Hands-free Access Control by Openpath

How to Determine the Best Access Control System for your Property

It’s essential to invest in an access control system that directly meets the functional and security needs of your property. Access control, along with locks, can be considered the top defensive strategies for keeping unauthorized people out of your property. In this blog entry, Ontario’s expert commercial security team, the expert technicians here at UTS Group, will provide a short guide to choosing the best access control system for your needs.

Assessing your Security Needs

First, analyze the security system you have in place for any flaws. Try to focus on the security and access control needs of your specific property – this can range from how many doors need security, how many employees will be using the access control system, and if you need any extra features and/or capabilities. If you have a ton of doors, it will be more complex than if you need to secure a single one. Any facility with multiple doors should implement a networked access control system that can be controlled wirelessly, communicate with other security systems, and can be remotely customized.

In cost analysis, consider how many doors you need to secure. If you only have one or two, you can purchase a less expensive access controller – but if you have multiple doors, we recommend hardware with larger controllers that can work with other features like elevators, turnstyles, parking, or any of your other needs. Any access control system you install should be able to maintain backwards capability with any access control systems already in place that you want to keep. As a general rule, installing a system with standard wiring and the option for connection with additional access control hardware is a way of ensuring quality and long-lasting-satisfaction.

Benefits of Cloud Based Software VS. On-Site Software

On-site access control systems will require the cost of installation, as well as monitoring and management fees. Cloud based access control systems are usually monitored by third-parties, and have subscription fees based on what features you’re using. The majority of on-site access control systems use servers based on Windows, requiring regular updates, and the need for upkeep of multiple connected servers. For organizations with multiple sites, this makes cloud-based servers a much better option, with automatic syncing and updating making it easier to monitor issues in real time. In general, cloud-based access control systems allow for greater control, customization, and scalability – allowing you to grant access, add and remove permissions, and create schedules with zero need to set on your property on-foot.

Choosing the Best Access Control Methods

The top three access control credential based methods that are commonly used include keycards (as well as badges and fobs,) mobile input credentials, and biometrics. Key card, fob, and badge based system utilizes the swiping, tapping, or waving of a token at a reader or entrance. They are supported on many older access control systems, but require semi-regular management and in-person maintenance. They should always be paired with encrypted tokens in order to prevent the security risk of copying.

Mobile credential based access control utilizes users’ smartphones for entry. All credentials are kept on their phone, making it less likely employees will lose their access credentials. Mobile credentials can be added or revoked from a distance using user management software, and can even be stored on tablets or objects like Apple Watches.

Biometric security systems require authentication with fingerprints, facial recognition, or retinal scans. These devices can actually be paired with mobile credential based systems for additional layers of security.

What you should look for in an access control system:

  • Real-time security notifications that allow you to send alerts automatically.
  • Full auditing and regular reports that you can access at any time.
  • Customizable dashboards for mobile devices that can be configured according to your needs, and maintaining features like entrance control, user access, live video feed, occupancy, lockdown implementation, and more.
  • Remote management capabilities that allow you to access your system from any location to remotely unlock doors, revoke or add user permissions, and access your live video feed.
  • Integration ability with existing building systems like CCTV cameras, motion detectors, and alarms.
  • Lockdown capabilities that can be customized on If-So-Then logic – meaning that you can lock particular doors under particular circumstances, and customize your lockdown framework according to your needs.
  • Touchless access capabilities that allow your employees to reduce physical contact with door hardware – a massive boon during this pandemic that helps allow your employees to stay safe.

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