Access Control Management & Security Systems
The term access control refers to restricting entrance to a property, a building, or a room to authorized persons only. Mechanical access control is achieved using locks and keys etc. But such access control systems do not provide any time controlled access, nor do they generate any access control logs and reports.
Physical access control is a matter of who, where, and when is allowed or denied access. An access control system determines who is allowed to enter or exit, where they are allowed to exit or enter, and when they are allowed to enter or exit. Electronic access control uses advanced electronics to eliminate the limitations of mechanical locks & keys. Today, wide range of credentials and authentication options are available to replace mechanical keys. The electronic access control system grants access based on the credential presented. These credentials can be a PIN, Biometric, multi-credential combinations etc. When access is granted, the door is unlocked for a predetermined time and the transaction is recorded. When access is declined, the door remains locked and the attempted access is recorded. The system will also monitor the door and alarm if the door is forced open or held open too long after being unlocked.
Access control system operation
When a credential is presented to a reader, the reader sends the credential’s information, to a control panel, a highly reliable processor. Advanced systems (master type) have such control panel built into it. The control panel compares the credential's number to an access control list, grants or denies the presented request, and sends a transaction log for storage into a database. When access is denied based on the access control list, the door remains locked. Such access control denial events can be programmed to trigger various alerts and logs, including sirens, SMS alerts, photo or video capture etc.
There are three types of authentication factors:
- Credential the user knows, e.g. a password, PIN or pass-phrase
- Credential the user possesses, such as smart card or a key fob
- Credential the user is, such as fingerprint, iris, vein, voice, palm etc., verified by biometric identification
Access control system - Main Components
An access controlled point can be a door, parking gate, elevator, turnstile, or other types of physical barriers. Granting access to these areas are usually electronically controlled. An electronic access control door can contain several elements:
- Stand-along electric lock with switch control
- Access Control Reader – keypad, biometric or card based
- Door controller modules
- Transformers & Relays
- Locking mechanisms – electromagnetic, electric etc.
- Battery backup systems for uninterrupted power supply
- Push to Exit switches
- Safety components such as Alarms & Sirens
- Call point
- Turnstiles and other anti-pass back mechanisms
- Controlling & reporting software applications