As the world continues to change and technology evolves, so does the need for advanced security solutions.
The pandemic has affected operating hours as companies attempt to stagger shifts and schedules to prevent large crowds. This means workers coming and going at unusual hours of the day. With these new circumstances, a standard lock and key system is not the most effective solution.
With no reliable way to monitor or restrict access, companies without electronic access control are facing major liability and security concerns. A lot of businesses are looking to hire a security camera installer or access control company to give them peace of mind. In this article your preferred Houston locksmith will dive into different types and functions of access control, and how to pick which option is right for you.
Why Is Access Control So Important?
A lock and key system is one of the oldest forms of security and has remained tried and true throughout its existence. However, while effective at preventing random individuals from entering, a plain mechanical lock cannot differentiate between which employee is using it. In modern times it is unfortunately necessary to have a system that can prevent internal security breaches and private information being compromised. Just as a financial department does not have access to the HR department’s online resources and files, employees should not have access to certain areas of the building without proper clearance.
Master key systems were the first solution to that problem and remains a popular choice despite some of the major flaws. Doors can accidentally be left unlocked, keys can be duplicated and spread without authorization, and you still have no way to know for sure who is coming and going. With an access control system properly installed by a commercial locksmith you have the option to completely restrict access to a room, give temporary access, and audit whose credential was used to unlock the door.
What Are Access Credentials?
One of the most flexible aspects of an access control system are the various types of credentials. A credential is what you present to the system to gain access to a door. While coordinating with your access control installer you will be able to choose what type of credentials you’d like to use and distribute to your employees. Among your options you have the basics such as keycards, key fobs, and PIN codes. However, more modern systems also offer more advanced options such as biometric (fingerprint), bracelets, and even your cell phone.
What Are The Main Functions Of Access Control?
Access control has three major functions which are scheduling, grouping and auditing.
The first main function is scheduling. Setting up access can be as complex or simple as you’d like. For an extra secure system, you could give each employee only access to the front door and their office; or you could give a single department access to only their department. You can also restrict access to specific times of day, such as in the case of maintenance or custodians who only need full access during office hours. Obviously, there can be outliers like managers or security guards who may have additional access unlike the rest of their department.
The next function is grouping. You are not restricted to only managing individuals, you’re able to place users into groups then manage settings that will apply to the entire group. You can sort and classify your groups any way you need to maximize security and convenience. This is the most convenient way to keep your company and employees’ restrictions organized and simple.
The last main feature is the ability to audit your access control system’s history. Auditing gives you the capability to track who used a door and when they did. When the door opens it creates a timestamp with the user credential number, letting you know by the exact second when and which credentials are being used to gain access to the building. You can view and print reports at any time to ensure you have access to the information whenever you need it.
As covered in the previous sections, access control systems are very customizable to your specific needs. Each individual credential; whether it be a code, card, fob or cell phone, can be given customized access to the building. Some systems will allow you to use dual-factor authorization such as needing to use both a PIN and a card. You also can also combine your access control with other services when using full integrated systems, such as intercoms. Integrated systems are also able to be used with Air BNB to make keeping track of your visitors a breeze.
What Are The Types Of Access Control?
When it comes to access control you have the choice between integrated and standalone systems; and subsequently you get to choose a cloud vs non cloud system. Integrated systems are full-fledged access control systems that have auditing features, and can be tied in with camera or alarm systems. This kind of system is recommended for those who want the security of a full system with all of the information in one place.
Standalone systems are better solutions for companies who want PIN or badge access, but don’t care about auditing or scheduling. These systems “stand alone” because they do not have a software to manage them. Also it’s much less of an investment, since you don’t have to buy the main “brains” or access control panel.
Finally, you get to choose between a cloud-based system or a non-cloud-based system. There is a simple difference between the two systems; cloud-based systems allow you to manage your account and permissions from anywhere, while non-cloud-based systems have their limitations. Cloud based systems back up all your data in the cloud, and can be access from any PC or mobile device for a monthly fee. Non-cloud systems vary, some you have to load on one computer, and some have portals you can access via the web. The problem with non-cloud based systems is that if the computer that stores you data crashes, you lose all of your information. If you do have a non-cloud system that is accessible via a web portal then you are basically having to remote into the panel via the internet to change and access data. With a cloud-based system you are also able to remotely lock and unlock doors or provide temporary access if needed. In this type of system, all of the data is stored in the cloud and never at risk of being lost.
Where Can I find An Access Control System?
Access control systems are not as complex to get into as they may seem. Although there are many types and preferences to choose from, all of the options are designed to make your life easier in different ways. As more companies modernize their operations and security, access control gains more traction and evolves to meet more user needs.
If you’re in the Houston area and looking for a Houston locksmith to install your access control system, look no further than Guardian Safe & Lock. We sell and install access control systems, security cameras, safes for home and the office as well as providing standard locksmith and automotive services. We also service cities surrounding Houston, so if you’re looking for a Conroe, Tx locksmith or The Woodlands locksmith, we’re here to serve your security needs!