Access Control Overview – What You Need to Know

What is Access Control?

Access control for your building is the set of safety features that determine admission into your facility. The access can be as basic as a pin entry at a key pad or as tech savvy as using your fingerprint to open the door. Whatever your needs are, we can help you determine what works best.

What’s on the market?

While you’re upgrading your system, why not link it with time & attendance – then employees have one method of access and time keeping? Not only does this integration save money but it increases efficiency and provides reporting on both activities.

Integrated Solutions

As technology progresses, it seems to all be on our phones. So why not building access? Our systems allow for access by employees and a special level of oversight for administrators.

Keep in mind that because this is an application-based credential, it cannot be lost – preventing timely recredentialing.

From finger to facial recognition, biometrics use the person’s distinct features to identify if they are allowed access. This system ensures that their ‘key’ cannot be shared with others.

While biometrics have been a fixture in the market for some time, states are starting to address the privacy of the user by implementing bio-information protection. If you do choose biometrics make sure you check your state’s privacy requirements for compliance.


Complementary Integrations

While you’re upgrading your system, why not link it with time & attendance – then employees have one method of access and time keeping? Not only does this integration save money but it increases efficiency and provides reporting on both activities.

Video integrated with access control allows administrators to verify that the proper individual is gaining access. Your access control system can show you the corresponding video to verify the time of entry. Acting as your main video management software (VMS), this integration allows you to monitor your whole facility.

You can have access points, loading docks, or virtually any space in view in seconds with this capability.

Partnerships That Deliver

Every organization is unique. The applications you use for your daily business practices can be integrated with the help of Information Controls team of developers. We may be able to help you automate the flow of information between your third-party systems, simplifying tasks. Contact us today to see how we can fit your organization in ways others cannot.

Defining Some Industry Terms

When systems use PoE, they are using your existing network infrastructure to provide both power and data to the hardware. By using a single cable to provide both power and data you are leveraging your existing hardware and reducing the costs typically involved with implementing a traditional access control system.

Software as a service (SaaS) references when someone buys a subscription to an application. For instance, if you use a music service and pay a monthly fee, you are using a type of SaaS. This subscription-style enables users to have the most up-to-date software at all times as an advantage of the service, as well as the freedom to cancel whenever they like. See more information on about SaaS when we address cloud access software.

SaaS gives you freedom from tying your IT to updates and server maintenance.

On-premise is the access control industry’s term for licensed software. When your system uses on-premise software, it is software that your organization owns outright. A one-time purchase price is assessed for this type and eliminates the need to pay continual fees for that piece of software.

Browser-based applications are accessible through common desktop browsers such as Chrome, Safari, or Firefox. With the address for your application and login, users are able to control a wide variety of aspect of their access control systems.

Administration of the software using your browser allows you secure access remotely through desktop, tablet, or phone. Administrators can implement speedy change of user rights, remote passes, or unlocking doors.

Browser-based applications are easy to deploy and administer.

Not sure if you can be secured?

You may be surprised at what is available. There is a wide variety of hardware for many different types of doors or entrances. Call us today to determine what is possible.

6 Common Mistakes

We’ve given you some important areas to consider but it’s also good to know what NOT to do. Download our free guide with the 6 most common mistakes people make when choosing an access control provider.

Download 6 Common Mistakes PDF

Consideration Checklist

When you begin your journey to selecting access control for your business, warehouses, or properties, it’s important to have a good idea of what is most critical in making your decision. Here are the key areas we recommend you evaluate and how they will play into your decision.

  • Every business is different. One of the starting points of figuring out access control is determining what exactly you want secured. From allowing employees to gain access during their shift, limiting access to sensitive areas, or restricting access to key areas your access control should be flexible.
  • Schedules can be used to restrict user access to certain times or automatically keep doors open during business hours or special events.
  • Be sure to go with a system that eliminates the need for distribution of physical keys. Having this type of system reduces the need to rekey areas when employees are terminated and leave with the key.
  • By using an advanced access control system, you are able to see what employees are on-premise. Since the transactions are accessed as logged, knowing who’s on-premise is at your fingertips.
  • Ask yourself what you want secured and why. There is no right way to secure a building and virtually any entrance can be secured. There may be spaces that you hadn’t thought of that require security. Think critically about your most important areas and what is most valuable within your office or facility.
  • The number of doors you are interested in securing is the most critical question you may have to answer as you begin. If you have one or just a few doors, you might have more freedom to choose which type you like. Conversely, if you have thousands of doors, your system will likely be different to accommodate the volume of entry points.
  • Remember that the doors you are considering may not all be on the outside of the building. Securing critical areas like server rooms or sensitive personal information may be every bit as critical as how the building is accessed and by whom.
  • With WiFi capable hardware, you are able to control much more than just one building. Don’t forget about any gates, outbuildings, or other locations across town. When you have a systems that is browser-based with WiFi, you have extended capabilities. Be sure to put them on your list.
  • Don’t be worried about the cost of having to add doors later. While it’s good to identify what you want when you have your initial install, adding additional doors to your system shouldn’t be a hassle. Your systems should be able to easily add doors after the initial implementation.
  • Unless your building and/or business is new, you likely have an access system in place. What is that type? How happy or unhappy are you with that? These questions should be asked to administrators, management, and employees to get a clear picture of what is working and what isn’t working.
  • As you evaluate your new system with professionals, be sure to ask if your current system’s hardware or infrastructure may be used. There is an opportunity for savings by doing this if it enables you to achieve your new goals by using some of the hardware that currently exists at your facility.
  • There are many options for ID cards. Some systems use proprietary technology which could limit your buying options and likely increase your cost. Proprietary hardware can also make upgrading costly and necessary.
  • One of the most important aspects of your access control system is the service and support you will get. You should receive timely, responsive returned calls or quote requests. If you’re not getting the support you need in a timely fashion, you’re not with the right company.

Using your existing WiFi network, many possibilities are opened up. Using your existing network, your access control plan can (and should) allow your business to remotely control other areas like an exterior gate.

  • Almost as important as the number of doors for your installation is the question of how many card-holders you have and the different access requirements for each. With well-defined access levels, you can be assured that everyone has the access they need to their specific areas.  Does your organization often get visitors? Will they need credentials for access?
  • Administering the access levels needed can be assigned by a manager or multiple system administrators. Easily managing levels is an advantage of browser-based software – taking the load off of one person for administering all doors.
  • Temporary badges can be assigned to visitors and contractors within your access control system.

Are there highly valuable items or documents that require high security?

  • You may need several types of security throughout your facility. Guests may need different access than employees, while administrators might need full access. Additionally, there may be spaces within your facility that require more intense security (or another level of security). Where are those areas?
  • Enhanced security is available with an anti-passback feature. Users must follow a sequence in order to gain access and exit areas. This type of enhancement is particularly useful if your business has turnstiles at entry or tailgating issues with parking or entry. Ask us for more details.

Would it be helpful or even essential to be able to lock down your facility at a moment’s notice remotely?

  • How important is it for you to be able to access your facility remotely? Look for systems that function on smart devices. Browser-based systems can make this easier to achieve. If your access control has an app, that can increase your ability to administer the system.
  • A lock down feature is essential in any access system. Secure every door in your facility with one command yet provide access for first responders. This feature is built into both systems used by Information Controls for access.

Need Tech Support?

Our customer support portal is a centralized hub for the online support and project management tools we utilize with you to manage your Attendance on Demand or Attendance Enterprise system.