Access con­trol sys­tems bring greater secu­ri­ty and con­ve­nience to any com­mer­cial envi­ron­ment. But since there are a vari­ety of options on the mar­ket, you’ll want to select a sys­tem that fits your unique secu­ri­ty needs.

The core ben­e­fit of an access con­trol sys­tem is pro­vid­ing secure entry to autho­rized indi­vid­u­als with­out the need for cum­ber­some key man­age­ment. How­ev­er, today’s sys­tems offer a wide range of addi­tion­al options and capa­bil­i­ties. Here are a few ques­tions to con­sid­er to help you nar­row your options and iden­ti­fy your instal­la­tion require­ments.

1) What are your security objectives?

Iden­ti­fy­ing your secu­ri­ty needs is an impor­tant first step to select­ing an access con­trol sys­tem. Do you need your sys­tem to pro­vide access only to exte­ri­or entry points, inte­ri­or areas or both? If it’s for inte­ri­or areas, what is the pur­pose: to pro­tect sen­si­tive equip­ment, IT sys­tems or data? Or maybe you need to stay in com­pli­ance with fed­er­al reg­u­la­tions for your indus­try?

Ask­ing these ques­tions will help you iden­ti­fy a sys­tem that has the right capa­bil­i­ties for your needs.

2) How will users be authenticated?

Today’s access con­trol sys­tems offer a vari­ety of authen­ti­ca­tion options. Users can use PIN codes on an elec­tron­ic key­pad. They can swipe a key card or key fob. Or, the authen­ti­ca­tion can be com­plete­ly key­less via the phone in each user’s pock­et. (Key­less autho­riza­tion is espe­cial­ly valu­able in the post-pan­dem­ic office envi­ron­ment, help­ing to make entry touch­less and safe.)

Not all sys­tems offer each of these options, so be sure to com­pare sys­tems care­ful­ly if you have spe­cif­ic authen­ti­ca­tion require­ments or pref­er­ences.

3) Is the system designed for your space?

There are numer­ous appli­ca­tions for access con­trol: offices, retail, ware­hous­es, indus­tri­al facil­i­ties, mul­ti-ten­ant hous­ing, schools, health­care facil­i­ties, gov­ern­ment build­ings and many oth­ers. Look for a sys­tem that is designed to accom­mo­date your spe­cif­ic envi­ron­ment. Even bet­ter: ask the installer to pro­vide exam­ples of how the sys­tem has ben­e­fit­ed oth­er busi­ness­es sim­i­lar to yours.

4) Is the system easily scalable?

What if you need to add more users over time, or more access points/zones, or even addi­tion­al build­ings? Does the sys­tem allow uni­fied access man­age­ment for mul­ti­ple loca­tions?

If your busi­ness is grow­ing, be sure that your access con­trol sys­tem can grow along with it. Look for sys­tems that can be scaled eas­i­ly as your secu­ri­ty needs evolve over time.

5) What kind of activity logs will you require?

Anoth­er key ben­e­fit of access con­trol solu­tions is hav­ing clear insight into who’s enter­ing your facil­i­ty and when. Some sys­tems keep detailed logs of all activ­i­ty, includ­ing the user’s name, entry time, loca­tion, etc.  These logs are espe­cial­ly valu­able if you need to know who was on-site dur­ing a crim­i­nal inci­dent, or for oth­er audit­ing pur­pos­es.

How­ev­er, when it comes to review­ing this activ­i­ty, some sys­tems are a lot eas­i­er and more intu­itive than oth­ers. Also, some allow for 24/7 access via the cloud, while oth­er logs are stored entire­ly local­ly. If you’re eval­u­at­ing sys­tems, ask for a demo to see how the soft­ware works and how easy it is to review the activ­i­ty logs.

6) How will guests be handled?

What hap­pens when you need to allow access to a gues

t who is not a pre-autho­rized user? Will you require an inter­com sys­tem or secu­ri­ty cam­eras to com­mu­ni­cate with the guest and pro­vide instruc­tions? Will a recep­tion­ist need to be staffed?

Some sys­tems make guest man­age­ment so much eas­i­er by allow­ing one-time access with an easy SMS mes­sage or email link sent to guests. This elim­i­nates the need to man­u­al­ly man­age one-time access, while also pro­vid­ing a smoother expe­ri­ence for your guests.

Explore your options for access control systems

PROTECTION PLUS is a lead­ing Toron­to access con­trol sys­tem installer. We design, install and help man­age smart, cus­tomiz­able access con­trol solu­tions for busi­ness­es in any indus­try. Con­tact us today to explore your options and see how our sys­tems can enhance secu­ri­ty at your busi­ness.

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