The best card access control system encompasses much more than just electronic door locks and security badges. An enterprise should be able to rely on their access control system for foot traffic control, records management and staff information maintenance, as well as security. An expertly designed and installed system will combine innovative devices with supportive software to create a comprehensive turnkey solution.
Common Enterprise Issues in Access Control
The best card access control systems should be able to provide a detailed entry and exit history, up-to-the-minute data monitoring and proactive security maintenance. In other words, it will address the past, present and future simultaneously. A system can only do this effectively when adequately installed and maintained.
Getting a card access control system properly installed should take into account the following elements:
- Expert installation. The process of installing both hardware and software leaves much room for error, and so should only be done by an expert in the field. Ideally, this will be a certified and qualified engineer with years of experience. Layman installation frequently leads to system errors as card access control systems are complex. Even something as simple as out-of-sequence installation could require an entire system reboot.
- Automated monitoring. A secure system should do two things when unauthorized personnel attempt access: prevent access and report the attempt. Alerts should also come from invalid reads and/or attempted forced access. Enterprises that rely on non-automated monitoring may focus on only proper access without checking for accurate reporting. Automated monitoring ensures all the information is always immediately available.
- Proper hardware match. Enterprises should consider their location’s physical structure when selecting hardware. They should also consider how use will impact the equipment over time. Light door frames may bow under the weight of heavy equipment. Locks not designed for high volume can wear quickly from excessive use. Poor hardware matches shorten the lifespan of an access control system. Proper component installation will make sure an enterprise gets its money’s worth.
- Electronic database management. Databases can become bloated because administrators rely on manual add/drop protocols. High volume enterprises may not have time to immediately add or remove people from the system that no longer need access. For example, a healthcare facility might have 5,000 individuals with access, but only 1,500 current employees. A database that out-of-date creates a considerable breach potential. Busy professionals may not have time to manage these databases every day due to all their other tasks, and many don’t even consider it a part of their job. This reactive management adds up, so a card access control system that electronically purges old information and inputs new data is a big time saver and a better security option.
Working with an experienced security integrator is vital to eliminate the risk of errors in software or device installation. The quality of the card access control system will depend on the quality of the individual who installs it. Effective security providers will offer up-to-date and scalable solutions in electronic security. A certified, qualified integrator can design industry-specific solutions that will be reliable, cost-effective and easy to manage.