H3
You’ll also want to think about the current state of internal threats. No business leader wants to believe that one of their trusted employees presents a threat. However, it’s important to safeguard against this potential risk.
Accordingly, you’ll need to assess whether your access control system manages your current workforce effectively. For example, does it manage the control of personnel throughout the building? This point is especially important when employees arrive and leave for the day.
Alternatively, the configuration of your building may have changed. If so, you should consider whether your security system has adapted. Here, you want to consider whether any gaps exist in your access control system due to, for example, property expansion or renovations.
Gauging User Sentiment
Ultimately, it’s people who must use your access control system. In this regard, you’ll want to assess the feedback of those who use the system every day.
It’s important to collect measurable and quantifiable data about your access control system. Here, however, we’re talking about verbal feedback on the everyday use of your system.
This kind of feedback is critical for assessing the sustainability of your current access control system. You should use this information to guide you in your decision-making.
You’ll want to find out if your access control system meets the standard of the performance you were promised when it was installed. You also want to assess whether it simplifies the ingress and egress experience for users.
If not, you’ll need to figure out what parts of your access control system are unsatisfactory. Next, you’ll need to consider your options for improving it.
Answering these kinds of questions will provide you with valuable information. They’ll help you to bring your access control system up to date with your current needs. Moreover, they’ll empower you to enhance the overall security of your company.
Common Features of Modern Access Control Systems
No two access control systems are the same. Still, it helps to understand the features that are available for today’s access control systems.
With this point in mind, you can incorporate a variety of features. Furthermore, you can integrate those features in various ways to provide the most security in the most cost-effective way at various points throughout your building. In this way, companies meet their specific needs.
The following entries highlight a few common features of advanced access control systems.
Remote Locking/Unlocking H3
The most remarkable benefit of a contemporary access control system is remote locking and unlocking. Today, administrators can manage business security using a smartphone or tablet.
Resultantly, access control has never proven more convenient. Now, it’s possible to lock and unlock doors from anywhere.
This capability goes beyond controlling your access control system from inside the building. It allows you to maintain full perimeter control from anywhere in the world.
Likewise, you can receive information no matter where you are. At any time, you can receive updates on whose locking and unlocking doors. This kind of feature is ideal for businesses with frequent visitors or many third-party partners.
Digital Pass Cards H3
By today’s standards, a regular key card is a hassle. More importantly, they present a security risk.
If someone loses a key card, you must pay to replace it. Also, key cards can easily fall into the wrong hands when lost. Even worse, it’s easy for someone to steal them.
A digital key card is much more secure and efficient. Again, this kind of key card lives on users’ mobile devices. They can give you the benefits of additional security and decreased risk.
Real-Time Information H3
With a contemporary access control system, you have the benefit of real-time reporting. With it, you can stay informed via instant statistics. You’ll also have access to analytics and tracking information.
These features make it easy for businesses to find anything or anyone. Furthermore, they empower administrators with these abilities across multiple properties.
You can also use the real-time information of a modern access control system to receive instant alerts. You can receive immediate notification whenever the system identifies suspicious activity.
For example, someone may open a door more than usual. Alternatively, an unusual number of people may enter a certain space. In these cases, an access control system can tell you about these events instantly.
Scalable Security H3
Today’s access control systems can grow with your business. This benefit applies whether you’re upsizing or downsizing.
In either case, a modern access control system can adjust. It’s easy to modify today’s access control systems to meet your current needs.
If you need to expand your system, there’s often no need for additional technology. In most cases, a few add-ons are all you’ll need to scale up your system. With these additions, you can continue to monitor vital security information about the entirety of your property.
You might think that with all this technology, an advanced access control system will increase the burden of your IT department or property manager. However, that’s not necessarily the case.
Today, many access control systems update automatically. These updates come included with the cost of the system.
Furthermore, they require little to no training. If you need to perform a manual system update, the process is usually straightforward. In most cases, however, the access control service takes care of maintenance.
Some systems even offer remote tech support. As a result, there’s always someone that you can call for help if there’s a problem.
Meeting Your Current Security Needs
Now you know more about today’s access control systems. However, an advanced access control system is only as good as the installer. Accordingly, you’ll want the services of the best access control system installer in the business.
If you need a locksmith in Austin, 512 Locksmith is the go-to company to call. We offer 24-hour emergency services and are always on standby to help with your needs.
Our team of experts can handle all types of locksmith jobs, from residential lockouts to commercial installations. If you’re looking for professional commercial security services in Austin, TX, then look no further than 512 Locksmith.
If you want to update or install an access control system, please feel free to contact us today at 512-777-0021 or connect with us online to request service.