Access Control is a core element of any business or organisation’s security system, but technological advances mean it has come a long way from the simple keypad or fob system designed to keep out intruders and limit access to certain areas. Here we take a look at some of the extensive features and benefits that leading edge Access Control systems can provide your business.
Monitoring and restricting access
Contemporary Access Control systems allow businesses and organisations to use a range of technology for access and monitoring, including: smart cards, proximity cards and biometric devices. The technology used here can store vital information about personnel and can be used to grant or deny access, on an individual basis, to any part of the building. This can provide many benefits, such as with health and safety compliance where it can prevent unauthorised access to where hazardous materials are stored.
When Access Control technology is integrated with CCTV the result is a unified and inclusive security infrastructure which can offer exceptional protection for environments such as airports and government buildings which require high security. CCTV systems now utilise sophisticated software that can: detect and identify suspicious behaviour, follow and zoom in on individuals, raise alarms and immediately notify key personnel. Once a threat is detected, Access Control systems, such as those manufactured by CEM Systems, can change access rights instantly, allowing everyone in the building safe and speedy access to muster areas or, if necessary, putting parts of the building in lockdown. In cases of a terrorist threat or emergency evacuation this can help save lives, locate missing individuals and reduce the risks to emergency and security services.
Importantly, Access Control software not only keeps track of your staff but also of visitors. Visitors can be given predefined access levels and they can be traced as they pass through your premises so you can control where they go.
Besides people, it’s important to look after your assets. It’s now possible, using RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) to track where your assets are whilst they’re on your premises. Using Access Control, you can be quickly informed if an asset is taken out of a designated area, allowing you to use cameras and other resources to help you locate it.
As Access Control systems can store information about personnel, it enables organisations to use these systems as management tools as well as for security. By recording when individuals enter and leave the building, these systems can keep accurate records of staff working hours. This can then be integrated with the payroll system. Time and attendance reports can also be produced for HR monitoring. This is an ideal solution for companies that permit flexible working hours and for those that pay workers by the hour, helping to ensure employees are paid accurately and that they meet their contractual obligations. It can also significantly reduce the problems caused when employees sign each other in and out using less advanced recording methods.
All kinds of information can be collected and used by Access Control systems, giving managers the ability to organise: room booking, by allowing specific cardholders to reserve rooms; car parking, by allocating staff specified car park access points; and even managing catering facilities by designating access at different times to ensure that overcrowding doesn’t take place. In busy places, real-time occupancy monitoring can ensure that capacity limits are not breached.
Reduced financial burden
One of the most important features of modern Access Control systems is their ability to reduce security costs. Limiting access means that there is much less need to hire or employ expensive security personnel and in places where security personnel are important, it’s possible to reduce the number of guard tours. This is especially the case when Access Control and CCTV are integrated. Access points can be alarmed and, if an alarm is triggered, CCTV can quickly identify if it’s a problem that requires human intervention. Security staff can then be used much more efficiently.
Another important feature is that Access Control systems can be operated remotely and control multiple sites. This means large businesses with more than one premises can control access through a centralised hub, reducing the need for an operator on every site and thus making your security management more efficient and less expensive.
Easy to use
Leading edge systems have a host of features to ensure that monitoring security and responding to problems can be managed easily, quickly and effectively. CEM’s systems, for example, support sophisticated integration to manage Access Control, CCTV, intrusion and perimeter detection all from one place, helping to co-ordinate all your security more effectively and efficiently.
Many systems provide operators with user friendly dashboards that allow easy control and produce detailed, customised, real-time and scheduled reports. These cover: system diagnostics, card information, usage statistics, occupancy data, alarm records and more. The detailed reports can help you to manage your security more efficiently and can highlight issues before they become problems, ensuring the integrity of your security is maintained.