If you own or manage a business premises, you will know the importance of monitoring who is on site at all times. This may even be a legal requirement in some sectors, and is strongly advisable to keep your employees and visitors safe at all times. It also helps to protect your assets by deterring intruders and other unauthorised access.
There is now a huge choice on offer when it comes to access control methods, and it can be difficult to know which one would be most suitable for you. Here’s an overview of the main options and how to assess your security needs.
If you have a very extensive premises that is in need of a total access control rethink, it may be best to employ a professional security company who will carry out a survey and full risk assessment, and make expert recommendations.
Otherwise, survey the premises yourself, making a note of all the access portals that will require monitoring. This includes perimeter gates and turnstiles, and all external and relevant internal doors. Take into account if each area contains sensitive data, or high-value stock or assets that you will want to protect.
Next, consider how many people enter and exit the premises on a daily basis, including staff, visitors, service and delivery people, and so on. How many entrances and exits need to be monitored, and do they all need the same level of security? Finally take into account what existing security measures are in place, and what budget you have to invest in upgrades.
- Types of access control
Access control technology is developing all the time, and with the rapid advancement of artificial intelligence (AI), it is surely only a matter of time before new methods are available. For now, biometric access systems such as biometric face readers are considered to be one of the most safe and accurate products.
They work by making use of our unique biological traits, such as iris scans, fingerprints, or facial features. That means they are very difficult to trick and are therefore ideal for areas where unauthorised access is strictly prohibited, or staff will be handing high value goods or working with sensitive data.
For more general access control where you want to keep a tally of who is entering or exiting the premises, then a more simple fob or card access system may be more appropriate. However, there is always the possibility that cards or fobs can be lost, damaged, or stolen and misused.
For larger premises, a networked access control system that allows you to monitor each interaction on a centralised computer programme is ideal. This will provide useful data such as the exact location and time individuals entered and left, which portal they used, and traffic volumes at different times of the day.