Customers like to ask me what an ideal access control solution should look like. Well… that’s difficult to answer. Challenge accepted! I have seen some very successful access control systems, but also quite a few that failed to achieve physical security and operational goals. There are many factors that contribute to the success of an access control system.
Here’s my experience on how to structure an access control solution and which features to look for to make your physical security efforts more effective:
- Remotely manage and administer the solution via web-browser or mobile application, issue or revoke access rights for the mobile credential from anywhere, with any device.
- Integrates with other tools like human resources, membership and facility management software via API
- 3rd party hardware compatible so that you can choose the right products that better fits your business needs, like cameras, door hardware, readers and routers
- Unlimited scalability as your company grows, and the needs of the business evolve, you need to be able to quickly adapt alongside your facilities. if you need to add new locations you are not limited to a number of users, doors or locations
- User defined alerts delivered via text message and email for critical events, so you get notifications on unusual and suspicious activities
- Generate reports so you can make decisions based on data and prepare for security audits
- Cloud storage for access and video events so that your data is never compromised and always available
- Automatic firmware and software updates so that you don’t require dedicated IT staff to manage it
- Cyber secure so that hackers can’t use your access control system as a proxy to get into your network
These criteria are great for discovering and deploying a great access control solution that will meet your requirements. However, there are a few additional things that I would like to mention. Access control solutions should not disrupt your current security processes. They should accompany and enhance them. A great access control solution helps you deploy and manage simple yet consistent processes. When you’re looking for an access control solution, ask yourself, is it intuitive? How much additional work will I have to do once it is deployed? How does it save me man-hours? Make sure to have a strong leadership team supporting your efforts. Have we clearly defined the purpose and intended goal of our physical security practices? How do we want our access control solution to help us achieve them?
In closing, the ideal access control solution should consist of a strong feature set that is critical to your company’s success. Don’t get sidetracked by access control products that have 100s of features. Most will not be useful to you or applicable to your physical security goals. Ultimately, each feature should help keep your employees, customers and facilities safe. For our take, download the Ideal Access Control Infographic for a quick look at the considerations.