What is access control?
Access control is a security technique that is used to selectively restrict access to a place or other resource. Its purpose is to determine three things;
- who is allowed to enter
- where they are allowed to enter
- when they are allowed to enter
In the past access control was used in the form of locks and keys, but now as technology advances, we have brought in the use of electronic access control to solve the limitations of using lock and key.
Electronic access control works based on a list of pre-determined credentials and outcomes. When the right credentials are presented, access will be granted and the door will be unlocked for a certain pre-detemined time period. When access is denied, the door will remain locked. Each transaction through the access control point is recorded and stored for later viewing. The system will also record if the door is forced open or if the door is opened for longer than the pre-determined time period.
How exactly does it work?
When a credential* is presented to the reader, the reader will send the credentials information to a control panel, a highly reliable processor. The control panel then compares the credentials numbers to a access control list and either grants or denies the request, whilst recording the transaction. If the credentials match the access control list, access is granted and the door will unlock for a pre-determined time. If the credentials do not match the access control list, access will be denied and the door will remain shut.
There are three different types of access control that you can use;
- something the use knows e.g. a password or pin
- something the user has, e.g. a smart card of a key fob
- something the user is e.g. a fingerprint
*A credential is a physical/tangible object, piece of knowledge or a facet of a personals physical being that enables an individual asses to a given resource.