10 things to look for in an access control system

10 things to look for in an access control system

Securing your commercial property is paramount, and we know you will have spent a lot of time (and potentially money) investing in robust security measures to do so. Access control systems are an incredibly popular addition to your existing infrastructure; managing access to all entry points of your building and ensuring the safety of your assets, employees and sensitive data. 

But with so many different options available on the market, choosing the right access control system can become overwhelming. To help streamline your choice, we have listed the 10 features in an access control system that you should be looking for when making your decision. 

What is an access control system?

Access control systems are a type of security system, which can be used in both commercial and residential entry points, to identify individuals and grant access when appropriate. 

These systems typically use authentication processes such as PIN codes, GSM intercom, biometric identification, number plate recognition or keycards to allow the individual access to the building or site. These systems are usually found connected to further security measures that manage access, such as turnstiles, car barriers, and industrial gates, to provide a secure and seamless entry. 

Why would I benefit from an access control system?

Access control systems are found in various commercial sites, such as office buildings, data centres and schools. But why do they choose to install these systems?

Enhanced security 

Access control systems a property’s existing security system, by electronically restricting access to sensitive areas or unauthorised visitors. This reduces the risk of physical and data theft, data breaches and more. It also demonstrates a commitment to data protection and personal security, which both protects the business’ assets and mitigates further legal risks. 

Smooth operational efficiency

Access control systems can also improve your site’s operational efficiency, by streamlining management processes with centralised control and automated authentication procedures. This is because the system can efficiently manage user permissions, monitor access logs and respond quickly to security breaches or access requests, reducing administrative overhead and ensuring a smooth operational running. 

Save money

Every business benefits from saving money. With an access control system, not only will you save money on traditional locks, keys and replacements, and hiring security personnel, but you can also save money through reducing energy use. Some access control systems can be integrated with light and heating sensors, meaning lights will be turned off when no one is in the room and heating or cooling systems can be adjusted accordingly.

10 factors to consider when choosing an access control system

So what features should you look for in a new access control system? Keep reading as we discuss the top 10 and how they will benefit your property’s security. 

1. Comprehensive access management

An effective access control system should have a large range of control over what areas can be accessed and by whom. Look for a system that has features such as customisable access levels, time-based access permissions, and an easy-to-manage ability to instantly revoke access when needed.  

2. Multi-layered authentication

Access control systems that go beyond traditional keycards, passwords and pin codes are far more effective and secure. When choosing an access control system, look for biometric authentication methods, such as fingerprint scanning or facial recognition, or to add an extra layer of security to your site. 

3. Remote access capability

A great feature of many access control systems, one that is essential for close monitoring and security breach alerts, is remote access. With online access via a website or app, administrators can monitor the whole security system, be alerted to any security concerns and control or grant access - wherever they are. 

4. Integration with existing infrastructure

An access control system with integration with your existing security system is essential to fully streamlining your operations. This will allow you to maximise on efficiency and be able to monitor access through other security measures, such as CCTV cameras, alarm systems and your visitor management system. 

5. Scalability and flexibility

With businesses and properties constantly expanding, you need an access control system that can keep up. Choose an access control system that can scale effortlessly to accommodate growth, including more user access and integration with wider security systems and measures. 

6. Auditing and reporting

An effective access control system is one that not only monitors access, but audits and reports access into comprehensive logs and provides customisable reports for analysis. This can be essential for tracking access, identifying security breaches and ensuring legal compliance. 

7. Redundancy and failover mechanisms

It is inevitable that at some point, your building may experience a power shortage, network outage or hardware failure. To keep your property secure, look for an access control system that has built-in redundancy and failover mechanisms that prevent your security system from going down too. 

8. Encryption and data security

Whilst you may be using your access control system to protect sensitive data within your property, your access control systems should also specifically safeguard the data it reports. Choose a system that has encryption protocols to protect communication between devices and its server - preventing interception or tampering. 

9. User support and training

An access control system is useless if the administrators cannot use it. A reliable access control system supplier should offer comprehensive customer support, technical assistance and adequate training so that you, the end-client, can effectively use the system. 

10. Future-proof technology

With technological advancements growing by the day, an understandable concern you may have is how your access control system can keep up with the risk of cyber attacks. Invest in an access control system that uses cutting-edge technologies and continually updates or offers upgrades, keeping you ahead of any potential risks and maintaining a secure environment.

We know how important securing your property is. For more advice on what security measures your commercial site would benefit from, get in touch with our team of experts today!