Having control over access in itself is a way of asserting your right to privacy. Businesses are bound to limit access as a way of protecting their customer’s confidentiality, as well as safeguarding their company interests, secrets and property.
Nowadays, different businesses have different security requirements. This could include the need to install physical security. Not only do access control systems offer security for a business, but they also help you to keep a tab on your employee’s’ whereabouts. You will be able to find out if there any discrepancies by reviewing the CCTV systems later on. You can also use them to monitor the guests going in and out of the premises.
But as you know, such systems could be a blow to your profit margins if you make an unnecessary investment.
So if you are running a business, you should consider putting a bullet proof system in place to start with. Just ensure that you choose the right access control system for you.
What To Consider When Installing Access Control
You need to know what you need and what your business requires in terms of controlling access.
Here are the various different types of Access Control Systems available for your business premises today:
- Wired or wireless
- Stand-alone or network
- Free exits or control exit
- Type of entry – keypad, phone, access card, and hardware-enabled
The choice is not so easy. To make it easier, let me take you through the initial steps of understanding your business needs:
Understanding Security Needs
You will start by reviewing your business space – the kind of security it needs. Try to project your requirements for the next 5 -10 years by trying to project the growth you are looking at. It is better if you employ a third party agency to do this review.
An expert definitely would be able to pinpoint things you have not imagined or reflected while reviewing your space.
An expert would be able to look at the entry points and the exit points of your location. Then would review the physical features of the building. You will then have to list out the number of employees and the guests who are frequently in and out of the building.
As well as that, you will have to furnish them with the number of hours your business operates daily. They will then list you out potential vulnerabilities and help you install the right kind of access control you require.
Deciding On The Type Of Installation
There are two ways to go about it – one is by buying an access control system from a vendor and installing it on your own, or opting for a professional access control system installer.
If you are a commercial business owner, it is advisable for you to choose a professional access control system installer.
Deciding On The Limits Of Access
This depends on the kind of security you need for the different zones in your business premises. In a lot of offices, there are special cabins which require special access and have another layer of encryption besides the normal access.
So you might want to monitor all of the areas your employees access if customer confidentiality cannot be compromised with. Or you might decide you need employee time card verification along with access. How do guests come in? How will vendors have access and which areas shall be off limits for them?
These are the types of questions which need to be answered before you decide on your limits of access. This is where a lot of blunder happens because many businesses do not realise the kind of limits they need to put.
Deciding On The Type Of Access Control System
There are different ways of giving access, including: authorisation, identification, authentication, access approval, personal identification number, bio metric scans and physical/electronic keys.
The most common access control system will have an access card in place, along with a card reader and an access control keypad. Here we will discuss the different types:
- Access Control Cards
The access card is what would be used by your employees to gain access to the building. Every card has its own encoding, and the size is such that it fits in your purse or hangs around your neck comfortably. Now you can choose between two types of card readers depending upon your business requirement – either you can opt for insertion type card readers or proximity type card readers.
- Card Access Readers
In case of insertion, your employee, guest, vendor shall have to insert the card inside the card reader, and in case of proximity, they will have to maintain a distance and scan the card in front of the card reader until it is detected.
- Control Keypads
Now access control keypads are usually an add-on to the card reader already in place. In the keypad, you will have to enter the correct pass key (which will be a combination of the numeric keys) to gain access.
Some businesses employ this method to create another layer of security – you have to have an access card and at the same time, you will also need the pass key or the security code to enter the restricted zone.
Hence, it all depends on how we distribute our space into different zones. Opt for biometrics if you have a significant number of employees working for you and if your business is such that it has to be frequented by guests and vendors on a daily basis to operate. Biometrics are quite pricey, and hence also one of the safest ways of securing your space.
Deciding On Whether You Want Remote Access
You can take advantage of technology and have a system in place which can be operated on-site as well as off-site. With remote access, you will be able to monitor on the go – all you will need is a mobile phone or a tablet to do so.
Deciding On Access Privileges
You will have to figure out the kind of access privileges you would have for different employees. This implies that – who are those employees who will have full access to every zone? Who are those employees who will have restricted access? Are there going to be different entry doors for vendors and contractors?
At the end of the day, an access control system is going to make your doors unbreakable. So you need to decide which are the doors over which you want to have complete control.