The definition of Access Control is in the name itself: The idea is to establish security components that control who has access to your business, facility, parking lot, outdoor site, individual room or even a storage cabinet door or drawer. It is up to you. You are in control.
Whether the person is a loyal employee or a visitor, contractor, customer, business associate, delivery person, or someone who does not belong in your business at all, the job of Access Control is to block the access of certain people, at specific places or entrances at specific times, or all the time.
Access Control can be tricky and sometimes confusing because there are two different kinds of Access Control in the world of security: 1) data Access Control 2) physical Access Control. As you might imagine, data Access Control deals with the virtual world; blocking access to sensitive data and information, login IDs, passwords, and so forth.
What is a Physical Access Control System?
Typically, this means an electronic security system using a card (swipe card), key fob, or these days, a mobile device. Only authorized individuals are allowed access and their movements and use of the card can be tracked and stored in a data base or in the cloud. This can be a helpful security measure as you are able track which employees are accessing which buildings or areas of your business. Do they belong in that area, at that time? Are they supposed to be in an area with highly sensitive information? You can always deny individuals access to specific areas at specific times.
That is inside your business. Outside your business it determines who gets pass the front gate, the main or side entrances, into the parking lot.
The beauty of an Access Control (more details here) security system is that they are very flexible and scalable.
To Key or Not to Key
Look at mechanical keys this way—which by the way have been in existence since arguably the 6th century when an English chap came up with the trust-altering idea—as the first very Access Control system. If you were given a key, your very own special key, to a particular lock, the person who gave you that key was attempting to control your access. From pirate treasure chests to castle drawbridges to the local pub, access was even being controlled back then, long before Big Brother entered our lexicon.
The Trouble with Keys
Many smaller businesses still use keys as their main form of access control. Tradition is hard to part with. But as you already know, there are inherent problems using mechanical keys.
Keys are difficult to manage – We’ve all seen the building superintendent carrying around 50 keys and fumbling through each one every time he needs to open a door. Don’t be this guy.
Who gets a copy and who doesn’t? How many copies do you really need? Copies are hard to trace, virtually impossible, and they’re lost all the time. Former employees keep them just out of spite if they’ve been let go (fired). Hope they’re not holding a grudge. Oops! Time to rekey the door!
Keys don’t leave an audit trail – Unlike Access Control cards, keys don’t leave an audit trail packed with information about the card’s user: when they arrive, when they leave, what doors or buildings they accessed. Access Control systems are a great way to learn a lot more about your business and your employees, visitors, and whomever else you are attempting to manage.
The Last Line of Defense
Most importantly, Access Control systems keep out those who don’t belong. A high-tech security measure that cannot be under valued in today’s society. Imagine the worst, a workplace shooter incident. It is a terrible reality, but Access Control can potentially help minimize these scenarios.
Increase Your Control and Security
The choice is yours. The question is: do you want convenience and security, all in one? Or are you satisfied with fumbling with keys (remember the super?) and not knowing who has a copy of which key and who doesn’t? You might want to think twice before firing the next employee, at least ask them for their key first. That should be a tipoff.
Contact us today if you would like more information about how to make your business safer and more secure and receive a FREE consultation from a PASS Security expert. 314-241-0422 or 618-394-1144 or Email Us.
Founded in 1969, PASS Security is headquartered in St. Louis, MO. and Fairview Heights, IL. We are a full-service electronic security systems integrator providing expertise in intrusion detection, video surveillance, access control systems, LIVE video monitoring for businesses, large commercial and enterprise operations. PASS also serves the residential sector with innovative SMART home automation products and services. We provide our customers with system design, engineering, installation, maintenance and monitoring services through our 24/7 local UL Listed Central Monitoring Station.