Access control is one of the most important aspects of a security system. Businesses need to lock up to make sure people can’t get in at night, offices often have secure areas where they test and store trade secrets and new inventions, and even residential houses and apartments come with locks on the doors. Access control is your first line of defense against thieves, burglars, and hackers.
However, while a deadbolt is enough protection for the average property, a business with a lot of valuable secrets to protect or valuable items on the property needs to have better security. Not only that, but the access control system should be able to handle the common loopholes in security access like passbacks and tailgating. Fortunately, modern access control systems are able to do just that.
In access control terms, “tailgating” refers to someone who follows right behind an authorized person who uses their credentials to unlock a door. You most often see this with employees who have forgotten their badges or keycards before coming to work, but then that’s what an intruder will pretend to be in order to slip past security. There are two effective ways to prevent tailgating:
- Use an entry system that only opens long enough for one person to enter, such as a turnstile.
- Use a system that logs entries and exits separately and will prevent someone who didn’t use credentials on the way in from leaving.
“Passback” refers to a situation where two or more people use unique credentials to enter an area. Unique keycards are effective at keeping employees in their authorized areas, but if they pass their cards to others it defeats the purpose. That’s why newer security systems come with measures to prevent this from happening.
- A local anti-passback system will only accept a keycard once every hour, or whatever time limit the company decides is appropriate.
- A networked anti-passback system works across multiple doors. If there are several ways into an area, the system will lock out all the doors when one is used. If someone needs to pass through a series of doors to (for instance) go from a parking lot to the workplace, networked anti-passback can lock the doors that aren’t the next one in the sequence.
Sometimes even the best access control system can benefit from human oversight, and that’s where entry logs and monitoring comes in handy. By keeping track of which keycards open which doors and when, security personnel can detect when employees are passing their cards back. They can also check employees against which cards opened the doors to an area they can see who’s been tailgating and who doesn’t belong at all.
Access control is always essential, but for many businesses, a simple lock isn’t enough protection. To keep sensitive information and unfinished projects safe, they need electronic locks with individual keycards that keep employees in authorized areas. And to keep employees from getting around the access system, it’s important to use an up-to-date system with anti-tailgating and anti-passback measures.
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