Lim­it­ing access to your premis­es, data, and sen­si­tive infor­ma­tion is cru­cial to secu­ri­ty and pri­va­cy. An access con­trol sys­tem is essen­tial to any com­pre­hen­sive secu­ri­ty pro­to­col, ensur­ing that only autho­rized indi­vid­u­als can access cer­tain areas or sen­si­tive infor­ma­tion.

As tech­nol­o­gy con­tin­ues to advance, these types of sys­tems have also expand­ed. At Pro­tec­tion Plus, we want to pro­vide you with a com­plete under­stand­ing of access con­trol sys­tems and their dis­trict fea­tures and ben­e­fits so that you can feel con­fi­dent in deter­min­ing what you need for your busi­ness.

What is an Access Control System?

An access con­trol sys­tem (ACS) is a secu­ri­ty tech­nique that reg­u­lates who or what can access your resources (dig­i­tal or phys­i­cal). It’s a fun­da­men­tal con­cept in secu­ri­ty that reduces risk to your busi­ness.

ACS per­forms iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, authen­ti­ca­tion, and autho­riza­tion of its users by eval­u­at­ing their required login cre­den­tials. It can include pass­words, per­son­al iden­ti­fi­ca­tion num­bers (PINs), bio­met­rics scans, and secu­ri­ty tokens.

You can­not over­state the val­ue of an ACS in today’s busi­ness envi­ron­ment. It helps pro­tect sen­si­tive infor­ma­tion, reduces the risk of unau­tho­rized access, pro­tects employ­ee safe­ty, and helps your busi­ness com­ply with reg­u­la­to­ry require­ments requir­ing restrict­ed access.

Types of Access Control Systems

Choos­ing the right access con­trol sys­tem for your busi­ness is cru­cial, as they come in var­i­ous forms. The most com­mon types include:

Discretionary Access Control (DAC)

This type of sys­tem offers the own­er com­plete con­trol over who is allowed access. Each per­son has per­mis­sions sets that reflect their need to access cer­tain areas or data.

While it’s user-friend­ly, it’s less secure than oth­er types because it relies heav­i­ly on the dis­cre­tion of the infor­ma­tion admin­is­tra­tor.

Mandatory Access Control (MAC)

MAC is more strict, using a cen­tral­ized author­i­ty to deter­mine who gets access to loca­tions or infor­ma­tion.

Orga­ni­za­tions use it to han­dle sen­si­tive data. With­in these sys­tems, users receive clas­si­fi­ca­tion by secu­ri­ty clear­ance and data is orga­nized accord­ing to sen­si­tiv­i­ty.

Role-Based Access Control (RBAC)

Role-Based Access Con­trol, also known as non-dis­cre­tionary access con­trol, is a pop­u­lar approach to reg­u­lat­ing resource access based on the roles of users with­in an orga­ni­za­tion.

In an RBAC sys­tem, access per­mis­sions are assigned to posi­tions rather than to indi­vid­ual users. As a result, when employ­ees are assigned new roles with­in the orga­ni­za­tion, their access is auto­mat­i­cal­ly adjust­ed to match the require­ments of their new posi­tions.

Attribute-Based Access Control (ABAC)

These sys­tems use attrib­ut­es to build poli­cies that deter­mine how much access each employ­ee should have.

These may be user attrib­ut­es (such as age, role, etc.), envi­ron­men­tal attrib­ut­es (such as time of access, IP loca­tion, etc.), and resource attrib­ut­es (such as own­er, clas­si­fi­ca­tion lev­el, etc).

Rule-Based Access Control

This ACS type lim­its access based on spe­cif­ic rules. It’s sim­i­lar to MAC in that it’s cen­tral­ly gov­erned, often used for net­work­ing requir­ing high lev­els of secu­ri­ty, and employs strict con­trols over user access via a sys­tem admin­is­tra­tor.

Selecting the Right Access Control System

Choos­ing an ACS that caters to your business’s unique require­ments is vital. Con­sid­er the fol­low­ing as you nav­i­gate which unit will serve your orga­ni­za­tion the best:

  • Assess Your Busi­ness Needs: This involves under­stand­ing the nature of your busi­ness, deter­min­ing what resources need to be pro­tect­ed, the lev­el of secu­ri­ty required, and how much flex­i­bil­i­ty and scal­a­bil­i­ty you desire.
  • Size and Com­plex­i­ty: A small busi­ness might not require an intri­cate sys­tem with high lev­els of secu­ri­ty. In con­trast, a large enter­prise may need a more sophis­ti­cat­ed sys­tem to han­dle com­plex user roles and per­mis­sions.

    Under­stand­ing the depth of your secu­ri­ty needs is essen­tial when choos­ing the right sys­tem.

  • Reg­u­la­to­ry Com­pli­ance: Cer­tain reg­u­la­tions can dic­tate that you need spe­cif­ic types of access con­trol, depend­ing on your indus­try.

    For exam­ple, health­care orga­ni­za­tions must com­ply with HIPAA reg­u­la­tions, which require a sys­tem that pro­vides detailed user access reports.

  • Inte­gra­tion With Exist­ing Sys­tems: It’s impor­tant not to over­look how an ACS will inte­grate with your exist­ing secu­ri­ty sys­tems. Com­pat­i­bil­i­ty enhances secu­ri­ty and effi­cien­cy, while incom­pat­i­bil­i­ty can hin­der it.
  • Bud­get Con­straints: The costs of access con­trol sys­tems can vary. There­fore, it’s essen­tial to con­sid­er how much you can rea­son­ably afford to spend. Bal­ance your need for secu­ri­ty with the mon­ey you’re will­ing to invest.

    Don’t for­get to fac­tor in poten­tial expens­es like main­te­nance and equip­ment upgrades.

Technology Trends in ACS Systems

Part of being a busi­ness own­er is know­ing which tech­no­log­i­cal com­po­nents (1) add val­ue to your estab­lish­ment and (2) pro­vide a high lev­el of secu­ri­ty for your phys­i­cal and dig­i­tal assets. It includes tak­ing note of:

  • Mobile Access Con­trols: You can man­age most sys­tems via smart­phones and oth­er mobile devices. It offers con­ve­nience, pro­vid­ing access when and where you need it, but requires addi­tion­al lay­ers of secu­ri­ty to ensure your infor­ma­tion remains secure.
  • Bio­met­rics Sys­tems: These sys­tems offer extra pro­tec­tion by requir­ing a fin­ger­print, facial recog­ni­tion, or oth­er bio inputs to access your assets. While more secure, it’s impor­tant to note that these sys­tems are typ­i­cal­ly more expen­sive than tra­di­tion­al ones.
  • Cloud-Based Sys­tems: It offers real-time mon­i­tor­ing and man­age­ment of entrances and exits from any­where. They’re pop­u­lar as they tend to reduce the need for on-site hard­ware.
  • Inter­net of Things (IoT) Com­pat­i­bil­i­ty: IoT devices, which are phys­i­cal objects that exchange data with oth­er sys­tems, are every­where.

    There­fore, it’s under­stand­able that many busi­ness own­ers want their ACS to be com­pat­i­ble with IoT devices to ensure a seam­less oper­a­tion from begin­ning to end — espe­cial­ly in smart busi­ness envi­ron­ments.

Effective Use and Maintenance

After select­ing the type of access con­trol sys­tem, know­ing how to imple­ment it is essen­tial to suc­cess. It involves pro­fes­sion­al­ly installing a sys­tem, train­ing your staff on how to use it, and per­form­ing reg­u­lar main­te­nance.

It ensures that your sys­tem will oper­ate smooth­ly and remain secure as you con­tin­ue your day-to-day oper­a­tions.

Choose the Best Security Option with Protection Plus

The right access con­trol sys­tem for your busi­ness will depend on many fac­tors, includ­ing your secu­ri­ty require­ments, bud­get, busi­ness size, and any gov­ern­ing reg­u­la­tions you must fol­low.

At Pro­tec­tion Plus, we care­ful­ly assess your needs to ensure you feel con­fi­dent when choos­ing an access con­trol sys­tem. We offer secu­ri­ty that grows and evolves with your busi­ness, pre­vent­ing unau­tho­rized access and breach­es.

For more infor­ma­tion about ACS or to sched­ule a com­pli­men­ta­ry con­sul­ta­tion, con­nect with us at your ear­li­est con­ve­nience or give us a call at 1–855-365‑7587.

Share us On:-
Mike Wedmann
Mike Wedmann is an experienced Security Industry Professional with over 25 years experience as a Security Integrator and Project Manager. Mike has been with Protection Plus Inc. for over 20 years. Mike has lived in the greater Toronto area for over 25 years with his wife, 2 kids and a dog named Bart. He has an educational background in Communications and writing. Mike is a published author that writes about his experiences on various topics, including his experience as a parent. Primarily Mike writes about Security Industry products and Security Solutions that benefit consumers.