Restricting access by staff and the public to particular areas on a ‘need-to-access’ basis often forms part of an enterprise-wide loss prevention and risk management strategy. Whether you need to control one door or gate or many, an access control system can be designed to meet your needs.
There are three common technologies used to allow an individual access to a controlled area:
- An access control keypad where an individual must enter a security code (PIN number) to gain access;
- An encoded proximity card or key fob which must be passed near a special card reader to gain access; or
- A biometric system which can scan a fingerprint, for example, so that the individual can gain access.
The information from these devices is passed to the access control module which verifies the input and then operates an electronic lock to open the door or operates the motor which raises a car park boom-gate, and so on.
Systems are available which can control the access of just a few employees or the access of many thousands of users.
Small systems can be completely stand-alone but as the number of enrolled users grows it generally becomes necessary and appropriate to use a PC controlled system. The advantages of such a system include:
- Ease of managing the enrollment and un-enrollment of users and keeping track of individual access authorities;
- Time zone scheduling for automatic lock release, PIN activation, sensor arming and so on;
- Anti pass-back control;
- PIN code management;
- Recording and reporting of entry/exit events by users
- Possibility of integrating the access control system with existing alarm systems.
Apart from the convenience and security that an access control system provides, it also enable enterprises, both large and small, to quickly reconfigure their access authorities when security is compromised without the costs involved in replacing locks and keys.
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