Many businesses have sensitive areas. Organizations must restrict access to these areas. The area must be off-limits for anyone who is not supposed to be there. Door entry systems can help achieve this objective. There are, however, various downsides of using conventional door entry systems that need wires to function. Maintaining wired systems is an effort-intensive and time-consuming task, which is why more businesses today are opting for their wireless counterparts.
Access controls: An introduction
Access controls are used for restricting access to sensitive areas. While commercial door systems for small businesses have simple architectures and may depend on electronic keypads to secure single doors, big businesses may need large networked systems that are capable of securing multiple buildings.
The components of an access control solution are linked to a network. There are three ways to connect the components to the system: a) through the Internet, b) through mobile devices or c) through the Internet of Things.
Web-based access control solutions
Web-based access control solutions or cloud-based access control systems, unlike conventional systems, do not store permissions on physical devices. The architecture of these systems allows them to store permissions on the internet instead. Because permissions are stored on the cloud, users are able to view, change and manage them from anywhere in the world.
Thanks to the cloud, device updates are automated. Further, most web-based systems are low-cost options, can be deployed swiftly and are easy to use.
Mobile-based access control systems
Mobile-based access control systems, as the name suggests, allow you to use your smartphone to control your system. A mobile-based access control system sends lock code to a cloud server through a Wi-Fi connection or a cellular signal. Codes are generated for granting one-time access to people who are supposed to spend a limited amount of time on the premises (for example, delivery and maintenance personnel).
IoT- based access control solutions
IoT-based access control solutions are known for their robust architectures. In this system, all components including controllers and readers connect to the internet. These systems come with firmware that are updated in real-time. When your system uses updated patches, it becomes difficult for hackers to circumvent security measures.
Types of access controls
1. Proximity readers
Proximity readers are the most popular solutions used by businesses. These systems are easy to use. Further, if a user loses their card, the administrator does not have to follow complex protocols to deactivate the old card and issue a new one. In some cases, users may have to carry their photo IDs.
Proximity sensors can work from a distance of an inch to three feet from the sensor. Because the card does not come in contact with the hardware, there is minimal wear and tear. Proximity readers are low-cost solutions, which means even mid-sized businesses can use them.
One of the most common types of proximity readers used by businesses is the automobile tag. Drivers using these cards do not have to get out of their vehicles or open their windows to get access to the parking facility.
2. Stand-alone locks
Stand-alone locks are usually used to secure single doors. These systems use replaceable batteries. While some systems require users to type the access code, others instruct the door to open only when the user scans their proximity cards to get access. You can also opt for a system that uses a combination of the two methods (that is, the user will have to type the access code and also swipe their proximity card).
Stand-alone locks are easy to install and use, and can be the perfect solution for a small business. A major downside of these systems is that they are not part of a broader system. If you still want to opt for a stand-alone lock, look for one which comes with a handheld reader, which ensures easy access to the audit trail.
3. Biometric systems
Biometric systems are designed to recognize the physical characteristics of users to grant them access. These systems require users to place their thumbs on a fingerprint scanner or stand in a way that their retina is facing the retinal scanner. If the system finds a record of the pattern of the ridges and valleys (in case a fingerprint scanner is used) or the pattern of the person’s retina (in case a retinal scanner is used), it instructs the door to open.
Though biometric systems are considered to be the most secure door entry systems, they are still not mainstream due to their high costs. Additionally, many employees consider biometric systems invasive, which is why you must think twice before opting for this system.
Choosing the right access controls
When choosing your wireless door entry system, remember to check out the software. Make sure it is simple to use. Ask the vendor to provide a demonstration. Enquire about the steps you would need to follow to add new users. Look for a system that does not make it mandatory for your teams to follow complex protocols when changing access levels, creating groups or accessing reports.
Look for software that is compatible with your operating system. If you plan to introduce multiple shifts or are thinking of expanding your team, opt for an Open Database Connectivity-compliant software.
Find out how to select the Best Door Entry System for Your Business or Home.