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How Access Control Systems Work?

Access Control Systems enable an individual or group to control access to certain areas within a facility or computer information system. In physical security there are several components related to this type of system that I will be covering in this article.

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Control Points

Access control points can be a door, turnstile, elevator, parking gate, or any other barrier where access can be granted or denied. Most access points are doors and these points can be controlled by electric locks. Rather than requiring a human operator to control the locks, an electronic reader is used to determine the level of accessability that is to be granted to incoming traffic.

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Types of Readers

There are many different kinds of readers that are used to control entry points. Readers can use biometrics to scan finger or hand prints, they can be keypads that require a key code, and they can also be used to read keycards. Advances in network technology over the past decade have led to the increased use of IP readers. These readers are often PoE enabled which allow them to be easily integrated with battery backups. This means that in the event of a power failure, the control system will still operate properly. Control readers do not usually make the decision, but instead pass the information along to a control panel that verifies the proper access level.

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Cost and Benefit

Access control systems are extremely affordable these days and can easily be installed into any size facility. In addition to affordability, the benefits of having a control system far out-weight the cost incurred.

Top 3 benefits of using Access Control Systems:

  1. Authorization – granting only authorized users entry to doors or systems
  2. Accountability – logs and records that can account for an individual’s actions
  3. Identification – verifying an individual’s identify and level of accessability

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Almost every device that we know of makes use of controls, the difference being the type of control and the desired outcome. A simple task such as turning on the fan in your room also makes use of some form of control system. It is a device or a set of devices that are used to manage, command, direct or regulate the behavior of another device or systems. From simple switches that turn on the lights in your rooms to complex systems that operate heavy machinery in industrial works, all make use of controls.

Control systems can be divided into manual control or automatic control depending on if a human body (an operator) is physically involved in it. A good example of a manual system can be the shower heater. You can turn on the heater and adjust the temperature of the water by turning a knob. If the water is too cold or too hot, the knob can be adjusted accordingly. This shows how a human body manipulates a system, therefore a shower heater being classified as a manual control system.

Automatic systems, depending on their application can make use of sensors and controllers to replace the operator for accurate results. They also have software installed inside them to work as the 'brain' of the system to make decisions.

There are many different types of controls and control systems besides manual and automatic systems which are used for various applications ranging from household items to industrial manufacturing. These systems help to gain control over a system and get desired results.

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Access Control Systems enable an individual or group to control access to certain areas within a facility or computer information system. In physical security there are several components related to this type of system that I will be covering in this article.

Control Points

Access control points can be a door, turnstile, elevator, parking gate, or any other barrier where access can be granted or denied. Most access points are doors and these points can be controlled by electric locks. Rather than requiring a human operator to control the locks, an electronic reader is used to determine the level of accessability that is to be granted to incoming traffic.

Types of Readers

There are many different kinds of readers that are used to control entry points. Readers can use biometrics to scan finger or hand prints, they can be keypads that require a key code, and they can also be used to read keycards. Advances in network technology over the past decade have led to the increased use of IP readers. These readers are often PoE enabled which allow them to be easily integrated with battery backups. This means that in the event of a power failure, the control system will still operate properly. Control readers do not usually make the decision, but instead pass the information along to a control panel that verifies the proper access level.

Cost and Benefit

Access control systems are extremely affordable these days and can easily be installed into any size facility. In addition to affordability, the benefits of having a control system far out-weight the cost incurred.

Top 3 benefits of using Access Control Systems:

  1. Authorization - granting only authorized users entry to doors or systems
  2. Accountability - logs and records that can account for an individual's actions
  3. Identification - verifying an individual's identify and level of accessability
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