Which access control system is right for you?

Making any decision regarding business investment and expenditure always requires a certain amount of deliberation, but when it comes to security, those decisions are even more important. Any commercial property requires some form of security, but you also want to make sure that it’s safe and convenient for the tenants.

That’s where access control systems come in. But what system will be most suitable for your business? Do you want to implement a tight grip or a loose grip? Will different areas (or buildings) require different levels of access security?

Remember, access control is not only about letting certain people in and keeping certain people out – it’s about bringing a level of freedom and productivity to the workplace by streamlining security practices and allowing employees and invited guests to feel more secure and more at home.

Analysis

First, analyse the areas that require protection – whether they be people or assets. You’ll then need to consider the logistics of implementing access control. Will implementation lead to the office being shut down and turnover taking a hit – for example? Which areas will require a more significant level of security than others?

Needs

An access control system needs to be not only aesthetically pleasing and secure but easy to understand. If your business doesn’t have the infrastructure or the right staff in place then you might want to opt for a less complicated solution.

Before deciding on a system, plan ahead who will be managing both the system itself and the operational protocols – such as onboarding of new recruits and deactivating cards and security profiles for those leaving the business.

Access

There are a number of different access control systems available for common use, each with their own advantages, drawbacks and individual quirks.

Access cards are perhaps the most flexible, as different cards can provide different levels of access to different employees. Card systems are also relatively cost-effective and simple to install. They also have the benefit of being simple to operate and don’t require much in the way of maintenance.

Cards can be cancelled at any time (in case someone who shouldn’t have one manages to get hold of one) and are completely customisable. The only major drawback is that they can (and will) go missing.

PIN combination entry systems, meanwhile, are an even more simple and elegant solution, though you might want to consider changing the PIN daily for added security. The major drawback of PIN access is that it can easily be forgotten. It is also, the most cost-effective solution for smaller companies who might not require such an ‘aggressive’ security solution.

Audio entry typically relies on an intercom system or audio buzzer that allows visitors to use a speaker to converse with whoever is on the other end and ask for admission. These systems have been in operation for decades, but modern advances mean they can be integrated with a mobile phone or landline so that you can confirm or deny access from almost anywhere in the world.

Video entry goes one step further, attaching a camera to the access panel with high definition streaming. These systems, most of which also feature audio options, offer the ultimate in power and flexibility. Most modern solutions can also stream video online and can even record video footage to be used as evidence if there is an attempted break-in.

People

Ultimately, the choice should come down to the people who will actually be using the system. These systems are not just about security but are about allowing individuals to go about their working lives without having to worry about security. It’s about making office access security control part of the fabric of the business, without bringing attention to itself. That’s why the best access control systems are those that seamlessly integrate themselves into a business and its workers.

Protection

Finally, consider the protection of the system itself. How easy would it be for outsiders to hack into it remotely? Make sure you’ve invested in equipment and software that is fully protected against cyber attacks and unauthorised IP devices. Otherwise, you could be essentially leaving the key in the door.