Access Control Systems: Your Solution to Comprehensive Building Security
Sound building access control systems are crucial for safeguarding buildings. We learn about how they reinforce a building’s security framework and improve overall building management.
Building security has been of utmost importance and with digital evolution it has brought forward new challenges. Access control, however, continues to remain the basic element of building security.
Today, access control transcends the traditional boundaries, extending to controlling access to devices, equipment, as well as digital entities such as computer files, apart from regulating access to building premises and its various sections. It is here that the role of access control systems become evident.
Access control systems offer a level of security that reduces risk by assisting in maintaining the security of facilities, data, and people. Working hand in hand with IT security, it ensures that none of your building’s components along with users of the buildings are exposed to security threats – physical as well as digital. As a result, they play an important role in managing cybersecurity risks in FM.
It is with building access control systems that facility managers and building owners can safeguard their assets and property, even remotely. Thanks to useful functionalities like real-time warnings, video surveillance, and remote security access that access control systems provide, which has made integrating security with buildings easy. These systems, thus, enable a 360-degree transformation by:
One of the key benefits of building access systems is the ability to restrict access to specific areas or rooms within a building. This ensures that only authorized personnel can enter those areas, reducing the risk of unauthorized access, theft, or other criminal activities, thereby protecting sensitive information and valuable assets. For instance, access control systems to restrict access to a facility’s data center that stores sensitive information.
Access control systems can be programmed to grant access to authorized personnel at specific times, days or frequency. By doing so, access can be limited to only the required areas during the required times. Facility managers can program the access control system to grant access to their employees only during business hours or can program the access control system to allow the cleaning staff entry only at the end of their shift.
Building access systems allow you to keep a watch on who is entering and exiting a building. Facility managers can use the information to identify suspicious activity, such as attempts to gain access outside of business hours or during times when an employee should not be on the premises. By monitoring access activity, you can detect and prevent potential security threats.
Most importantly, commercial or residential access control systems can be integrated with video surveillance systems to provide a complete picture of what is happening at the building. The video footage can be accessed and reviewed in real-time or retrospectively in the event of an incident.
Undoubtedly, access control systems enhance the safety of a building by limiting access to areas that pose a risk to occupants. For instance, facility managers can use access control systems to restrict access by staff members to guest rooms. Similarly, a hospital may use access control systems to limit access to areas containing hazardous materials or sensitive medical equipment.
Access control systems enable quick and easy evacuation in case of an emergency. When the fire alarm rings, the access control system can automatically unlock all doors to facilitate evacuation. This is especially important in large buildings where manually unlocking doors can take time and delay evacuation.
Another important benefit of building access systems is that it provides centralized control that offers the ability to enforce consistent access policies across an organization. This means that access permissions can be set and adjusted based on a user’s role, responsibilities, and level of trust within the organization.
Centralized control also provides real-time monitoring and reporting capabilities, allowing organizations to track who has accessed specific resources. This information can be used to identify potential security breaches or suspicious activity, enabling organizations to respond quickly and prevent further damage.
Finally, centralized control allows for scalability and flexibility. As organizations grow and their access control needs change, centralized control makes it easy to add or remove users, modify access permissions, and integrate with other security systems.
Improving response times
Access control systems are security measures that restrict entry to specific areas or buildings to authorized personnel only. These systems can include methods such as key cards, biometric scanners, and passwords.
By using access control systems in building security, response times can be improved in several ways. Firstly, access control systems allow for a quick and efficient way to identify who is authorized to enter a building or specific area, as opposed to manually verifying each person’s identity. The security personnel can focus their attention on those who do not have authorized access, increasing the chance of detecting and responding to any potential threats.
Secondly, access control systems can provide real-time monitoring of entry and exit points, allowing security personnel to quickly respond to any security breaches or suspicious activity. This can be especially helpful in large buildings or areas with multiple entry points, where it can be challenging to keep track of who is coming and going.
Effectively dealing with emergency
In a fire emergency at a large commercial building in New York City in 2020, access control systems allowed facility managers to lock down specific areas of the building and evacuate individuals quickly and safely through designated exit routes. This helped ensure the safety of employees and visitors and minimized the risk of injury or loss of life.
In Texas in 2018, in a school shooting incident, an access control system allowed the school to quickly lock down the building, preventing the shooter from entering other areas of the facility and potentially causing more harm. The system also allowed emergency responders to gain immediate access to the building to provide assistance to the injured.
These two examples highlight how access control systems improve emergency response mechanisms, allowing the security personnel to respond quickly to the situation and take necessary actions.
We hope, by now, you might have understood how important access control systems are in facilities management (FM). The advantages of FM for building operations are many, but with access control systems, you get an added advantage of building a strong layer of security that significantly brings down the chances of security breach.
With a good access system, you can provide users restricted, shared, or personal access to building as well as IT resources like web services or locally installed password-protected files.
The main consideration while implementing access control systems should be ensuring that they enable you to follow accepted standards and practices.
At FieldCircle, we have been assisting our clients in building strong access control systems through our facility application. Our facility app is tailored to incorporate the security requirements of the client, enhancing authentication, and allowing for controlling of user privileges. Get in touch with us today, to understand more from our experts.
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