Access Control is a critical element of everyday life in South Africa, a fact to which the annual crime statistics can testify. Property invasions resulting in theft or violent crimes are on the increase and a reality we must deal with on a daily basis. Fortunately, thanks to modern technology as well as general vigilance, we can remedy the situation to a certain extent.
Access control systems are generally electronic systems that have been designed to “recognise”, authenticate and authorise the entry of a specific person entering into the protected premises.
Many access control systems are integrated or linked to a network for communications purposes. A perfect example of this would be the entering of a system-generated code into a keypad. Once the correct code has been entered the door will open allowing entry. However, the communication link will keep a log of all entries which will be populated into a report, which the operator can review at any time.
Even the most basic access control system provides security by allowing a somewhat flexible control when it comes to allowing access to the premises.
The most common application for access control is the electronic door. This application locks the door using a magnetic lock. Access is only granted once the programmed keycard is swiped through the reader on the door.
The type of access control you will need depends on the business or home.
High security areas will not rely on a standardised mag-lock system, in such applications a more sophisticated system will be required.
Regardless of the type of system being used, one common goal remains, i.e. the limiting of people to one side of the door.
Different Types of Access Control Offered by AC Security
Access Control is an essential part of everyday life whether it is to protect your home or business, you cannot go wrong when opting to implement access control.
The term access control is quite general, and most people do not realise that there are various types of access control. Some are even being implemented on a larger scale such as at sectional title developments or homeowners’ associations which could at time consist of hundreds of homes situated on a single property.
The following is some of the types of access control that is used explicitly for home or office implementation:
- Door Access Control Systems
- Bio-metric Access Control Systems
- Proximity Access Control Systems
- Security Access Control Systems
Door Access Control Systems
The door access control system is perhaps the most popular, cost-effective system and is currently being used in homes, offices, data centres, server rooms and airports.
The standalone system is easy to install and ready for use after installation.
The door access control systems currently available include a magnetic lock system, electronic door lock system and control panel systems.
These systems are all standalone systems and can be installed by AC Security.
The door access control systems are generally controlled by a central operator, which allows a person access to the premises.
When opting for a door access control system, it may be wise also to install a CCTV camera linked to a monitor at the point of entry as this will provide a visual aid to the operator, who will be able to identify the person trying to gain access to the premises.
Bio-Metric Access Control Systems
The Bio-Metric access control system is somewhat more sophisticated and works in conjunction with Access Software that tracks and records the access to the premises by visitors and employees.
A Bio-Metric access control system has done away with codes and key cards, instead placing the focus on fingerprints.
Each person has a unique fingerprint, which effectively acts as the key card. If your fingerprint has not been programmed into the system, you will not be able to gain access to the premises.
The Bio-Metric system is especially useful in a business application as the attendance software can be integrated with any existing payroll software giving you an accurate attendance register when the time comes to do the payroll.
Studies have also shown that the implementation of a Bio-Metric system saves time and resources which would ordinarily have been spent on the recording of information and increases productivity and profits within an organisation.
Proximity Access Control System
The proximity access control system is generally used for more private access control in offices such as banks and factories and ensures a safe environment. The system has approximately 50 different time zone settings and 5 open door groups.
How Access Control Can Benefit Your Business
Security is a growing concern for businesses across the board, making the safety of your employees, equipment and sensitive information a top priority.
In the past access control was the old lock and key and at the time this proved to be very, however, in our day, businesses not having a proper access control system in place may have significant implications for your business, including the monthly insurance rate you pay.
The implementation of a proper access control system not only gives peace of mind, it provides more control in the business environment, as any person now entering your premises can also be held accountable.
Access Control systems may involve but are not limited to:
- Pin codes
- Bio-Metric fingerprint readers
- Key cards
- CCTV surveillance
Any access control system is more effective when it used in conjunction with a CCTV system.
Studies have shown that people exhibit more caution when they know they are being monitored on surveillance equipment.
An added benefit is when a staff member resigns or is asked to leave for whatever reason, that staff member is removed from the system and cannot gain access to the premises even with a duplicated key.
This alone has shown a decrease in office theft and detrimental data breaches.
Because access control systems allow management to keep track of employees in the sense of when they sign in and where they are in the office at any given time, it is an excellent aid for settling disputes, identifying possible issues and in the event of an emergency creating a lockdown of the entire office.
When implemented correctly even the most basic access control system can act as a clearance devise for individuals, limiting the walk-in scenario most dreaded by businesses.
By implementing access control within your business, your employees will feel safer and be more productive and as an added bonus management will not need to worry about changing all the locks in the office due to lost keys.
How is Access Control Beneficial At a Private Home?
Access control at a private home, may not seem entirely logical, however, stop and consider the following:
With the increase in home invasions can you really afford not to have an access control system?
The first type of access control system was the implementation of the slam-lock Trellis door, this has now evolved into a more sophisticated maglock and biometric systems.
Biometrics may seem a bit excessive. However, when implemented in conjunction with CCTV surveillance you will have peace of mind that you can keep an eye on your property while at work or on vacation. This is especially beneficial when you have a large property that requires the aid of a garden service and or a housekeeper.
Access control in a private home is not only limited to the use of biometrics or door locks, but it could also include an intercom system at your gate, which rings through to your cell phone, allowing you to identify the caller before granting access to your premises.
If the safety and security of your family and valuables are not beneficial enough, consider the implications such access control systems may have on your insurance premiums.
9 Facts About Access Control Systems
- Modern systems can be controlled remotely or by use of a tag, key card, pin, fingerprint, an intercom system or in some cases a retina scan;
- You have total control over the system and can choose to add or remove any person;
- Door access control systems can be fitted on any door in your home or office;
- Access Control is more secure than a lock and key on its own as biometrics relies on a fingerprint so that there is no chance of the “key” being lost;
- Access Control systems can be intergraded with other security systems, such as alarms or CCTV surveillance, this will alert the security company should an incident occur;
- These systems are suitable for various types of facilities including banks, schools, businesses, parking facilities, old age homes Sectional title developments and homeowners’ associations;
- The reporting software used in conjunction with the access control system will record all access data precisely, which could be beneficial to companies in case of a dispute;
- Access Control systems are generally low maintenance;
- Some access control systems allow for a two-factor authentication system. Which requires the person entering the premises to enter two types of authentication before being granted access to the premises.
Access Control has revolutionised everyday life and, in some cases, saved lives. That being said it is important to note that even the most sophisticated access control system may not be as effective if general safety procedures are not implemented.
- Always authenticate the identity of a person before granting access;
- When travelling or arriving home or at the office, ensure no one is following you;
- When you hear a noise outside or your dog is continually barking, do not go out to investigate, instead inform the police or your security company;
- Do not share your access pin with others, alternatively obtain a temporary pin for them to use;
- Regularly check your perimeter for strange items that may have been placed there as markings, these include plastic/glass bottles, rocks or bricks on a plastic bag, a soda can, and even clothing such as a glove, always remove these items immediately;
- Do not leave doors and windows open, this is an invitation for home invaders;
- It is also advisable to do a reference check on employees.