As the facility security space continues to advance, card access systems are fast becoming an access control staple for many businesses. In fact, the market for these types of security suites is currently over $16 billion!
If you’re thinking of installing a card access system at your facility, then it’s important that you understand the basics of this popular security technology. You want to ensure that you are, in fact, setting up the best variation for your business.
Below, we examine each component of a standard card access system. They work cohesively for optimal functionality and security.
Basic Components of Access Control System
Cables and Wires
Your system’s cabling might be unexciting, but it’s an integral component as it ensures that the system sends a signal to the door to lock or unlock.
You need these in case your main supply unit fails; the batteries will keep your security system active until your main system comes back online.
You must ensure your access control system is properly drawing from your main power supply system. In addition, you should take steps to prevent tampering (e.g., the intruder attempting to cut the electrical wiring that connects the system to your facility’s power supplies).
Entry Point Systems
The specific door requirements will vary based on your industry and security needs. You can acquire doors of varying depths, materials (e.g., steel, wood, etc), and sizes.
For some facilities, having door status monitoring on doors that are not card reader controlled is desirable.
These monitored doors are connected to the access control system for monitoring purposes only and are installed with a door position switch that then reports to the access control system server computer when it is open and/or closed.
Monitored doors can be configured to trigger a variety of notices such as sounding alarms, turning on lights, etc. The parameters and triggers can be defined on a door-by-door basis through the access control system software.
If you’re installing turnstiles, you must ensure they meet your industry’s required standards (e.g., a specific ISO grade, height, etc).
Push to Exits
You can install a push-to-exit button that requires the user to manually press it in order to open the exit door. It’s an effective way for preventing unintentional door movement.
Besides a manual push-to-exit button (that requires the user to press in order to open the door), you can also have a motion-sensor based system to make it an automatic process.
Many business facilities are multi-level and access credentials could range by floor. You can design your system to provide security control for all or some levels. However, you must install card readers in the cab of each elevator.
Electronic door locks are often used to either replace traditional key and lock systems or to add additional locking automation – enhancing security.
These electronic door locks and alarm systems are prominently used for cars, but are increasingly being used for homes and businesses. Electronic door locks allow the door to automatically lock and remain locked until someone presents the proper credentials.
If the door remains open for too long, an alert is sent to the proper personnel. This helps ensure people who do not have the proper credentials are prevented from entering the premises.
Credential Verification Systems
The main purpose of control panels is to unlock the door upon receiving the right key code, card or some other credential verification. It also serves as a hub for managing your user credentials.
In most instances, you can efficiently manage access control systems from simply one central workstation with the access control system software installed.
However, for some businesses, it might be ideal to have the ability to manage the system from multiple workstations. This kind of setup may be particularly beneficial for larger security system environments with multiple people managing the access control system.
Today, you can operate many access control systems through access control software.
The access control system software is the component that ties all the other ones into a comprehensive security system. The software is what facilitates the interaction between the security system and the business owners, employees, and authorized visitors.
Access control system software varies in their intricacies but they all essentially do the same thing: allow users to enter their credentials, create permission properties and procedures, and review accountability information of the overall security system.
An integral component of a card access system is the card reader itself.
The card reader is programmed to receive and process the necessary information when a person uses the device to request access.
Often, businesses and facilities use proximity card readers that work when an access card is swiped within a few inches of the reader. The reader then analyzes the identification information stored on the card and gives or denies access based on credentials.
There is a range of different types of access control card readers including battery operated key card access systems and key card access wireless sets.
In tandem to assigning physical credentials (such as key FOBs or cards), you can also assign them using the user’s fingerprint or retina scan.
Instead of assigning credentials to cards or biometric signatures, you can also assign them to key codes. You would basically give each employee a unique code and, in turn, vary rights to each one based on the employee’s access requirements, security clearances, etc.
Augmentative Access Control Systems
Be it for support or additional identity verification, you can also install a video intercom system to enable the receiving party to speak to and/or view the person trying to enter the area.
Be it for additional verification or to audit an incident, you can also pair your access control suite to your CCTV or video surveillance system. This way, you will have secondary confirmation of the person using a particular passkey or key card.
Access control systems and their various components continue to advance to provide top-notch security for all types of facilities and businesses. At Logixx, we provide a suite of services and support for facility access control security systems.
With 47 years of experience in security management for a range of brands and businesses, we have unprecedented expertise in new technology and keeping businesses secure.
Learn more about our services or give us a call to find out more about how we can help meet your access control needs.