What is Access Control Software?
Access control software is a software where one can monitor door status, track people’s entrances and exits, and enable easy lockdown of the facility when necessary.
How the Access Control Software Works
Access control software works in five necessary steps: Authentication, Authorization, Access, Management, and Auditing.
Authentication is the process of verifying identity to be genuine. Once the person’s credentials are authenticated, they are sent to the Access Control Unit (ACU). Here, the ACU determines if the system recognizes the credentials.
For one to be authorized, the following have to be fulfilled:
- The user must have approved access to the entry they are trying to unlock
- The user must use one of the predefined allowed credential types
- The user must make the unlock request within the schedules assigned to the user
- Ensure other restrictions such as a system lockdown are not triggered at the moment
When the request to enter a premise is received by the access control system, after authentication and authorization are complete, a command is sent to the hardware to unlock entry. If a fail-safe type of door is in use, then power has to be interrupted for the door to unlock. If the door is a fail secure type of door, then power has to be temporarily supplied to open the door. When this is done, it is said that access has been granted to an individual.
The management of an access control system includes adding or removing entries, users, credentials, schedules, and alerts. This is done using administrative software that syncs automatically with the Internet and connects to the Access Control Units. Online access control software systems send real-time alerts to security should any irregularity or attempted breach occur, allowing them to investigate immediately and record the events. Modern access control software systems allow administrators to configure permissions or seek support from the vendor remotely should they have issues.
Administrators can do the auditing on access control systems by generating reports for access logs, including user activity and entry activity. This information may be useful for general system reviews, ensuring that the system is working as expected and that there are no issues with accessing entries within the facilities. Access Control Software makes sure the system is up to date, in the sense that new employees are enrolled and employees who have left the firm removed from the system. An audit is also done because the total number of people who have entered the premises, those still inside and those who have exited the building respectively at a particular time is given. Additional audit capabilities are provided by access control software systems that integrate with Visitor Management Systems, Video Management Systems (VMS), and other security type platforms.
What to Look for When Selecting an Access Control Software
- Compatibility of the software system with third-party hardware.
- The ability of the software to support logical security operations.
- The software should fulfill all local regulations and standards set on it.
- The compatibility of the software to integrate with surveillance systems, security systems and also with existing hardware to reduce on capital cost.
- The support of modern communication means such as the cloud, mobile access and even the Internet of Things (IoT).
- The software should support modern wireless and wire-based technologies such as Bluetooth and PoE.
- The software should have the latest end-to-end data encryption during the transition.
- It should be easy to use and configure.
- It should be of a fair price hence affordable.
- The software should be powered by professional-grade customer support for adequate assistance in times of need.
Advantages of Access Control software
With the sole purpose of access control software being the restriction of access to unauthorized persons, it subsequently prevents the stealing of both identity and data. In an example of a storage facility, the software is critical in the goods’ day-to-day security.
Varying Security Levels
Depending on their activity in a designated area, people have different access clearance levels. Access Control Software enables restrictions on people’s movements within the facility, granting access to only the relevant individuals and restricting those whose access is denied within a particular area.
Disadvantages of Access Control Software
Hacking can be defined as an unauthorized gain of data in a system or a computer. Despite the increase in security of access control software, they are still susceptible to tampering and break-ins. When a system is hacked, personal information on people among other information is accessed by an unauthorized party. Hacking an access control software not only gives the hacker access to information from one source but can also use the acquired information to gain access through other control systems without detection legitimately.
Applications for Access control Software
With Access Control Software rapidly gaining popularity among businesses and households, they tend to be extensively used in a couple of fields today. Here are some of the fields in which the vast application of access control software is made:
- Commercial real estate- with the corporate world vastly growing and more commercial buildings on the rise, investors are on the lookout for the most secure buildings available ready for business. This is because security is ever the soul of any successful business. With the Access Control software, different level clearance may be issued within the facility to regulate movement between the different parts of the building. This enables a secured and controlled movement of people within a premise.
- Government Institutions- governments are notoriously known to classify data and its access limited to only the few relevant authorities. An example of a government institution where movement and access are restricted includes the Whitehouse among many others were classified documents and are stored. Access to the storage room will be highly restricted and access allowed to only those who have been authorized by the system to do so. These boundaries set by the software via the Access control system enhances the tamed movement of personnel within the institution.
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