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Ultimate Guide to Access Control Security Systems 

Access control systems are not new but more businesses and households have now become aware of the enhanced security and controls provided by these electronic systems. An access control system automates the entry points which makes them more secure, reduces the need for physical security and keeps an audit trail.

There are a variety of different access control systems available in the market at different price points. There are cloud-based solutions as well as on-site solutions. If you are convinced about the need for an access control system, it shouldn’t be too difficult for you to find something that works for you and is available within your budget.

What Is Access Control?

Essentially, it’s a system to prevent unauthorised entry to particular premises. Specifically, it means the use of electronic methods to control entry through a system, a door or a building. The system is designed to provide easy and keyless access to users with the right permissions. 

A variety of access control systems are available for use today such as biometric-based systems, facial recognition-based systems, smartphone-based systems or similar systems.

How Does Access Control Work?

An access control system is designed to keep specific areas of the building secure while also keeping a record of access. Here is a quick overview of how the system works:

  • Authorise the users: The first step in the process is authorising the users for particular areas or the whole building. 
  • Authenticating users: This part of the process happens when users present the necessary credentials to gain entry. It could be in the form of key cards, biometrics, passcodes, smartphones or other such devices.
  • Granting access: Once the credentials are presented, the system checks and if everything is right, the system opens the door for long enough to allow the user to enter but keep anyone tailgating out.
  • Auditing usage: The system keeps a record of everything. In case there is a security incident, the records can be checked and audited to get a hang of the situation.

Why Is Access Control Important?

Access control in today’s businesses is extremely important in all kinds of industries. For instance, a lot of businesses store a lot of consumer data and protecting the data is essential to protect the business reputation of the company and also from a legal standpoint. Similarly, every business has some intellectual property and an access control system helps in securing that intellectual property. Following are some other features of access control systems:

  • Keeps things safe — Access control systems make sure that all your data is kept safe. Anecdotal evidence suggests that most burglaries at businesses happen due to an unsecured door or a lack of access controls.
  • Reduces business risk — Having proper access control systems in place helps in reducing business risks. It helps businesses protect their visitors, contractors, employees as well as others and keep them safe from any liability issues.
  • Legal compliance — Certain industries have particular legal compliance laws where they need to protect data/assets as per certain standards. Having a proper access control system helps them remain in compliance with the laws.

Components of Access Control System

There is a wide range of access control systems and components that also vary depending on the method of operation, type of organisation as well as the design of the systems. However, all types of access control systems have certain basic parts such as necessary network, readers and necessary software.

  • Readers – These are the devices that capture user credentials to authenticate and authorise the users. These readers are capable of reading biometrics, key cards or other such devices.
  • Network – Every access control system has certain hardware such as door controllers. The system connects the software as well as the physical hardware part of the system.
  • Software — This is the brains of the system and makes sure everything works perfectly.

How to Choose the Right Access Control System for You?

There are hundreds of different types of access control systems available in the market and in those systems, there are a lot of possible combinations. It is not easy to choose the right access control system without some thorough research. Here’s a quick look at the factors you need to consider to choose the right system for you:

  • Compatibility — Regardless of the system you choose for your premises, you need to make sure that it is compliant with the systems you are already using. For instance, if you’re already using a CCTV system, make sure the access control system integrates with an existing solution. You also need to make sure it is compatible with other hardware you are already using.
  • Feature set – There are a ton of features in the access control systems. For instance, there are cloud-based systems but there are also on-site solutions that do not connect to the cloud. Most people today prefer a cloud-based solution as it offers remote access management. Another important thing to consider is the type of solution used to provide or restrict entry. It could be a key card or a biometrics-based solution or a facial recognition-based solution or some other type of technology.
  • Customer service — Always choose a company that cares about its customers. Customer reviews on reputable review websites are a great way to get to know more about the customer service offered by a particular company.
  • Level of control — Access control systems are available with a wide range of controls. Some controls are based on people whereas others are based on particular goals. Choose a system that offers the kind of controls you need.

Access Control Industry Applications

Access control systems are used in a wide range of organisations in various industries. Some examples include:

  • Data centres
  • Healthcare industry
  • Industrial facilities
  • Multi-store retail
  • Commercial real estate
  • Multitenant housing
  • Educational institutions
  • Sports and entertainment venues

Final Thoughts

An access control system is an electronic system that helps in making premises more secure, keeps an audit trail, keeps you compliant with the relevant laws and most importantly, provides peace of mind. There is a wide range of access control security systems available in the market at various price points and choosing the right one may be a cumbersome task. This is why you should work with an experienced team of professionals to better understand the pros and cons of various system combinations to make an informed decision.

Enhance Your Life with Advanced Living Solutions

Advanced Living Solutions is a leader in the lifestyle enhancement products space. We offer quality-of-life products such as audio-visual systems as well as home automation products along with security solutions such as access control systems, CCTV systems and security alarm systems, among other options. 

Please call us today on (03) 9212 7999 or leave an enquiry to learn more!