Questions About Access Control Systems
Access control is a type of security management system and is a critical component of security that governs who has access to designated areas. Access control systems ensure that users are who they say they are and have appropriate access to company areas through authentication and authorization.
The main elements of access control are as follows:
Credentials: These come in the form of key cards, key fobs, keypads, bluetooth smartphone credentials, or biometrics. Credentials send signals to the access control panel via radio frequency identification (RFID).
Reader: The reader is mounted to the secure side of an opening (Door, gate, elevator, etc.) The credential reader sends an ID number obtained from the tag to the access control panel. There are also purposes of having a reader on the inside of an opening. This can be to have restrictions on exiting an area or to track who and what time someone is going out. The forms of readers can be a keypad, prox, bluetooth, or biometric.
Access Control Panel: also known as the controller. This is functionally the core of the system and takes the encrypted credential number from the reader and compares this to ID numbers within the system. Access is granted when the numbers match and allow authorized access by sending a signal to the lock. The parameters of the access control panel are set up through software - Cloud-based, web-based, or onsite server.
Electronic Lock: Usually refers to the physical lock or the “door” itself. A user who has been verified by the access control panel causes this to unlock, providing access to the area. The electrified component can be a strike, the lock itself, or a magnetic lock. These come in many different forms.
An access control system's primary functions are to monitor individual locations within a building, control where individuals can gain access, and manage individual user permissions to ensure that access is granted to the authorized individual to the appropriate areas at the appropriate times.
An access security system verifies various login credentials, such as usernames and passwords, PINs, biometric scans, and security tokens to identify users. After a user has been authenticated, access control authorizes the appropriate level of access and actions associated with that user's credentials and IP address.
When the access control card or other credential is presented to the reader, the controller reads the frequency and verifies the user in the database. The door will be unlocked if the verification is successful. If not, the controller logs the breach and notifies the appropriate monitors.
Access control systems with electronic locks provide integrated controls that make securing your building and allowing the right people in and out at the right times far more convenient. Access management systems allow you to provide a more secure building where you would otherwise have to leave the door unlocked, save time changing locks if a key is lost or stolen, and track staff entering and leaving a building.
Furthermore, access control systems simplify granting or restricting access as needed and improve asset security. All of the doors can be opened with the simple press of a button. If a fire alarm went off, you could automatically unlock all fire exit doors or secure areas if there was an incident that occurred that required you to shut down zones or even the entire building.
Physical access systems will require hardware such as card or fob readers, electronic lock components, and a control panel with software. The system access control panel is an essential component of the system, as it manages all of the building's access points. All users will be stored in a database on the system's server or on cloud-based servers, allowing for customization of access times and locations.
Yes, access control systems have battery backups to keep the access control system operational in the event of an emergency. However, if the power goes out for a longer period of time than the battery backup can handle, you will need to use physical keys.
No, access control systems are incredibly versatile and can be used to control a wide range of entries and exits, including elevators, gates, parking restrictions, vehicles, and garage doors.