Why is security important? Now more so than ever before, securing your access controls whether it be for your place of work or residence, should be among the biggest investments you make into your business or home. Security is no longer just about protecting your personal property from theft or damage. Think about all the information that your business or home computers are storing, the price you will pay for unauthorised visitors being able to access that information or the reputation costs to your business if your client’s trust is damaged because of a breach in your security. In business, security matters most.
Access control security protects your business or residence from unwanted visitors. Access control does this by allowing the user to control who can come and go from a building or space through identification authentication. The level of access control security can range from a simple single door access control system to a more sophisticated multi-entry integrated software access control system.
Residential vs Commercial/Business Access Control
Do you need an access control system as part of your building management system or home security? There are many access control systems to choose from, making them functional for residential and commercial use.
Commercial access control is typically on a larger scale and can include real-time permission management to keep track of employee movements through different areas. Commercial access control systems involve issuing access credentials such as proximity cards, swipe cards, fobs, biometric readers and remotes. People who are authorised to enter the premises or designated area require a device to be issued to them to gain access. Access control can also be combined with CCTV and/or intercom systems to identify and manage the movement of people or vehicles.
Residential access control is usually on a smaller scale and is used to protect a household’s physical assets as well as protecting families and providing the peace of mind of a safe and secure home. Home access control solutions include electronic door locks and keyless entry systems or can be as complex as a biometric identification system on multiple entry points.
Door Security System
A door security system plays a vital role in your access control measures. Door security methods can range from strengthening doors against door breaching, ram-raiding and lock picking to specialised devices used for securing entrances in and out of your business or home, known as access control.
Access control devices for doors include:
- Card Readers
- Keypad Controls
- Radio Transmitters/ Remote
- Magnetic Locks
- Phone Entry Systems
- Loop Detectors
Different Types of Access Cards
Access cards are a popular access control method in commercial spaces. This system relies on cards being issued only to designated individuals.
Types of access control cards include:
- Traditional key cards – This is the most common type of access control card. It works by placing the card in a reader to get access to a building, much like using your credit card.
- Proximity cards – These are much like traditional key cards, but instead of swiping it in a reader, you have to place it near a scanner. Proximity cards are great for granting basic access within the commercial premises.
- Active proximity cards – Active proximity cards are a little different from other key cards, because they have an internal lithium battery to power them. There is an advantage of this type of card in that it can be placed farther away from a scanner and still work. A disadvantage to these cards is the 5 year lifespan and the need for replacement batteries.
- Contactless proximity cards – These are very versatile and low-cost key cards, used for basic access, attendance data, and biometric templates. Although they don’t have much room to hold much data, they are affordable and a useful solution for basic needs.
Electronic Door Access Control System
Electronic door access control systems include keypads, card readers, biometric identification technology and more which can all be used to manage a building’s access controls. The advantages of choosing electronic access controls over other forms are based on its range of uses and versatility.
Electronic access controls provide comprehensive options for:
- Approval of personnel
- Tracking of personnel
Older access control methods are limited in their capabilities to report information on unauthorised access and therefore are less secure and reliable as a security access control method.
Card Door Access
Card access controls are commonly used in commercial businesses, offices, hotels and residential buildings because of the system tracking and information recording features. They help to ensure that the access controls to a property are thoroughly secure.
Additional benefits of a card door access control system include:
- Ability to change locks from a central computer as often as needed
- Master cards or special emergency cards can be encoded by system operators to ensure only selected people have access
- No need for rekeying
- Automatic card-expiration time can be applied
- Ability to control and grant access levels eg male/female toilet access
- Ability to control door opening times
- Cancel access after opening if required
Whatever your business or use, knowing and controlling who enters your building or site through a good quality and professionally installed access control system is essential, from both a security and a safety point of view.