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Types of Access Control Systems

Last Updated: July 13, 2023

If your business has sensitive areas where only authorized personnel are permitted, the best way to control security is to install an access control system. With this in place, you can use keycards, fobs, biometric scanners, or other devices to grant or deny access to anywhere on the premises, from parking garages and elevators to storage rooms and resident-only rec rooms. Every time someone uses a card reader or biometric scanner, an entry is recorded in the system, making it possible to keep track of everyone’s comings and goings.

Perhaps you already know you want access control for your store, restaurant, hospital, hotel, or other business, but which type of access control system is most appropriate? Decide what architecture and management style will suit your needs best.

Access Control System Architecture

A functional access control system links all door controllers, keycards, and other components to the same network. There are three methods for doing this: the web, mobile phones, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Web-Based Access Control Systems

Also called cloud-based access control, this type of system stores permissions on the web rather than on the physical devices themselves, allowing you to view, manage, and control permissions and reports from anywhere with just a few clicks. The cloud also automates device updates and vacation settings for your convenience. This simple, low-cost option can be deployed quickly and easily to improve the overall security of your building.

Mobile-Based Access Control Systems

When your access control system is mobile-based, you can manage every aspect of your building’s security from your Smartphone. It works by sending an unlock code to a cloud server via WiFi or a cellular signal. This allows you to lock and unlock entry points in your business from anywhere, which is useful for granting one-time access to personnel who are delivering packages and performing maintenance.

Mobile-based access control can also utilize Bluetooth or near-field communication (NFC) to unlock doors. This eliminates any possible inconvenience from slow WiFi or a bad cellular connection when you’re standing in front of an entry point.

IoT-Based Access Control Systems

The Internet of Things is the key to home automation. Business owners also utilize it for commercial access control systems. In short, all controllers and readers are connected to the internet and have firmware that can be updated in real time. This keeps your system up-to-date with the latest security patches.

Rest assured that IoT architectures prohibit unauthorized devices from communicating on the network. This prevents hackers from circumventing your system.

Access Control System Management

You have three options for organizing the way people view and manage your access control system:

Mandatory Access Control (MAC)

This is the strictest option and is primarily used by the military and other government entities. The operating system firmly controls access to all doors based on settings created by the system administrator. With MAC, it’s impossible for users to change permits that grant or deny entry to rooms throughout the facility.

Discretionary Access Control (DAC)

This is the default option for managing most access control systems. Unlike MAC, DAC allows business owners to make their own decisions about who can access which areas on the premises. With this system, each entry point has an Access Control List (ACL) with groups or individual users who have permission to enter.

Role-Based Access Control (RBAC)

Also called non-discretionary access control, RBAC grants entry to users based on their role within the organization. This allows you to effortlessly assign permissions based on job titles. If an employee is promoted and another is hired on to take their place, you can use their changing position within the company to assign keycard access to the appropriate areas.

Rule-Based Access Control (RBAC)

Don’t let the acronym ambiguity fool you—Rule-Based Access Control is different from Role-Based Access Control. As with DAC, this management style ties access to ACLs. Then, it goes one step further by creating rules that grant access only at certain times of the day or days of the week.

Schedule Access Control System Installation for your business

State Systems is highly experienced in designing, installing, and servicing access control systems. We’ll go over your options and the benefits of each one to help you make the best selection for the type of business you operate.

Once your system is up and running, we can help train your staff on how to use it. This ensures you get the most out of your investment. We can also perform ongoing maintenance and repairs as needed to keep your access control system functioning normally.

To learn more about our access control products and services, or to request an installation estimate, please contact State Systems at 901-531-6550. We serve businesses throughout Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Alabama.

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