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Everything you need to know about Access Control Systems

Locks and keys are fast becoming outdated as companies, hotels, and homeowners turn to access control systems.  The benefits of opting for the best system suited to your needs far outweigh the initial outlay of installing one. Besides protecting from a physical right of entry, access control system also helps protect data.

Drawbacks of using traditional locks and keys:

  • Security risk from stolen or copied keys.
  • Inconvenience and cost of changing locks and keys when lost or stolen.
  • Doors often remain unlocked.

Benefits of having an Access Control System:

  • No need for changing locks or making spare keys.
  • Doors are locked and only card holders or PIN code holders have access; reducing security risks.
  • If cards are lost or stolen, they can be discontinued from the system and cannot be used again.

The job of an access control system is to identify individuals and authorize their credentials in order to allow them to access a home, business or data system or even only certain sections. This is done through the use of passwords, personal identification numbers (PIN’s), biometric scans, security tokens, etc.

Some companies opt for a multi-layered defense access control system, using multifactor authentication.

What factors affect the cost of an Access Control System?

  • Level of security required
  • Ease of using the system
  • Amount of units purchased

Standalone Access Control

These are simple systems that enable employees and visitors to enter. They are installed on one or many access points and use a code punched into a keypad, cards or an electronic controller. These systems do not provide a high level of security as codes can be shared with unauthorized individuals or cards can be lost.

Integrated Access Control

These security systems include video surveillance, biometric readers to record all entries or attempted ones. They are more expensive but allow for updates as required. Some can be integrated into an IT system, with access control software, a user database, and management tools, allowing for access control policies, auditing, and enforcement.

According to privileges or positions within a business, employees are allowed access to specific areas or information. Employees who change positions or leave the company must cancel their credentials.

The three main types of access control are:

Mandatory access control (MAC) – Access rights are controlled by a central authority, based on multiple levels of security. They are mostly used in environments with classified information, like the military, and access is granted according to information security clearance.

Discretionary access control (DAC) – Access rights and policies are set by the owner or administrator of the system, limiting centralized control. Since the end user is allowed complete control to set security level settings, there is a potential for a breach of the system, which might take time to notice.

Role-based access control (RBAC) – Access rights are assigned by the system administrator and are defined by household or job responsibilities. This is a very popular system used in households and businesses. The complex structure of assignments, authorizations, and permission are developed through role engineering which regulates access.  Also known as Rule-Based Access Control, the system allows for conditions based on time and location to be set.

At Pogo Intelligent Security Systems we will be able to give you the best advice and a free quote on which system best suits your needs.

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