09/01/2009

Access Control: A Complete System

Having a complete access-control system that combines several tactics ensures the security of your building

By Frank Santamorena

 

Access control is perhaps the most critical aspect of a building’s physical security. But, traditional access-control systems – whether they’re as basic as a turnstile or as sophisticated as a biometric reader – have faults. That’s why the best access-control system combines the reader/access point with an advanced digital surveillance system. New technology that offers ultra-high-quality video – accessible anywhere (at any time) through a WiFi connection, secured by audit trails, and archived digitally – adds another dimension of protection, and ensures the most secure facility possible.

It’s a common misconception that access control comprises little more than some sort of entry mechanism, such as a keycard and card reader. Unfortunately, this misconception is perpetuated by the fact that few security firms have the ability to implement and maintain a complete system. You’ll often find, for example, that such companies offer only surveillance technology, or only uniformed personnel. But, a few high-end security firms have come around in the past few years to offer a full range of services, including everything necessary for a complete access-control system. Firms that present a combination of sophisticated technology with highly trained and experienced personnel are key. Such companies can develop a complete and customized access-control system that includes a convergence of several elements. In fact, the ideal system comes into play before the visitor even arrives at the building.

A Checklist for Your Access-Control System

Access control is the integral component of any security management system, and it involves proper integration of these systems:

  • Revolving doors.
  • Turnstiles.
  • Visitor management system with kiosk.
  • Security desk.
  • Card access control.
  • Video surveillance system (CCTV).
  • Intercoms.
  • Building automation.
  • Lighting.
  • Elevator destination dispatch.
Ideally, access control begins approximately 24 hours prior to a visitor’s arrival at your building, when your security provider transmits a PIN to your visitor via e-mail. The visitor arrives at your building and enters through a revolving door. Once in the lobby, the visitor proceeds to an electronic kiosk, separate from the security desk and personnel.

At the kiosk, the visitor enters the predefined PIN, which has the ability to grant the visitor access to a designated floor of your building during a specific window of time. The visitor scans a photo ID; a high-res camera, integrated into the kiosk, takes a photo of the visitor. This information is entered into an electronic database, which keeps a secure record of who’s coming in and at what time. The two-ID system allows your security provider to verify the visitor’s identity at any time. At this point, the kiosk creates an access card with a barcode or smart-card technology, which contains appropriate access information and the visitor’s photo and identifying information.

Having received the access card, the visitor proceeds to a turnstile, where he or she presents the access card to a reader. This reader is able to grant access to the elevator area and determine which elevator the visitor should enter. An elevator destination dispatch system can also program the designated elevator to transport the visitor to the predetermined floor.

Finally, upon the elevator’s arrival at the designated floor, additional high-res cameras can monitor exiting passengers to ensure that the visitor arrived at the appropriate location. These and all cameras in the surveillance system are connected to a hybrid video recorder (HVR), which allows you to access archived footage at any time, from any location, with a WiFi connection.

Of course, every company has dif­­ferent security needs. But, while specific needs may vary, one thing is constant: access control requires a convergence of tactics. If the ideal access-control system exceeds your needs, remember that, if nothing else, a secure entry mechanism – combined with a high-quality surveillance system – is a safe bet.

Frank Santamorena is principal at New York City-based Security Experts, Consulting & Design LLC.

 


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Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.

 

Add highly responsive multi-zone comfort to any building project, in any climate. Our CITY MULTI H2i R2- and Y-Series VRF systems give you flexibility to fit the needs of any building. Enjoy 100% heating capacity at 0°F outdoor ambient, and 85% heating capacity at -13°F outdoor ambient.  For more information, log on to www.mitsubishipro.com


Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With thousands of satisfied customers already using award winning ec-H2O technology, why not see what you're missing? Test ec-H2O on your soils in your facility. Get a free demo.


Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With thousands of satisfied customers already using award winning ec-H2O technology, why not see what you're missing? Test ec-H2O on your soils in your facility. Get a free demo.

 

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