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5 Factors to Consider in an Access Control System

keycard fingerprint scanner code reader for access control

Comprehensive security for any facility requires some sort of access control. Not only does this allow you to effectively monitor and monitor entries and exits, but it also provides efficient and secure visitor management. There are a lot of options available to help you get the right access control system for your needs. Here are some factors to consider in an access control system:

1. Number and Types of Areas to Be Monitored

Some of the biggest factors to consider in an access control system are the types of areas you need to manage access for and how many of them. There are several options for electronic access control and systems can be scaled to work across multiple buildings and locations. Even within a single facility, the best approach could be a mix of locks, intercoms, card readers, and more.

Doing a building vulnerability assessment can help give you an overview of your current facility, current security, current security gaps and vulnerabilities, and any new vulnerabilities that also need to be taken into consideration. This will also help outline and detail where, what, and how you need access control for your facility.

2. Levels of Access Needed and Ongoing Management

Consider who needs access to the facility and the different levels of access you will need. Knowing who needs access to the access control system software to manage access credentials as well as the varying levels of access in and around your facility for staff, visitors, etc. can help you determine what components and solutions would best fit your needs.

A system that allows you to grant and revoke access as well as define timelines if needed and assign levels can help you better manage who has access to your facility and how. Not only will this allow you to easily grant temporary access with superficial permissions to visitors, but you will also be able to easily manage access long-term.

A good access control system will allow you to monitor access, reset credentials, redefine access levels for credentials, revoke access to specific credentials, create new credentials, and more to effectively manage who does and does not have access to your facility. Managing and maintaining the database, in addition to the physical components, are ways to maintain access control systems.

3. Access Methods and Readers

Some of the other factors to consider in an access control system are the physical components. What types of access methods will you use and what types of access control readers do you need?

If you prefer codes, then electronic door locks with keypads are the components you need. If you’ll be using key cards, then you need the appropriate card readers. If biometric access control is what suits your needs best, you will need the appropriate eye, fingerprint, palm scan, etc. readers to make sure your biometric access control system components support the methods you want to use.

You may also find that a mix of different methods and readers works best for you. There may be some areas of your facility where a key, a key card, or a code is more than sufficient. There could also be high-value, high-security areas where you may prefer biometric access control or multiple layers of authentication before access is granted.

4. Wired vs Wireless Systems

Connectivity and power supply are other factors to consider in an access control system. Depending on your needs and current infrastructure, one option may be better than the other or the best approach could be a mix of both. It will depend completely on your individual facility, operations, and needs. In any case, it’s important to make sure you have backups in place to sustain security systems during power outages.

When evaluating wired vs wireless systems, wireless systems tend to be easier to install in existing buildings while wired can be more difficult if new wiring or rewiring is required. At the same time, wired systems can have a stronger and more consistent signal because they are hardwired.

However, if your network is set up correctly, your wireless systems should work flawlessly as well. There are many reasons to consider a wireless alarm system that also apply to access control and other systems. In some cases, a mix of wireless and wired access control is the best option.

5. Compatibility, Scalability, Integration, and Ease of Use

The access control system components and associated software for managing it should be intuitive and easy for you to use. If you are fitting an access control system to existing infrastructure, then you need to consider how backwards compatible it is. Can what you want retrofit effectively to what you have or do you need to consider other factors for adequate installation and function?

Whether retrofitting into an existing infrastructure or building it into something new, your access control system should be compatible with everything else and should be able to integrate with other security systems. Easier management, more comprehensive security, and more are all benefits of integrated security systems. But, you only receive the benefits if your systems are compatible and effectively integrated.

A good access control system that is customized to your needs also needs to be able to scale seamlessly with your facility’s needs. One of the biggest benefits of enterprise access control systems is the ability to efficiently provide and manage access control across multiple buildings on a campus or multiple locations. This type of scalability for your current and future needs is a factor to consider in an access control system.

Implement Effective Access Control For Your Facility With NEPPS

These are just a few factors to consider in an access control system. The right mix of features, configurations, and integrations will vary from facility to facility based on specific needs and operations.

Choosing the right security systems integrator as a partner can help you ensure you get the access control you need along with the peace of mind that comes with proper installation, configuration, maintenance, and more. If you need to implement or upgrade access control for your facility, contact NEPPS at 1-800-736-1456.