types of access control systems

Access Control Methods

Types of Access Control Methods

Types of Access Control Methods

One of the biggest differentiators between access control systems is how authorized users unlock the door. The type of credentials supported by the access control system affects the capabilities and security of design and factors into the system’s cost. Not all access control types can help, every type of credential

Physical Keys

The most basic form of access control requires authorized individuals to carry a metal key for each door they need to unlock.

 

Pin codes

With access control systems keypad reader, users have to enter a unique PIN code to unlock the door.

 

Key cards

One of the most common types of commercial access control, critical card door lock systems, use signals or code embedded in a vital card to authenticate users. Depending on the system, key cards can include a magnetic strip for swipe access control systems or use an RFID activated chip for a proximity door lock system.

 

Key fobs

A more modern credential for proximity and RFID systems, key fobs are small and convenient to use. Depending on the certificate’s type of security and functionality, key fob access control prices can range significantly.

 

Mobile credentials

With this type of access control, a user’s smartphone is their key. Usually app-based, mobile credentials allow users to unlock the door by tapping a button inside an app and often support additional access control methods such as Apple Watch and tablet apps. Mobile access control systems that use Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cellular data also can support touchless and proximity-based unlocking.

 

Biometrics

Biometric credentials are often using in access control systems in high-security spaces. Technology including fingerprint readers, facial recognition, and iris scanning are typical examples of biometric access control. Biometrics can also use as a form of two-factor authentication. They require users to present a key card, fob, or mobile credential and complete a biometric scan to unlock the door.

Types-of-Access-Control-System

5 different types of access control

Manual access control

For manual access control, people are used to securing specific access points, such as doormen, stewards, or customer service agents. They identify people who want to enter the premises and decide based on predefined criteria whether or not they can – for example, a person presenting a ticket before entering a concert venue. This is often practiced at highly frequented access points such as cinemas, theatres, zoos, and theme parks where it is difficult to get information from people beforehand and identification isn’t required.

Mechanical access control

For mechanical access control scenarios, mechanical technology is used to secure an access point. A common example of this would be a cylinder lock with a suitable key – so this would be used typically in homes or garages.

Electronic access systems

For buildings with advanced security requirements, electronic access control can be used to secure access points. For these types of access, a card, chip or other fobs with the correct credentials must be presented to a reader in order for a person to pass through. This will also keep a record of who has passed through the area and when.

There are two types of Electronic access systems:

Standalone systems

These are used for single access points. The access decision is made on the basis of access permissions locally in the standalone component. These systems are not wired, which means the installation requirements are less than wired controls, saving time-on-site, and allowing for easy retrofitting of components. Using standalone access components vs wired online access control, for sites where access control would traditionally not be possible due to location or existing site infrastructure, a standalone component can be used to implement an access control solution more effectively. Standalone components can also be integrated into a larger access control system with a combination of both online and standalone components. In addition, it is easy to integrate offsite access points and provides the possibility of integration into bigger systems. Examples of standalone components include Digital Cylinders, Mechatronic (Electronic and Mechanical combination) Cylinders, and Electronic Door Locks.

Online systems

Used for larger sites with high access rates, these are wired and connected to the host system’s access control software. High-security levels can be achieved with these systems due to the real-time message exchange between the components and the software. In addition, there are interfaces to many other systems that can be incorporated, such as an alarm system, elevator control, etc.

Mechatronic access control

A combination of electronic and mechanical can also be used to offer further security. In this instance, the electronic system first checks the card/code/other media used, and only after passing this can a key be used on the mechanical lock to open the door. This sort of combination is typically used in offices with high-security requirements, private residential buildings, and server rooms.

Physical access systems

Physical access systems play an important role in access control and security – no matter how high quality a lock or access control system is, if the door or physical access system can be overpassed then it is of little importance. Thus, the physical access system must be viewed holistically and in line with safety requirements. Examples of physical access systems include:

  • Sensor barriers
  • Half-height turnstiles
  • Full-height turnstiles
  • Tripod turnstiles
  • Revolving doors
  • Security interlocks

Whether residential or commercial, access control systems are vital to protect premises from unauthorized persons. It is important to take a broad look at the security required and consult with a leading manufacturer of access control solutions to ensure the safety of a place, its occupants, and the items inside.