Problems with Access Control Systems

September 7, 2017 By Mid-Atlantic Controls 4 minute read

Key card used in hotelsThe majority of access control problems stem from outdated equipment, keycards falling into the wrong hands, and a lack of integration with other building systems. To some degree, all three issues might be causing problems.

In this article, we’ll discuss how to integrate access control with other building systems, how to identify when it’s time to upgrade access control equipment, and some strategies to help mitigate risks associated with keycards falling into the wrong hands.

How Important Is Your Access Control System?

It’s pertinent to determine how significant security is at your facility or place of business. Could a single security breech be enough to bring down your entire organization? If the answer is “yes” then your business needs to be taking access control very seriously, budget accordingly, and plan to regularly update and upgrade this and other security system equipment every few years.

Passwordcloud02Don’t Let an Outdated Access System Put Your Organization at Risk

If security is a high priority for your organization, not keeping up with the latest, most effective advances in the field could put your entire organization at risk. Security technology is a bit of an arms race. As soon as new technology hits the market, hackers, burglars and other criminals are working on ways to circumvent that equipment.

How Often Should Access Equipment Be Updated?

Upgrading an entire access control system can be a daunting task, because there are often so many doors with wiring and physical equipment. It is often possible to upgrade specific components without having to replace the entire system at once.

If security is a low priority for your organization, an access control system should be able to function for quite a few years without much intervention. If security is a high priority or legally required of your organization, you’ll want to bring in a technician to inspect and, if necessary, update the system every few years.

All Keycard Systems Have Problems

Fingerprint used as an identification method on a door lock. DigTo some degree any keycard system has at least one inherent weaknesses, the system can’t ensure the identity of the card wielder. Fortunately advances in biometric technology are helping to alleviate this issue by making fingerprint and retinal scanners more affordable. Generally, biometrics is where the access control industry is heading.

Mitigating Risks with Keycard Systems

For those still using keycard systems, there are several ways to help mitigate the risk of someone gaining access to an area without proper authorization. As an organization, you should set strict rules surrounding how quickly lost keycards must be reported. The sooner the keycard is reported to the facilities team, the quicker that card can be disabled.

Combining Keypads & Keycards

Inevitably, employees will lose keycards. One way to add an extra layer of security is to combine a keypad with a keycard system. Having to enter a key code in conjunction with a card helps can help limit access to someone with a stolen card. A facility might want to reserve this strategy for specific high priority areas within a building, special after-hours access, or require both at all access points.

Access Control KeypadIntegrating Access Control with Other Building Systems

There are a number of benefits to integrating access control with other building management systems. Streamlining multiple systems under a single platform can help facilities teams save time and manage their buildings more efficiently, especially when it comes to multi-location organizations.

Access Control Integration Helps Buildings Operate More Efficiently

In addition to saving time, integrating an access control system with environment systems can help a business save money and reduce energy use. The physical location of each employee can be mapped out to help the building operate more efficiently and react according to capacity needs and changes.

Take This After-Hours Scenario for Example: Joe comes into the office on a Saturday. Instead of adjusting the temperature of the entire building and having lights on all over the place, an integrated system will know exactly where to channel air and turn on lights pertinent to Joe’s immediate work area.

Access Control Secures Against Theft and Unwanted Intrusion

Any business that needs to take security seriously should consider some type of access control. These systems are far superior to metal keys. The type of access system and frequency in which that system gets updated should be dictated by the specific needs of the business. Contact Mid-Atlantic Controls to learn more about Access Control and building integration options.

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