Access Control Technologies

Access control systems are a security technique that regulates who has access to facilities and information inside those facilities. We all want to believe that people have the best intentions, but the reality of today’s world is that all homes and facilities are vulnerable to violence and crime. The purpose of access control systems is simple: protection.

Access control systems typically follow the principles of Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED). Any place of business or residence can benefit from the principles of CPTED (pronounced ep-ted’). This multi-disciplinary approach reduces crime through environmental design, which means it combines and layers principles of access control to buildings so that, when implemented, the facility or residence becomes both easier for occupants to monitor and navigate and less appealing for criminals to target. CPTED addresses problems with natural lines of sight, proper lighting of walkways and parking lots as well as facility maintenance. The CPTED approach also addresses the critical need for hard barriers (such as fences or walls) and soft barriers (such as hedges or lighting). Clever environmental design and attractive lighting will naturally draw people into public areas and deter them from more inappropriate areas. While these are not unbreachable barriers, they are simple changes that can direct people where you want them to go inside a home or facility.

Other principles of access control systems involve both physical access to buildings and homes as well as logical access to technology.
An example of physical access control is a badge reader on the front door of a business. This security function allows only those with authorized access to enter a building and assists in keeping out those that do not have authorized access. This level of control is both a physical barrier to crime and helps prevent data breaches. User credentials are easily managed and modified when necessary. In the event of a disgruntled employee leaving the workplace, their badged access to the building can be revoked so that they cannot reenter. In our modern world of gun violence and mass shootings, this sort of reassurance is invaluable.

Physical access control systems also provide control over who has access to areas containing sensitive information. Not every employee needs access to every area of a business. A physical access control system within a building can prevent inappropriate access to secure areas and inform the system owner of who is going where in a building by collecting data and providing reporting tools. This type of reporting can also show periods of high and low traffic which can help reduce facility costs. Physical access is not the only access control system. Logical access control extends beyond physical barriers such as doors. Logical access control evaluates user access to electronic information technology systems using passwords, Personal Identification Numbers (PINs), security tokens or biometric scans such as facial recognition, fingerprint readers or retinal scanners.

Access control systems can be utilized in a residential setting as well as the workplace. A property owner can monitor the access of both visitors and/or service industry workers such as pest control or pool cleaning services. Access control technology is advancing quickly. Many of these systems can be monitored remotely from smartphones as well as sending photos videos of the monitored buildings. Access control systems are needed wherever humans live or work. Humans will not stay where they do not feel safe. If, for instance, you have noticed a higher than expected employee turnover rate and employees have to walk through a bad neighborhood or a dark garage to get to and from your building, then you may want to consider revamping your access control system. The same principle applies to homes in neighborhoods. If a vandal breaks a window in a house and the window is not repaired, then the likelihood of vandalism increases not only for that house but for the surrounding homes. If, however, the environmental problems are addressed using the principles of CPTED before a crime occurs then the building becomes a much less appealing target.

Each business and homeowner have different security needs. The available security technology in today’s market has progressed to a point where every user can attain the security level of their choosing. Access control monitoring systems are available online either via professionally monitored services or through online systems purchased through retailers and connected to smartphones. We would like to thank Access Control Systems Atlanta GA for this great article!