Access Control Systems
The lock and key has been a mainstay of modern security systems for many decades now, despite the inherent problems associated with the system. Keys can be lost, stolen, copied with ease, plus whoever has the key can enter the building – regardless of their security clearance.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent every year re-keying locks because careless employees misplace their sets of keys. Another common scenario creating a security issue is employees or tenants who refuse to return their keys on termination of their employment or lease.
You can never be 100% confident that the keys to your offices or properties have no unauthorized copies floating around, or that your doors are always locked when they need to be. If you feel that your security needs more assurance than a mechanical lock and key system can give you then it might be time to consider upgrading to an electronically controlled access system.
Different options are available depending on your security needs. Card systems provide access to authorized personnel, but if cards are lost or stolen then access will still be granted to whoever has the card. The major advantage however, is that visits can be logged and once an unauthorized access is detected it is a relatively simple matter to change the security protocols for a particular card and issue a new one. A more convenient and much cheaper solution than re-keying locks for an entire office floor or building.
Another popular method of implementing access control systems so only authorized personnel can enter a floor, room, or building is the keypad system where a PIN (personal identification number) needs to be entered to unlock a door. These can prove relatively secure as access can be logged and timed, but are reliant on your staff being trustworthy not to hand out their PIN, and the occasional forgetful staff member.
Card reading systems can also be setup to only allow access to pre-paid customers (popular at many transit stations), or before granting access to a buildings elevator system. Access is granted via an electronic gate control which automatically blocks the entrance once the approved customer or personnel has passed through. Various systems are available where the expected level of traffic needs to be taken into consideration.
More complex systems are available which use biometrics (such as facial recognition and finger scanners) to approve entry to a secure building. Because of the complexity of the supporting I.T infrastructure required to operate such devices, biometric security systems are at the upper end of the scale as far as price is concerned. Qualified personnel are also needed to keep them operating smoothly, thus making the total cost of ownership prohibitive for smaller companies.
Regardless of choice more sophisticated access control systems will give you more control over who can enter your building. Being able to log entries as well as restrict and allow access at certain times of the day can provide a greater level of security over and above the archaic lock and key system for your business or property.