Access control systems are an added security measure you can take to restrict movement to critical locations in your building or the entire building itself. The means these systems use to secure entry can differ. They can use codes, access cards, or several other devices to determine whether someone is on a list of authorized persons. The actual security systems themselves and how they divvy out permissions also differ from one another.
In this article, we’ll discuss the most popular access control systems out there and how Millennium Fire & Security can install them at your business.
Benefits of Access Control
Access control is essential for companies that have data they need to be secured from competitors or have delicate systems that can’t afford to be tampered with, like a server room. Unlike other security systems, access control systems provide real physical security for your business.
It allows you to track who’s coming and going and provides an added shield if you fear someone arriving at your building with the intent to harm your employees. It prevents strangers from entering the building and warns you if an employee tries to enter a location where they shouldn’t be.
You might think that a simple lock and key are good enough, but access control systems are far superior here. If an employee accidentally loses the keys, the entire lock must be replaced. But if they lose a key card, the access control panel doesn’t have to be ripped out of the wall. All that needs to be done is changing the codes and reprinting the key card.
The Three Types of Access Control Systems
There are currently three systems on the market right now that restrict door access, Mandatory Access Control (MAC), Discretionary Access Control (DAC), and Role-Based Access Control (RBAC). Each system has its own way of handling how security is divvied out, with MAC being the most secure but the least flexible and DAC being the opposite.
MAC – Originally created and used by the military, MAC is the most stringent of the four choices. It works by using access levels and enforces those levels with zero wiggle room. The great benefit to this system is that it gives a business owner complete system control via a single point. From here, they can manage the access rights of all employees and have the ability to enforce policies across all user accounts.
DAC – Security decisions are left to several different people, making this a decentralized security system. Administrators from separate branches of a company can create privileges needed to access sensitive rooms. This is the easiest system to work with, but by its nature of being decentralized, it’s not as secure as the other options.
RBAC – Bases security needs on assigned roles dictated by what each employee does. Once several roles have been created, they’re each given different access permissions. The advantage to RBAC is that it can be simpler to manage everyone’s security clearance by assigning their clearance level based on their role at the company. For example, the CEO might have access to everything, but the advertising team might not.
How Access Control Works
Access control readers are devices that grant access to a building or room based on established credentials set by the access control systems. They require identity providers that may come in the form of a key card, a key fob, or biometrics like fingerprints or retinas.
Door Readers are connected to a network. Everyone who needs access has a code tied to their credential, and the system recognizes them as being authorized to enter the building.
This system’s most crucial security device is the software that tracks people as they enter and exit the building and can alert security supervisors or business owners when someone enters the building after hours.
Mobile Access Control Solutions
Mobile access control systems have seen a significant boost in interest after the pandemic, and about 54% of businesses plan to upgrade their access control systems in the next three years. Mobile access has become increasingly important, so companies have begun opting to allow access from their employees’ devices. The appeal here is that mobile credentials from a device like a phone are inherently more complex than key fobs or key cards. Their access software can be encrypted, making them difficult to clone.
Which Access Control System Should You Choose?
That’s entirely dependent on your unique situation. There are many different access control systems available, with even more options to interact with them. Generally speaking, if your business application doesn’t require high levels of confidentiality and access control, you may find that a DAC system is easier to use. However, if your business platform contains highly confidential or sensitive information, a MAC or RBAC system may be better for you.
But who’s supposed to install all this? That’s where we come in. Millennium Fire & Security has been installing security systems for over 15 years, including visitor management tools like access control. Our trained professionals will drive to your business and determine the best security solution to restrict access to and protect your sensitive data. Call us at (407) 974-7895 or visit our website to take the first steps in finding the best protection solutions for your business.