Key Components of an Access Control System
In recent years, CIOs worldwide have been tasked with the challenge of securing their company corporate networks from internal and external security threats. Within the last decade, IT groups have been challenged with the task of managing the enterprise’s physical access security as well.
Increasingly enterprise organizations have become aware of the benefits needed to utilize security solutions that can grow and expand upon the existing IT and physical security infrastructures.
From scalable security management solutions to secure employee ID badging technologies, T3 Security Integration offers your company a future-proof access solution for today that will continue to work with you tomorrow.
Access control can be broken down into five main components
1. Access Control Panels (Brains)
2. Access control readers (Authentication)
3. Identification Device being detected
4. Physical Entry and Exit Hardware
5. Access Control Software
1. Access Control Panels
Access control panels are essentially the central brains behind the access control system. Usually, the access control panel is made up of an electronic circuit board installed inside an enclosed control box along with the electrical power supply. Sometimes, there is an emergency battery power backup as well to account for a situation of power loss.
The number of access points or doors you can control depends on by the technical specification and capabilities of the particular access control board you use.
Many access control panels come as a standard configuration but can also be upgraded as your access security needs a change
For example, you might buy a four-door access control board that can be upgraded to control up to eight doors at a later time.
2. Access Control Readers
These access control readers can wirelessly detect a person who has a compatible authenticating device on them such as an RFID Access card or Key fob.
Depending on the proximity reader equipment chosen, it can detect the personal identification devices at varying distances.
In some cases, the user may have to physically swipe an access card on the access control reader, whereas in other cases, it may be able to detect them at a slightly longer distance.
PIN Access Control Keypad
Unlike RFID proximity readers, Alphanumeric keypads require the user to key in a uniquely issued access PIN code directly into the unit.
Biometric Access Control Readers
Biometric Fingerprint, Finger Vein, and facial recognition access control readers can reliably recognize a user’s unique biometric features to determine appropriate authorization access for that person.
ID text patented technology actually helps to Maps specific points of the user’s finger for greater read accuracy and security
These types of long-range proximity readers are typically used for outdoor applications such as management of vehicle access control. They are capable of detecting a long-range access card at much further distances than proximity readers
Access Controls Standalone Readers
Many access control readers are required to be connected to an access control board to utilize the management software in order to function normally. Stand-alone readers are just that, hardware software and controller all self-contained in one single unit
For extra durability, many access control readers also come in a vandal proof variants. Vandal proof models are much resistant to vandalism and are usually weatherproof, making it suitable for outdoor installation.
Time & Attendance Tracking
Many companies also use the integrated time management features in their access control system as an employee time clocking device.
This allows the access control system to integrate with a payroll management system, allowing companies to accurately record when the employee performed a daily clock in or out during working days. Advanced time attendance tracking features are available with additional time management software
3. Access Control Identification Credentials
Access Control Cards
Some of the types of access control cards include Smart cards (eg. 13.56MHz MIFARE, HID iCLASS, DESFire, DESFIRE Evolution 1, Pico pass) and Long distance cards, which is the most commonly used detection device in a typical access control system.
Access control cards come in many design forms, and they are able to securely store unique information about the user, their authorized access rights and wirelessly communicate with the reader through an RF frequency
The physical range that the RFID access cards can communicate and the amount of information that they can store will depend on the card technical specifications.
Smart Access Control Cards
Smart cards access control solutions offers the most cost-effective access control solution for the company depending upon the functioning of a high-security network access control as well as physical security access control
Smart cards are similar but can also hold extra useful personal information about the user such as medical info or can even be used as an employee debit card for making payments.
Key Fobs are essentially the same as access cards but can be used as a key-chain. Some even have LED lights and sounds that provide feedback the user if they’ve been granted or denied entry access.
As an alternative to RFID access cards or key fobs, RFID stickers can be conveniently put on the back of a cell phone or any other handheld equipment someone carries around frequently of the time
4. Access Control Entry and Exit Hardware
Once the user has been granted entry access, it must send an electronic signal to the door locking mechanism to physically unlock it.
In such access control application, the door must have an electronically controlled equipment that is compatible with the access control system. The two most widely used mechanisms are Electric door strikes and Maglocks.
1. Electric Door Strikes
Electric door strikes functionally replaces your existing mechanical door strikes. They are electric powered and will automatically unlock when the authenticated user is granted entry access
2. Magnetic Locks
Maglocks are electric powered magnets that will hold the door closed until the access control system sends a digital signal to unlock the door.
3. Exit Buttons & Exit Bars
Exit buttons and Bars usually go on the other side of a door and allow a user to swiftly request exit from a secured area. We offer are a wide range of exit buttons and bars, whereby some are simple electric powered press-to-exit buttons and some are pneumatic.
Pneumatic buttons generally do not rely on external electrical power so an exit is possible even when electrical power isn’t available. There are also exit buttons models with a delay feature for more secure areas where the user must wait for a few seconds before an exit is granted.
5. Access Control Software
Although many access control solutions come with integrated Access control software, some access control system implementation may require additional software modules to perform more advanced access control functionality.
The access control software is where you as the facility security manager will manage users access rights, access schedules and more.
There are many other add-on software available, such as Time and Attendance Tracking, Visitor access management and Video management. For more detailed information on access control hardware and software, feel free to visit our company website page at T3 Security Integration.
6.Access Card Printer and Encoder
Access Card printer and Encoder can save you precious time by Printing, Reading and Write up to three different card access control technologies in a single pass card.
If needed, Optional Holographic anti-counterfeiting measures can be added to your access card as well. This feature is available with the added installation of the optional lamination module
The access control system is an ideal solution for issuing employee access ID cards for multiple locations. Equipped with an Ethernet connection port and an internal print server, you can easily install our access card printer on your network as easily as any other work-group printer.
From great-looking photo ID cards to high volume card printing and encoding applications, the access card printer and the encoder is a perfect choice.