What is Web based access?

What is Web based access?

First, what is web-based access control? Web-based access systems connect all security devices via an internet connection and allow users to manage the system using a web-based interface. That eliminates the complex software installations on an onsite server necessary for a traditional, “client-based” access control system.

Moreover, implementing web-based access control solutions is significantly more straightforward because there is no need to install complex server equipment onsite.

That means that all web-based access control solutions share several immediate benefits compared with traditional client-based systems:

  • High initial costs for servers and related infrastructure spending are eliminated.
  • Installing web-based systems takes less time and is easier to scale to include further sites
  • Browser-based software is upgraded automatically by the vendor, so end users don’t need to worry about updates
  • Systems are less complex to maintain on the front end, so end users require less intensive systems training to manage web-based systems effectively

Type 1: For single or temporary sites

That is the most straightforward variation of a web-based access control solution and is most suited for single sites with few access control doors.

This type of solution makes electronic access control system accessible to small sites without incurring significant capital investment. Specific solutions on the market today offer support for up to 30 doors and 5000 user credentials.

One-off sporting and music event venues may also make effective temporary use of this kind of system.

Type 2: For more significant high-security sites

Even though this solution also uses the internet to connect the system, all system data is kept on a dedicated onsite server on one of the client’s sites.

This solution is ideal for larger organizations with strict security standards for data storage. It allows data from multiple sites to connect to a single server while allowing users to manage all data onsite.

Typical solutions on the market allow users to manage 1000 doors through their web browser and add up to 500 000 users per control panel.

Type 3: Data hosted on the "Cloud"

In the last type of web-based access control system, all data is hosted externally on dispersed data centers provided by the solution vendor. That eliminates geographical constraints on expanding companies’ security systems and provides users with comprehensive data redundancy measures.

This type of solution allows multiple users to share the same data management infrastructures in the same way as an electric power utility. That enables end-users to share costs and pay according to how much they use the vendor’s facilities, bringing considerable cost-saving opportunities.

Potential disadvantages

While web-based access control systems often represent a superior value-proposition to traditional systems, there are several potential disadvantages to bear in mind. First, all web-based solutions are too dependent on network stability. That means that systems in specific geographic locations may share the same vulnerabilities as the regional network infrastructure required to use. Data security is also a significant issue for web-based access control, even for users that manage security system data onsite. Therefore, users must take precautions to implement firewalls, VPNs, and other measures to protect their web-based systems.

Many internet-based access control solutions on the market today still need to expand their integration capabilities with other systems such as building management, fire security, and mapping systems before becoming a viable addition to a company’s facility management systems.

Lastly, many companies may find that strict global corporate security standards. It will limit their scope for deploying relatively new technologies like internet-based access control systems. Though this will no doubt change as the technology becomes more established and widely adopted.

So is internet-based access control the same as "cloud-based" security?

Many security professionals will no doubt be aware of another security technology buzzword: “cloud-based security” or “security as a service (SaaS).” In comparison, cloud-based security solutions are indeed all IP-based. It is important not to assume that internet-based access control solutions are all cloud based access control. Some solutions sell internet-based hardware, including dedicated server devices specific to the individual client. On the other hand, accurate cloud-based access control security solutions make their data management infrastructures available as continuous service. Host their data on an indeterminate number of servers shared by multiple users. We will explore the range of cloud-based security services currently available in a future article.

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