Security is a basic human need. In fact, in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, security occupies the second level of the pyramid. This just shows how important it is for humans to secure their lives, their loved ones, and their livelihood.
The lock and key are one of mankind’s greatest achievements in the realm of security. It is the best way to control who can and cannot access a property or information. Innovations in security solutions technology have improved on the traditional lock and key, though. Today, commercial access control systems are the most efficient and effective way to protect your commercial property.
Commercial Access Control Systems: What is it?
Secure access control systems are a necessary addition to any commercial establishment. And while it does not mean that you would not need door and window locks, these nifty security solutions add an extra layer of security throughout your entire property.
A controlled access system is a security solution that allows you to select, restrict, and manage who can enter or exit a particular area in your property. Essentially, they are designed to let authorized persons in and keep unauthorized people out; minimizing security risks. This is the first line of defense to help you prevent thieves, intruders, and even employee misconduct.
Choosing the right commercial access control system is vital to your day to day operations. They come in different types and a wide range of features.
Types of Commercial Access Control Systems
Access control technology has continually evolved over the years to keep up with the increased security needs of businesses. Many businesses have switched from security guards, mechanical keys, sign-in sheets to electronic controlled access systems using computers and other advanced tech to control and monitor facility access more effectively.
- Electronic Access Control Systems. This type can be used to secure different access points in the property. To be allowed entry, the individual must present a card, a key fob, a chip, or a smartphone with the correct credentials to a reader. They could also key in a password using a keypad. A reader is the device that electronically reads the credentials presented. If the credentials check out, the reader will send a signal, unlocking the door. Card access systems are the most common type of electronic control system.
Electronic access systems can be standalone (used for single or a small number of access points like a door access control system) or IP Networked (wired and connected to a host system and more efficient for tracking, auditing, and user management like a whole office access control system).
- Biometric Access Control Systems. Biometric security solutions read a person’s unique physiological feature in order to verify their identity. The scanner can read the features of a person’s face, fingerprint, retina, etc. The system then matches these features using AI and machine learning to confirm whether or not to give access to an entry point. Biometric access is said to be the future of commercial access control systems although a lot of businesses are investing heavily on it.
- Building Access Control Systems. Physical access barriers are still, arguably, the best access control system especially for heavy traffic or vulnerable areas. This access control system can include sensor barriers, turnstiles, security revolving doors, speed gates, security interlocks, etc. Parking access control systems are an example of this.
- Keyscan Access Control Systems. This new innovation is designed to make access control as easy as possible. It identifies all the individuals moving within a controlled area in the facility. It authenticates each individual’s identity, sends the data to the software, and compares the permissions or accesses assigned to that person. It also grants or denies access based on an individual’s credentials. The best part about the keyscan system is that it can lock down a facility, if necessary, and can be hooked up with other security solutions including motion detectors, panic buttons, etc.
The Benefits of Commercial Access Control Systems
Commercial access control systems minimize the risks in your office or commercial establishment. This is because it allows you to grant or deny access to certain people. This protects your assets, data, and employees.
- Physical Security. Ensuring that only authorized personnel can enter your facility prevents theft, vandalism, and other untoward attacks toward your staff. An access control system that is integrated with alarms, video surveillance, PA system, etc. is also useful for emergencies.
- Data Security. A company’s propriety data is just as valuable as its physical assets. Firewalls and other data security features are also extremely important but they are vulnerable, especially if the attacker can simply waltz in and physically take your hardware. Commercial access control systems protect your sensitive information, computers, smartphones, or file storage devices from being accessed by an attacker.
- Efficient Business Operations. A commercial access control system is not only useful for security. It can also serve to optimize your day to day business operations, drive down costs, and improve productivity. You can:
- Track customer traffic to improve staff scheduling;
- Monitor patterns that affect customer service;
- Track and audit employee attendance and movement;
- Monitor foot traffic for better inventory;
- Grant access remotely, and many more.
How to Choose a Commercial Access Control System
Choosing the best access control system can be a daunting task, especially for those who have limited experience with security solutions. The most important thing you must consider when choosing your own commercial access control system is the security solutions provider.
Ideally, you should choose a provider that is reputable and has a significant experience with the type of access control system you want for your business. Ask about:
- credentials and certifications;
- previous clients and/or projects;
- reviews and recommendations of the access control brands and products;
- project management (including timeframes, insurances, testing, training, etc.)
Securing your commercial property and making sure your staff and customers are safe is a top priority. Making sure you have effective commercial access control systems is vital to protecting your people, your property, and proprietary information. We hope this guide helped you in making the best possible decision about your own commercial access control systems.