Physical access control is the restriction of access to a physical space, including a site, building, room, or cabinet. Access authorization may involve access for staff, contractors, or visitors and access points may accommodate individual walk-through or vehicle access.
The primary purpose of access control is to restrict access to unauthorized people and vehicles, while conveniently and efficiently providing access to employees, contractors, and visitors who are authorized.
Access control systems consist of access points, identifiers, readers/keypads, controls panels, and access control servers and may integrate into security management framework to extend security monitoring capability.
Access Control Components
This is an entry point where a physical barrier is required to restrict entry to people and vehicles. Physical barriers may include security gates, turnstiles, and door locks.
Access authorization for employees, contractors, and visitors is provided by an identifier such as person ID cards, RFID cards, and smart cards.
Readers and/or Keypads
Readers and keypads are usually found at the access point and interact with an access control software/system (control panel) to authenticate the credentials of an employee, contractor, or visitor. Credential interaction could be a scanner for ID cards, a pin pad for manual entry, or a biometric (fingerprint, facial or retina scan) reader.
The Physical Access Control (PACS) control panel receives information from the reader/keypad at the access point and verifies if the credentials are valid. An access decision is made, and proper access authorization is transmitted back to the access point.
Access Control Server
The access control grants access to employees, contractors, and visitors. It also stores, registers, verifies and enrolls the credentials for employees, contractors, and visitors. The server can either be located on-premise or managed in a cloud environment.
Security Management System
Access control software/systems can be integrated with different systems that facilitate perimeter security and facilities monitoring. These include video analytics, video management, security management, alarms and alerts, and perimeter protection.
Industries That Require Access Control
Access control and access control software/systems are first-line defenses against unwanted intrusion and threat access. Here are some industries that benefit from access control systems:
|Water utilities and dams||Manufacturing||Banking & Finance|
|Cellular/telecom infrastructure||Military, defense, and borders||Restaurants & Cafes|
|Data centers/datalines/data infrastructure||Airports||Casinos|
|Oil and gas, including pipelines||Subway||Education Facilities|
|Prisons & Correctional Facilities||Railway Stations||Hospitals & Healthcare|
|Logistic Centers, Warehouses||Government facilities||Museums & Art Galleries|
|Power Plants||Construction Sites||Leisure & Entertainment|
|Hydroelectric Facilities||Retail||Sport Facilities|
|Safe & Smart City||Business Centers & Offices||Parking Lots|