Access control systems allow you to set permissions for different groups of people and then grant them access when appropriate. They also allow you to track who comes and goes to deter theft.
Many kinds of access control exist, but the rule- or role-based is the most popular. It allows system administrators to define a wide range of settings, from denying access at specific times of day to allowing employees to enter a building at all hours.
Access Control Devices
Access control devices allow or restrict entry into a secure area. So, what are the types of access control? They include card readers, keypads, and servers that manage the access system.
Card readers and keypads read a person’s ID or credential, such as an access card or badge, to verify that they are authorized. The reader then transmits the data to a controller, a computer, or a physical device in an office or building.
Cards are the most common type of identifier used in an access control system. They can be plastic or metallic, with a magnetic stripe or barcode printed.
Some systems use RFID technology for even higher security. These can use holograms or encrypted signals to keep unauthorized people from entering.
Role-based access controls attribute permissions to a user based on their business role in the company. They prevent lower-level employees from accessing information that only high-level officials should have.
Typically, these systems have a management dashboard or portal that allows office administrators and IT managers to set permissions. These settings can be based on shifts, time of day, IP address, function (department, management level), and specific systems a person logs into or accesses.
The server, often a physical device in a phone or electrical closet, holds a database of permissioned users and their access levels. It also retrieves and tracks traffic from all of the access points in the system.
Access control systems are vital for businesses, particularly those dealing with sensitive information. They help you secure essential data, areas, and assets and can also be used to keep track of who comes and goes in your company.
A key goal of these systems is to prevent the theft of merchandise and intellectual property. This is especially true in warehouses and any business where goods or equipment are stored for an extended period.
Choosing the proper access control model is essential for high security and employee productivity. Role-based access models provide granular permissions that are easier to assign and change. This allows you to adhere to the principle of least privilege, which states that users should only have access to the rights necessary to do their jobs.
Another critical issue to consider when implementing an access control system is policy correctness. Policy correctness ensures that the predicates in an access policy are consistent with the objects and subjects submitted to the system.
A major technical challenge in assessing policy correctness is that objects and subjects evolve, which means that the policies they affect may have to be re-assessed periodically. This can be a difficult and time-consuming process. However, it is essential to protect data and systems from vulnerabilities that can cost a company millions of dollars in fines and legal liability.
Access control software allows business owners and property managers to manage facility access. It offers easy access restrictions, remote management, mobile access, automated provisioning, lockdown features, and more.
Traditional on-premises access control systems rely on server-based software installed and managed in an office or building. They require an internet connection and a local network (LAN) to work and are usually purchased through a vendor.
Cloud-based systems allow users to quickly deploy an access control system without investing in servers and other expensive hardware. ACS in the cloud runs on large, distributed fleets of servers inside data centers.
A role-based access control (RBAC) model provides security by defining permissions based on the roles of users. For example, management can have full building access, but contractors and employees can only gain access to areas where they need to do their jobs.
This type of system is typically used in offices with high-security requirements and private residential buildings. It can be combined with a physical lock to offer even more security.
Access control security software can provide audit trails that show where and when a person accessed specific locations. These can monitor employee behavior, spot security vulnerabilities, and protect sensitive data.
Access control servers are responsible for managing and tracking data regarding permission access. They also allow administrators to create reports that show past events and activities within the system.
These servers run on various devices, including dedicated local Windows or Linux computers, a cloud server, and even decentralized server systems (where the permissions database is stored in the door reader). The server’s primary purpose is to determine whether a credential is valid for the specific access point it is attached to.
A key to reasonable access control is its ability to grant granular permissions, which means that you can restrict access by job or department and the times users can gain access. This enables you to reduce internal threats, prevent employees from coming into contact with sensitive materials, and keep your business secure and safe.
Modern access control systems offer robust remote support that allows you to address issues without sending a technician out on-site. This helps you improve operational efficiency, save time, and keep staff happy.