Access Control Systems

Access Control and Biometrics

Access Control systems enable to control who has access to your building and sites. The simplest term of access control is locks and keys and these often form part of most companies first lien of defence to building access.

As a business employs more people and begins to receive visits it becomes more challenging to manage and control access just using locks and keys. Therefore, most companies turn to electronic based access control systems.

Whether they are small, medium sized or large companies all business will be faced with at least some of the following challenges;

  • Protecting staff and their personal property
  • Reducing or preferably eliminating theft
  • Maintaining people movement and staff activity
  • Protecting company assets
  • Managing the flow of visitors and external contractors? 

The use of access control card systems enables companies to overcome these challenges whilst also offering improvement in business efficiency.

In normal operation all the external doors and selected internal doors will automatically lock when a door is closed and can only be opened by someone who has the correct user access rights. Typically, this would mean a member of staff can access certain areas using a fob or magnetic card and would be excluded from entering secure areas. Access may also be restricted by time, with access only to be granted to users with a defined time. So, in summary access control offers a company a convenient, flexible and secure way to control who has access whilst also accommodating visitors to the site.

There are three main types of access control systems which are standalone PC or network based and visitor management access control. Both of which are briefly described here;

Standalone Access Control

These systems are normally used to control the access to one or several, unconnected doors. Access is granted when the user presents a fob, or magstripe token to a reader and that gives them access. Sometimes these will be keyboard based entry points where a user will type in numeric code. In the latest technologies other more personal and unique tools can be used such as: retina scan, fingerprint technology or video analysis of the person’s face, all of which would be checked against known credentials. In this type of application, you will need a PC based system

PC and Network based Access Control

With these systems you can control several doors in a building, multiple buildings and across estates globally once again the user can gain access using a fob or card which is presented to a reactor by the door, the advantage of these systems is that the doors are controlled by one central PC based control, via a network.

This provides greater flexibility and has the added advantage of providing reporting which enables staff management and control.

These systems will typically integrate with other systems such as CCTV, fire and lighting and of course enable the company to interconnect all their premises on different sites across the world.

Visitor Management Systems

Visitor managements systems come under the family of access cards as they enable your business to sign in and track all visitors who do not have access rights to your building normally. There are several benefits to using electronic visitor management including:

  • Accurate visitor confirmation can be calculated so you know who is on site, where they are and when they have left
  • Reporting is easy as a log and audit trail of all site visitors in recorded, for any period and activity reports can then be generated
  • These systems give faster access to a site particularly when a previous visitor returns to site
  • Pre-registration can be used so the number of staff who has a visitor can fast track the visitor by pre-registering them