Access Control is the selective restriction of access to a place or resource. An Access Control System determines who is allowed to enter/exit and in some cases, when they are allowed to enter/exit.
Traditionally, mechanical locks and keys were used to secure an area. However, this method posed numerous risks, including keys being copied, no records of the time of entry, the key being in the possession of an unauthorised person and locks needing to be changed when a key holder was no longer authorised to enter the premises.
Today, a range of credentials can be used to replace mechanical keys and access control systems provide a much more secure and efficient way to monitor entry and exit of a premises.
- Physical access control such as bodyguards, receptionists and ticket controllers
- Doors and turnstiles
- Passwords and Pins
- Biometric Scans – this technology includes facial recognition, fingerprint scans, eye scans, voice recognition and more.
- Electronic keys/cards – this can include barcodes, magnetic strips and a range of other technologies.
Electronic access control systems grant access based on the credentials presented. Some establishments may use a combination of these methods and this is known as multi-factor authentication.
Components of an Access Control System
A range of components can be used in Access Control Systems including electric locks, keypads, biometric scanners, card readers and more. The method that is best for your company is determined based on the level of security you require, amongst other factors.