Access Control

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We are able to offer a free consultancy service for Access Control throughout London and the Home Counties. Please click here for more information.

Access control is a system which enables you to control authority of who has access to certain areas to your building. Within the field of physical security, an access control system in the physical structure of security is normally seen as the second layer.

Access Control

Every business and organisation in the world has assets and information that require protection. Another key issue is the protection of business’ staff and property. A lock on a car door or a PIN on an ATM system are various forms of access control. The inconvenience and expense of changing locks if keys get lost means a waste of time and money. This can also create even more security risks as keys can be copied very easily.

Many buildings are secured by locks and keys which mean that doors are left unlocked for most of the day. This can lead to possible theft or crime and the cause of malicious damage, but with the use of an access control system, these theft possibilities can be restricted and will also provide a safer working environment.

You will never have to change a lock again when installing an access control system. It provides the most efficient way of securing your building and assets. The use of tokens, cards or fobs will enable a business to give access to staff through controlled doors. If a token, card or fob is lost, stolen, or not returned, and then these can all be barred therefore maintaining the level of security.

The access control system will automatically lock all the doors controlled by the system, once the system has been installed. Only people with a PIN or token will be able to enter through controlled doors within the access control system.

Flexible control over users’ access rights is a method of restricting access to staff that doesn’t require access to certain areas of the building. Also, access may be restricted by time, only allowing access to particular users at certain times of day or night. This is also useful for contractors as an expiry date can be set so that the fob will not work after a certain time period.

Different Types of Access Control

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There are two main types of access control systems, which have different features and benefits suited for different organisations.

Standalone Access Control

A stand alone system may be used for controlling access on one or many individual doors in a building. People can gain access of these doors by using a numeric code, a PIN with a keypad, biometric reader or by presenting a proximity or magstripe token. This will depend on which type of reader has been fitted.

Each door will have a programmed system to enable the door to be controlled by the access control system. Some systems such as Paxton have easy to use programming tokens to ensure the individual in charge of controlling the manual database has a simple task when issuing and barring fobs.

Online Access Control

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Online Access Control is sometimes known as PC Based Access Control or Networked Access Control. One or many doors within a building can be controlled by this type of access control system. People can gain access of these doors by using a numeric code, a PIN with a keypad, by presenting a proximity or magstripe token, a hands free token or by using biometrics. This will depend on which type of reader has been fitted.

Online access control offers central control via a network. Any commands that are given are sent to each door within the access control system. Any token can be barred from all of the doors in an instance. Flexible control is a benefit of online access control, as it enables you to create different permissions for any individuals or groups of users.

This type of system can generate reports to see which individuals went where within the building, and also reports the time these events happened. Additional buildings can be controlled by this type of system via an existing LAN/WAN. Other services within buildings, for example fire doors, are increasingly being controlled by networked systems.

Types of Readers

There are various readers available for different working environments and buildings to meet your needs and requirements.

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Proximity Reader

The proximity reader works by the user presenting a token and holding it within close proximity to the reader. The control unit looks up the access permissions of that user once the token has been read. If access is granted, normally a green LED will flash to inform the user access has been granted. If access is denied, normally a red LED will flash to inform the user access has been denied.

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Magstripe Reader

The magstripe reader works by the user swiping their card through the reader. The control unit looks up the access permissions of that user once the card has been read. If access is granted, normally a green LED will flash to inform the user access has been granted. If access is denied, normally a red LED will flash to inform the user access has been denied.

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Coded Lock Reader

The coded lock reader works by the user entering a code using the keypad. The validity of the code is checked by the control unit, which if is valid then normally a green LED will flash to inform the user access has been granted. If not valid, normally a red LED will flash to inform the user access has been denied.

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Biometrics Reader

There are two main types of biometric readers, which are the fingerprint reader and the iris recognition. A biometric reader eliminates the requirements for PINs, keys, or cards to gain access to secure areas. The fingerprint reader works by the user placing their finger on the reader. The reader will check the database of authorised fingerprints, where it will grant or deny access based on this database.

The iris recognition reader works by the user placing their eye in front of the scanner, where it will capture an image of the iris. With pre-memorised records, the reader checks the image of the iris against these records and generates a signal to open the door if a match is found.

Types of Tokens

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Cards

There are two types of cards used as tokens for a user to present when looking to gain access in a secure area. The proximity cards will be required where there is a proximity reader. The user presents the proximity card and holds it within close proximity to gain access. The magstripe cards will be require where there is a magstripe reader. The user swipes the magstripe card through the reader to gain access.

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Fobs

Fobs can be used when there are proximity readers within the access control system. The user presents the proximity fob and holds it within close proximity to gain access.

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Hands Free Tokens

These tokens are particularly useful for loading doors and where disabled or elderly people require access. The user doesn’t require to get the token out as the reader reads the token from a certain range, normally between 0.85 and 2.5mts, or even up to 5mts with longer range readers available.

Access Control Software

The software used in access control systems are designed to feel familiar to any Windows user. Access control privileges and reports on users are some of the features that the access control software offer. Different permission levels are available to select to restrict access to certain areas. A login and password must be entered to be able to use the software to manage the access control.

Access control software is designed to be intuitive to use and all but the most complex functions can be performed easily and without training.

Integration with CCTV

We believe that access control system provide more protection when integrated with CCTV. Operators can verify persons that are authorised to enter a secure area, which will provide a greater level of security for your business property and assets. Real-time images or access control methods such as proximity cards are ways in which users can be granted access through secured doors.

Alarmed doors can be linked to the access control system with a camera viewing the door so that in the event of an alarm being activated the access control will store the alarm and the image of the person that caused the alarm will be displayed automatically on the screen providing seamless integration.

We are able to offer a free consultancy service for Access Control throughout London and the Home Counties. Please click here for more information.

For our complete index of Access Control articles, click here.