What is Access Control?
Access control is a security technique that can be used to regulate who or what can view or use resources in a computing environment.
There are two main types of access control: physical and logical. Physical access control limits access to campuses, buildings, rooms and physical IT assets. Logical access limits connections to computer networks, system files and data (Declared in our Data security solutions in Data Access Levels).
Access control systems perform authorization, identification, authentication, access approval, and accountability of entities through login credentials including passwords, personal identification numbers (PINs), and physical or electronic keys.
How it works
Door access control systems operate off of an electronic locking device. This device can be placed on an interior or exterior door. In order to enter the building or room, the user must present the appropriate credential – most likely a key card. The key card is swiped on a card swipe reader or placed over a card reader. In some cases, a code may be required, which means that the user will be prompted to enter the correct code on a keypad.
Door access control systems use what is called a controller. Controllers tend to operate around 32 control points, but larger ones can handle more. While each controller has its own software, a server runs the master software. Some servers may run hundreds of controllers. If there are several buildings, each one may have its own server.
Besides allowing and restricting access, door access control systems can be used with video and alarm systems so you can see who is entering a building and view any event that would cause the alarm to sound.
What you can control
Door access control systems allow you to designate times of free access and times of protected access. For example, you may allow employees and visitors to come in without restrictions between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. However, those coming in outside of business hours will require a key card for access.
Door access control systems also limit access to specific employees. For example, only managers may be able to access a certain room. These systems also limit traffic flow. If there are multiple restricted rooms down a corridor, you can restrict access to all of them.