Access Control Systems

Access control really is one of those terms that means what it says, control of access, either entry to a building, a network, a machine or any other facility that you want to restrict availability to authorized persons only.

In its simplest form, an example would be a fence and a turnstile that controls access to a football game. The fans have to have tickets to pass by the turnstiles, and the security guards and the fence and turnstile are the physical restraints that enforce the control so that only ticket holders have access to the game.

So it means the restriction of entrance either by an automated electronic system, or locked door or security staff. Locks and keys have been fairly reliable up to now, but modern electronic systems allow us to be even more specific about precisely who is granted access, to where and also when. Due to advances in microprocessor technology, access control has evolved to suit the needs of companies and organizations that need to maintain strict control over who is allowed and who is not allowed access to their facilities or data.

Access card and reader systems have become very popular in modern businesses and workplaces as well as numerical keypads, which are in widespread use in public places such as schools, colleges as well as laboratories, commercial, military and government facilities. These forms of electronic security have been extremely effective and reliable, preventing unauthorized access to all but the most resourceful intruders.

Electronic access systems have become highly sophisticated and are often integrated into electronic security systems so that identities can be checked and video surveillance records logged. This means that if there is a security breach and unauthorized access gained, data will be available on when and where the breach occurred and possibly even used to identify the person.

Electronic access systems are everywhere, they are in their most familiar form in ATM cash machines and we use them regularly whenever we make a financial transaction by card or pay for something over the Internet. We have password protection and PINs to validate our identity in order to protect us from computer and credit card fraud.

Password protection is in use at many levels, but the most effective strategy is a combination of credentials and password or PIN number, along with personalized questions, which will reduce the amount of unauthorized access.

Biometrics now offer us an even greater level of access control for our homes and vehicles, utilizing fingerprint reading technology that can be programmed for multiple user access. Even though these systems are expensive, there is a huge demand for these types of systems and they undoubtedly represent the future of physical access control systems.