Id-Me platform is a software product that includes the features of industry solutions for creating a united biometric landscape
Specially designed biometric identification plugin for CCTV, access control and VideoXpert automation systems created by Pelco
Software product that provides reliable staff monitoring hours through biometric identification
Software product that provides biometric access to banking operations conducted through ATMs
Software product biometric facial identification for security purposes with using video stream
Software product for enriching the biometric capabilities of access control systems
Software product that provides an increased level of targeting by employing biometric identification
Software product that uses biometric identification to display personalized welcome messages on interactive screens and monitors
Software product developed to expand functions of the traditional credit conveyor, and increase the quality of clients’ inspection through biometric verification
Reliable and trustworthy biometric control access to operating and information systems
Software product, which expands the toolset of the electronic queue terminal through biometric identification
Software product that provides a reliable and quick check of the gym clients access right without employee’s participation
A new level of work with visitors and employees of Business centers opened with the help of biometric products.
Biometrics for convenient service to citizens, including remote monitoring of the quality of personnel work.
Biometric monitoring of working hours and additional security tools for industrial facilities.
Modern methods of biometric analytics for safe operation of sports facilities.
Convenient and secure transport solutions based on the digital identity of the passenger.
Biometric solutions for a new level of security and interaction with visitors.
Biometric video Analytics for targeted marketing and personnel control in distributed networks.
Biometric products for proctoring and video surveillance systems in educational institutions.
Keyless biometric access to rooms, targeted approach to each client and information about the time of work for employees.
Necessary tool for the security and competitiveness of a modern Bank.
Improving the level of security, speed of investigations and timely prevention of illegal acts in the urban public space.
Customer-oriented solutions, acceleration of the work process of the registry area, control of the staff of the entire institution.
RecFaces is a developer of enterprise-level multimodal biometric identification application solutions customized to the specific, current, and future needs of various industries.
We are ready for cooperation and sales through the partner network. To get advice on your project, please contact us by e-mail sales@recfaces.com
RecFaces provides regular trainings for partners. There are more than 10 software products, for each product we provide online training courses. Training is free.
We are always happy to answer all your questions. Contact us in any way convenient for you.

Access Control: Increased Data Security Today

Access Control: Increased Data Security Today

Security is an important priority for organizations of all sizes and industries. If you work with pricey equipment or confidential data, safeguarding your company’s assets is crucial for success. Whether your employee roster has 10 people or 10,000 people on it, an access control system can facilitate their needs – and deny access to people who aren’t on the list.

Access control systems can save you money, making access easier for your employees, and secure your workplace. Whether you are an administrator or a business owner, read our guide to answer any questions you might have about access systems.

Table of Contents

What Is Access Control? Definition & Meaning
What Is Physical Access Control?
What Is Logical Access Control?
Why Use an Access Control System?
What Are the Components of Access Control?
How Access Control Works
Modern Access Control Systems Components & Parts
The Methodology of Access Systems
Why Is Access Control Important?
Clear Benefits of Access Control Systems
Types of Access Control
Why Access Control Is Still a Challenge
Applications for Access Control
Commercial Real Estate
Multi-Store Retail
Enterprise Businesses
Multi-Tenant Housing
Education
Religious Institutions
Healthcare
Government
Sporting and Entertainment Event Venues
Data Centers
Oil and Gas
Hospitality
Transportation
Airports
Banking
Warehousing
Casinos
How to Choose an Access Control System
Summary
Access Control System FAQ
What are the 5 types of access control?
What is the main purpose of access control?
Why is access control needed?
What is an automated access control system?
What are access control devices?
What is biometric access control?

What Is Access Control? Definition & Meaning

Access control is a method of security that can regulate who views or uses resources – thus, minimizing the potential risk of a business. There are two primary types of systems: logical and physical.

Physical access control systems limit people’s access to buildings, rooms, campuses, and other real areas. On the other hand, logical access control systems limit connections to system files, data, and computer networks.

Many organizations use e-systems that give or restrict access, dependent on whether the user has proper credentials. Some of these systems have card readers, auditing functions, access control panels to restrict entry, and even lockdown and alarm capabilities.
Access control systems authorize and authenticate users by evaluating credentials such as passwords, PINs, security tokens, and biometric scans – among others. Often, systems incorporate multi-factor authentication (MFA), which needs 2+ authentication factors.
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What Is Physical Access Control?

Physical access control uses a set of policies to control who can enter a physical area. Some real-world kinds of physical access control include:

  • Subway turnstiles
  • Club bouncers
  • Badge/card scanners
  • Customs agents

In all of the examples mentioned above, a device or a person is using policies to determine who gains access to a restricted physical area.

What Is Logical Access Control?

Logical (or informational) access control tools are used to restrict access to data and software. Some examples are:

  • Using a password to sign into a laptop
  • Unlocking your phone with a thumbprint scan or a selfie
  • Accessing an employer’s internal network remotely via VPN

In those cases, the software is used to grant access to users who need certain digital information. Authorization and authentication are important parts of logical access control.

Why Use an Access Control System?

Mechanical keys are the most rudimentary physical access control method – and many smaller companies use them. However, mechanical keys have limitations, especially as an organization grows. Here are the disadvantages that come with using keys instead of an access control system.

  1. You can lose keys. If an employee loses a key, you’ll need to replace the lock so that the lost key won’t be used by somebody who should haven’t access to the restricted location. After that, you will have to give new keys to anybody who does need access.
  2. No audit trails. There is no way for you to keep track of who has used a key to enter an area, or at what time.
  3. Difficult to manage. If somebody needs to gain access to lots of different rooms and buildings, they will need several keys – at a certain point, this can be very inconvenient.

What Are the Components of Access Control?

Any physical or logical access control system has five main parts:

  1. Authentication. This is the act of proving the identifying of the user. This might involve verifying the authenticity of a website’s digital certificate, validating a form of ID, or comparing login credentials to stored data.
  2. Authorization. This specifies whether a staff member has access to certain resources.
  3. Access. After a person is authenticated and authorized, they are allowed to access the resource.
  4. Manage. The system can add or remove the authorization and authentication of systems or users. There are some systems that streamline the management process by syncing with Azure Active Directory or G Suite.
  5. Audit. This is used to enforce the “least privilege” principle – essentially, audits minimize the risk of users having access to resources that they no longer need.

How Access Control Works

A company may use an electronic system that uses access card readers, user credentials, auditing, and reporting, or an intercom. Or, it may use biometrics to authenticate a person’s identity and compare that to its integrated set of access policies.

Another solution may use MFA, where a user needs to be something (biometrics), know something (a password), and have something (a 2FA SMS authentication code).

Generally, access control solutions work by identifying a user, verifying that they are who they say they are, authorizing that they actually have access to the resource or location, and then associating their actions with their username or IP address for auditing purposes.

Modern Access Control Systems Components & Parts

Access control management systems increase their convenience and reliability by combining various technologies. Here are some components they may have:

  • Reader: To read a fob or keycard, the door needs to have a reader. There are several kinds – for instance, wireless, standalone, and IP readers.
  • Electric Locks: Typically, access control systems use magnetic locks, electric strikes, or wired mortise locks. There can also be an electrified push bar, which comes in handy if there is a fire.
  • Door Sensors: Contact sensors and motion sensors will be able to understand the door’s status – is it open? Closed? Has there been motion nearby?
  • Video Surveillance: Some smaller businesses may use wired DVR systems, while modern businesses may have IP cameras connected to an NVR.
  • Video Intercoms: You may have a single- or multi-unit intercom; this depends on whether you need to call a single party or multiple ones. Intercoms may also have audio, video, dial-in, or touch screen configuration.
  • PIN Pad: These are used for convenient access – however, this comes with the drawback of PINs being shared among users. Sometimes the pad is located on the lock or installed as a standalone pad.
  • Access Control Panel: A standard panel is the center of controls that connects all doors to the Internet. It will trigger the dogs to unlock under “correct” scenarios.
  • Push to Exit Button: This button ensures that anybody can leave the area if there is an emergency.
  • Power Supplies: A good supply is of great importance; if the power were to fail, the door could unexpectedly unlock.

The Methodology of Access Systems

Access control systems must communicate with external security devices – and there are common methods of doing so. Systems can facilitate a connection between the server and the reader using smartphone-based, cloud-based, or IoT (Internet of Things) based methods.

  • Cloud-Based: These systems store logs, data, credentials, and more info on a remote server through cloud-based software. The main advantage of cloud-based communication is that you can access the account from any location, as long as you have a secure Internet connection. This makes it possible for companies to easily coordinate systems from more than one office.
  • Smartphone-Based: Users are connected to the system via a smartphone app. An administrator can use the app to remotely access the system, view stored data, and make changes. Users who need access to an area can also use the app, which will verify the user’s credentials at the reader’s site. All you have to do is log in to the app, hold the device next to the reader, and then automatically gain access to the restricted area.
  • IoT-Based: These systems use a dedicated server to connect the reader to the control panel. Users can gain access via internet-based protocols.

Why Is Access Control Important?

Access control is important because it reduces the risk of unauthorized access to computer systems and physical areas – thus, it is the foundation of data, network, and information security. Access control is a compliance requirement for some organizations. Some regulatory requirements include:

  • PCI DSS: The 9th requirement under this regulation requires organizations to control physical access that visitors, media, and onsite personnel have to the buildings. Furthermore, organizations under these requirements must use decent logical access controls to reduce the cybersecurity risk of sensitive data being stolen.
  • HIPPA: Covered entities (plus relevant business associates) must prohibit unauthorized access to protected health info – and this must be done via electronic and physical access control.
  • SOC 2: Third-party vendors and service providers must protect customer and employee privacy by preventing data breaches via encryption.
  • ISO 27001: This is an information security standard that mandates management to audit all of their organization’s vulnerabilities and cyber threats. There are comprehensive transfer and risk mitigation protocols.

Clear Benefits of Access Control Systems

Various features of access control systems can effectively mitigate many security risks. Some easily addressed risks include:

  • Tailgating. This happens when an authorized person gives access to somebody who isn’t authorized. Security cameras and multi-factor authorization, as well as employee training, can mitigate this risk.
  • Door Ajar. Thieves can use a strong magnet to trick a system into believing it is still secure. They can also cut the system’s power, which will manipulate the magnetic lock and leave it unsecured. You can mitigate this risk by using battery-powered back-ups for magnetic locks.
  • Natural Disaster and Power Failures. By choosing electronic strike locks, you can avoid lock failure during a power outage.
  • Computer Equipment Failure or Cyber-Attacks. By maintaining updated software, frequently backing up files, and programming readers to operate separately from the main controller, you can allow secure access even if the system is compromised.
  • Access Card Failures. Some systems can encrypt a transmission between the reader and the access control panel, and they can automatically change credential codes for lost cards and terminated employees.
  • Sequential Authorization Codes. This is a simple fix: just issue codes in a randomized order so nobody can “count up” and get a new, valid access code.

Types of Access Control

Type of Access Control Definition
Mandatory Access rights are controlled by a central authority, and it uses multiple security levels. These are often used in military and government environments. Classifications are assigned to certain system resources.
Discretionary The owners of the system can set access policies. Administrators are able to limit the sharing of access rights.
Role-Based Groups are assigned access, rather than individuals (for instance, employees who are classified as engineer level 1).
Rule-Based Conditions, such as the location or the time of day, are set. Often, this is used in combination with role-based access control.
Attribute-Based Access rights are managed through the evaluation of policies, rules, and relationships using user attributes and environmental/system conditions.

Why Access Control Is Still a Challenge

There are still challenges associated with access control – these are mainly due to modern IT’s highly-distributed nature. It can be tricky to keep track of moving and evolving assets when they are spread out. One example includes password fatigue – this is when a user struggles to remember a large number of passwords that are part of their daily routine. This is why access systems that are passwordless are growing in popularity.

Applications for Access Control

Access control systems are an essential commodity for virtually every industry. Here are some of the most commonly found applications of access control systems.

Commercial Real Estate

As offices continue to offer more flexible working routines, businesses need to incorporate fast and reliable access control in their commercial building security systems. They also need to be able to connect to apps like Slack.

Multi-Store Retail

You can reduce shrinkage by utilizing a system that helps staff enter and exit the building, while also storing and reporting that information. Good retail access control should let employees be automatically added or removed from the directory, due to retail’s high turnover rate.

Enterprise Businesses

Cloud-based access control can offer enterprises the flexibility, scalability, and scalability that’s necessary to protect several locations simultaneously.

Multi-Tenant Housing

You’ll no longer need door buzzers or doormen – with a mobile access system, tenants can easily access common spaces. Plus, they can gain the ability to give temporary mobile passes to dog walkers, delivery services, and other visitors.

Education

Protecting students and professors should be a top priority in any educational setting. With mobile credentials, schools can be both welcoming and safe. What’s more, an access control system can help with fulfilling attendance quotas.

Religious Institutions

Churches and other religious organizations often experience burglary, violence, and vandalism. However, too much protection can diminish these institutions’ welcoming feel. Access control systems can allow lockdown capabilities without being overwhelming to visitors. Furthermore, these systems can grant access to volunteers, parents, and other temporary visitors.

Healthcare

Access control solutions can integrate shift changes and department access. They can also ensure that substances, medical records, and narcotics are only made available to authorized individuals.

Government

Ever since President Bush’s Homeland Security directive of 2004, all government access control systems are required to include Personal Identification Verification credentials. Rigorous security standards ensure that risks are mitigated, including unauthorized access and crisis management.

Sporting and Entertainment Event Venues

Stadiums can contain tens of thousands of spectators, which makes them a prime target for acts of violence. Access control systems can help security teams create a policy that doesn’t sacrifice the safety of fans. What’s more, media, vendors, and athletes can all gain access to different rooms – each one having its own security requirements.

Data Centers

IT positions are increasingly becoming more remote and flexible – thus, their departments require versatile, remote access control solutions. Such systems can ensure that only IT staff gain access to the server room.

Oil and Gas

A breached refinery could spark a global crisis – thus, sites need to be constantly monitored. Video surveillance is already in place at most sites, but access control will reduce how many operators are needed on-site. Readers could also check license plates and grant access to restricted areas.

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Hospitality

Hotels need to keep up with HomeAway and Airbnb – thus, they are adding concerts, full bars, stores, and other amenities to retain customers. However, these all come with security concerns. Access control can help the hotel assign access privileges to vendors necessary for each amenity.

Transportation

There are security challenges associated with bus and train stations, due to the influx of people and ever-changing traffic patterns. IoT systems can improve the safety of station employees without requiring a manual key or a badge. Plus, it can help with time and attendance tracking.

Airports

While TSA secures terminals, thus preventing criminal activity on a plane, there are still plenty of airport vulnerabilities. For instance, vehicle drop-off and pick-up locations are often unsecure. Access control systems can guarantee that those vehicles don’t enter restricted areas.

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Banking

Physical banks are cutting down on personnel since many consumers are choosing to use mobile apps or online banks instead. However, this makes it more difficult to secure back offices, storage rooms, and other restricted areas. IoT systems can lock these areas without a physical guard.

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Warehousing

Modern warehouses are more automated than ever – however, security has not yet caught up. Keypads and traditional locks are still prevalent, but lost keys can eat up a lot of money. Control systems can make sure that warehouse safety remains secure at all times.

Casinos

Physical security solutions are typically used to protect cash and chips in a casino. Some facilities even store hundreds of keys – this is not efficient by any means. Mobile access control could manage a casino’s assets much better.

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How to Choose an Access Control System

When you are ready to plan your model and its configurations, you must consider all factors that could eventually impact the functionality of the system. Here is a checklist that can help you pick a system that best fits the needs of your organization:

  • Standalone or network
  • Number of access points
  • Number of doors
  • Hosting
  • How permissions are managed
  • External exits
  • Installation procedure
  • In-house or third-party monitoring
  • Additional features (like alarms, face recognition, anti-passback, etc.)

Summary

The need for excellent security has never been greater. Physical and virtual threats are ever-evolving, thus demanding advanced technology, in-depth analytics, and stringent safety measures. Keys and simple passwords no longer cut it. The right access control system can help you secure physical and informational assets, cut personnel costs, and keep your staff and employees safe.

Whether you have a small company or a global enterprise, a reliable and reputable access control system can help you meet security challenges head-on.
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Access Control System FAQ

What are the 5 types of access control?

The 5 main types are mandatory, discretionary, role-based, rule-based, and attribute-based.

What is the main purpose of access control?

Its main purpose is to give and restrict access to restricted areas based on a set of authorization rules.

Why is access control needed?

Access control is needed to replace outdated, inconvenient methods of security – such as manual keys or shareable passwords.

What is an automated access control system?

These systems control access to an area 24/7 and provide a robust level of security. Tokens, readers, and biometrics can be integrated into AACS.

What are access control devices?

Access control devices are what users interact with to gain access to an area. Some examples include keypads, card readers, and biometric scanners.

What is biometric access control?

Biometric access control uses physical and behavioral characteristics to identify and authorize a user.