Access Control Cards
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Creating the perfect access control cards requires careful assessment to ensure the proper levels of security. Start by analyzing your individual needs. This includes any regulatory restrictions you may be subject to. With all aspects of your business accounted for, you can design the system in the most effective manner, making it as cost-effective as it is functional.
What Are Access Control Cards?
Access control cards provide authorized individuals safe and secure access in and out of various parts of your business while keeping unauthorized people out. They can range from electronic keypads that secure a single door to large networked systems for multiple buildings. Access control cards also greatly simplify management of your facility: no need to replace lost keys, hunt down old keys from terminated employees, or wonder who has access to which areas.
Types of Access Control Cards
In brief, access control cards is used to identify an individual who does a specific job, authenticate them, and then proceed to give that individual only the key to the door or workstation that they need access to and nothing more. access control cards come in three variations: Discretionary Access Control (DAC), Mandatory Access Control (MAC), and Role-Based Access Control (RBAC).
1. Discretionary Access Control (DAC)
Discretionary Access Control is a type of access control system that holds the business owner responsible for deciding which people are allowed in a specific location, physically or digitally.
DAC is the least restrictive compared to the other systems, as it essentially allows an individual complete control over any objects they own, as well as the programs associated with those objects.
The drawback to Discretionary Access Control is the fact that it gives the end-user complete control to set security level settings for other users and the permissions given to the end-user are inherited into other programs they use which could potentially lead to malware being executed without the end-user being aware of it.
2. Mandatory Access Control (MAC)
Mandatory Access Control is more commonly utilized in organizations that require an elevated emphasis on the confidentiality and classification of data (ie. military institutions). MAC doesn’t permit owners to have a say in the entities having access in a unit or facility, instead, only the owner and custodian have the management of the access controls. MAC will typically classify all end users and provide them with labels that permit them to gain access through security with established security guidelines.
3. Role-Based Access Control (RBAC)
Also known as Rule-Based Access Control, RBAC is the most demanded in regard to access control systems. Not only is it in high demand among households, RBAC has also become highly sought-after in the business world.
In RBAC systems, access is assigned by the system administrator and is stringently based on the subject’s role within the household or organization and most privileges are based on the limitations defined by their job responsibilities. So, rather than assigning an individual as a security manager, the security manager position already has access control permissions assigned to it.
RBAC makes life much easier because rather than assigning multiple individuals particular access, the system administrator only has to assign access to specific job titles.
Advantages of Access Control Cards
1. Knowing Who’s Coming and Going at All Times
Finger-print-access-control- Many businesses have equipment and physical assets that are valuable on-site. An access control cards keeps track of who’s coming and going to ensure that someone hasn’t snuck into the building.
If a business is large with a lot of employees, it can be difficult for everyone to know who is an employee and who is not. An access control cards helps prevent strangers from slipping in undetected.
2. Keep Track of Employees
If a business has multiple shifts with large groups of employees coming and going at odd hours, an access control cards can help organize the chaos and inform you if an employee is in the building when they shouldn’t be. It can also help you keep track of who has shown up for work and who hasn’t.
3. Secure Sensitive Documents and Data
Many businesses have documents or data that should not be accessible to everyone in the company. An access control cards allows a business to limit the access to certain areas that hold hardware or software that this information is saved on.
4. Reduce Theft and Accidents
An access control cards allows a business to give only approved or specially trained employees access to areas that may hold valuable or dangerous equipment.
5. Multi-Property Protection
An integrated access control cards will allow a business to grant access to employees who need to enter multiple or all buildings.
6. No More Worrying About Keys
When an employee quits and fails to return their keys, the business is stuck with the expense of making new keys and possibly even changing the locks. The same would apply when an employee loses his or her company keys. If the employee left on bad terms, this also removes the chance that they will try to re-enter the building and do damage.
With an access control cards, the business can just remove the employee’s access from the system digitally.
How Access Control Cards Works?
- Access control readers give access to the building based on established credentials. Things like a key card, key fob, or biometrics like fingerprints are all considered established credentials.
- Door readers are connected to a network. Every person who needs access has a code tied to their credential and the system recognizes that they are authorized to be in the building.
- Software tracks who enters and exits the building and has the ability to alert security supervisors, business owners, etc. when someone enters the building after hours or there is a break-in.
Requirements Of Access Control Cards
Businesses seek to install access control cards for a variety of reasons, including:
- Safeguard data
- Secure goods and raw materials
- Protect sensitive equipment
- Restrict access to “clean rooms”
Restrict access to backup servers
In designing a risk management framework (RMF) and accessibility hierarchy, your businesses will be able to identify an appropriate access control system. Typically, businesses delegate this task to a Risk Management Assessment Team. The purpose of this team is to assess and recommend the best design for an access control system.
Different areas of a business may require different types of access control. Access control systems may include a combination of the following components:
- Access cards
- Card readers
- Locking hardware
A good example of this would be a construction company. Keeping its heavy equipment under locking hardware would be the perfect solution to discourage theft and vandalism. However, unless the on-site construction trailer is storing smaller equipment, a simple key lock may be all that is necessary.
An example of a very simple controlled access system is utilized at storage facilities. A code or card is provided to the renter of a storage unit. Once inside, it is up to the individual renter to provide additional security to their property – the responsibility is on them to protect their assets.
An example of a business that requires a sophisticated access control cards would be a financial institution. More than likely, they would utilize every type of access control device throughout different areas of the operation. For example:
- Employees would be required to utilize keypads for access to the main premises
- When entering a vault, they would be required to swipe their access cards in a card reader to enter locking hardware
- Accessibility is further restricted to certain areas based on security clearance
- Elevators can be restricted to certain floors, also based on security clearance
- Designing the most effective access control system takes some planning. Too much security and the system can become cumbersome and people will get lax about using it. Too little security and you risk losses.
Purchase considerations for an access control cards have a large impact on the planning phase of your system. While each access control setup will reflect the security needs of your company, there are three major aspects common among all:
When planning an access control cards, make sure you take all other systems that may be compatible into account. For example, you may decide to incorporate control of your video surveillance, alarm systems, security doors, and even the elevators. By combining these into a single platform, you can cut costs on the number of staff required to monitor each system and make their responsiveness faster and more cost-effective overall.
Your security needs will change over time. Whether you need to add additional users, checkpoints, rooms, or entire buildings, the ideal system will offer a quick, straightforward option for building in new items, as well as eliminating those that are no longer applicable.
Requirements and codes:
All systems must adhere to guidelines enforced by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), detailed in NFPA 101: Life Safety Code. Have a representative from the NFPA review the system design for your access control system, as well as any local legislative bodies that oversee aspects of construction such as city planning or engineering departments.
Individual design elements you’ll want to consider include:
Door configuration: Do you need badges/ID readers, electronic locks, contact alarms, and/or ‘request to exit’?
Systems availability: Will you monitor and access the system through a localized, hardwired terminal or mobile, web-enabled devices?
Fail-safe or fail-secure: Does your facility require ‘safe’ locks that unlock all doors during a power outage or ‘secure’ locks that keep doors locked? Note: there are numerous instances where fail-safe locks are required by fire and life-safety codes . Check with your dealer for any additional questions on compliance.
Standalone access or networked control: Do you need to control a single door (with limited options) or an entire system that’s interconnected throughout your facility?
Software licensing: This may cover user access and ongoing service contracts for system software platform
As you can see, when it comes to choosing the type of access control cards that is most suitable for your organization, there are a number of factors involved. Some of those factors include the nature of your business, security procedures within the organization, and the number of users on the system.
Places of business with small or basic applications will probably find Discretionary access control cards to be less complicated and better utilized. If, however, you have highly confidential or sensitive information on your business platform, a Mandatory Access or Role-Based access control cards are two options you may want to consider.