Access Control
Systems

What Are Access Control Systems?

The term access control refers to the electronic security systems used to prevent unauthorized access to specific areas in a facility. Instead of using old-fashioned keys to unlock doors, electronic access is granted based on a set of rules and authorization levels programmed within the system.

There are different ways to manage access control in a facility based on the facility’s overall security level and needs. Some examples of different access control management methods for facilities in South Florida include:

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Mandatory Access Control (MAC) Management

Mandatory access control, or MAC, is often used in high-security areas or facilities—such as military base armories. Under this system, access to every door in the facility is controlled by the access control system administrator. This method is inconvenient for high-traffic facilities. However, it does provide the strongest possible security for a facility.

Discretionary Access Control (DAC) Management

Here, the facility exercises discretion about which areas to secure. This is the type of access control management most frequently applied to facilities that are not considered high security, but still need to control access to specific areas or equipment to prevent theft or other problems.

Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) Management

In facilities that use a mandatory access control scheme, they may further divide access to the facility based on the roles of individuals in the organization. This role-based access control helps the administrator grant or deny access to individuals as they are promoted, transferred, or terminated.

Basic Components of Access Control Systems

Electronic access control systems will vary widely based on the complexity of the system but in general, there are three main components:

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User-Facing

These components include proximity cards, card readers, biometric readers, keypads, etc. that users use and/or interface with to gain access into a particular area.

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Administrator-Facing

This is the software system that administrators use to program individual access rights and other security settings in the system.

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Infrastructure

The physical components that comprise the access control system itself. This includes electronic door locking hardware, management servers, control panels, cabling, or other hardware that are integral to the system.

Key Benefits of Access Control Systems in South Florida

The reasons for installing access control systems vary from one organization to the next—as does the overall system complexity. As such, the benefits will also vary but below are some common benefits for installing an electronic access control system for a single room, office, building, or entire campus facility in South Florida.

  • Provides for a safer working environment by restricting access to only authorized individuals.
  • Ability to program the exact days and times when individuals have access.
  • Doors can be programmed to automatically lock and/or unlock at scheduled times and generate an alert if propped open.
  • Ability to track and record which areas of a facility are accessed, by whom and at what time.
  • Reduces reliance on mechanical keys and the need to re-key locks when employees leave the organization.
  • Able to integrate with surveillance systems to record video when sensitive areas are accessed.

Need Access Control Installation Services in South Florida?

When designing an access control system, it’s important to balance security with functionality and weigh the impact the system will have on employees, visitors, management, etc.

Some points to consider include:

  • Is the system compatible with third-party hardware?
  • Is the system easy to configure and maintain?
  • Will the system make accessing necessary work areas or resources too difficult or cumbersome?
  • Can the system support multiple types of authentication methods (prox readers, biometrics, key fobs, mobile apps, etc.?
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Speak with a Specialist

Need help finding the right access control system for your organization? Blue Wave Communications can help you find the best access control system to meet your unique security needs. Contact us today to learn more: