No two businesses are the same. Every company has a unique location, workforce, and set of security needs. A customized access control setup is a fantastic tool to meet a business’s security requirements and provide a strong level of protection.
What is an access control system?
An access control system is an electronic system that uses an automated approval policy for authorized personnel. These systems are designed to minimize risks for a business and restrict certain areas – like server rooms and data centers – to accredited employees.
Access control systems have seen a large increase in usage across the business world. To give you an idea, the market value for commercial access control systems was $7.98 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow by 8.1% through 2027.
A customized access control setup has become an essential component of business security. But knowing how to implement one properly is not always crystal clear. In this post, we’ve put together eight high-value tips to do it right.
Let’s dive in, shall we?
1. Prioritize User-Friendliness
The best access control system is overly simplified – this is the most important factor at the end of the day. In addition to usability, both the configuration of the software should have the training to easily manage, update security clearances, and troubleshoot without having to call a specialist.
Now, as an owner or office manager, you learned the program inside and out. Don’t assume that everyone will be able to pick up the system immediately – you’ll need to adequately train personnel. Be sure you’re taking this into account when you choose your customized access control setup.
2. Determine How Many Properties/Areas Will be Included
Every business setup is a little bit different. Maybe you have several locations, occupy multiple floors, or operate in different buildings. Your access control system should provide complete security, no matter how widespread the company is.
Security hiccups and inconsistencies don’t just compromise business protection, they get in the way of productivity. If employees are constantly jumping through hoops or dealing with different systems, it can be a big disruption to daily operations. The best move is to implement a single, customized access control setup that covers the entire footprint of your company.
3. Confirm There is Remote Access
Remote security monitoring might sound like a fancy add-on, but it’s critical to the security of your company. On a basic level, access control systems should have easy, cloud-based connections to devices – without having to get an IT specialist involved.
Cloud-hosted remote access allows for the monitoring and management of multiple locations/sites – even nationally – from a single command station. This reduces costs to the end user while keeping uniformity across all locations.
Access to alarm systems, cameras, and monitoring systems should provide real-time information to authorized users, which may be needed outside of business hours. For example, say an alarm goes off during the night. Having remote access to the cameras and monitoring systems would allow authorized users to see exactly what’s happening on the scene. Your business may operate from 9-5, but security never sleeps.
4. Use Keyless Entry
The lock and key have been a reliable security measure for thousands of years. But in this day and age, you can go a step further. Keys can get lost, damaged, stolen, etc. – exposing your company to a great deal of risk.
A door access control system with keyless entry gives authorized employees a unique number to use at entry points. This makes it easy to track who enters and leaves the building – and employees can be added or subtracted from the system as needed.
In addition to keyless entry, a lot of companies are moving to Bluetooth credentials to eliminate the need for physical cards and keys. Access is granted to your phone which now acts as the “card”. Permissions can be revoked quickly if a lost phone is reported.
Most importantly, keyless entry eliminates the risk of a physical key/card falling into the wrong hands and exposing the company to unauthorized users.
5. Consider Clearance Levels
A customized access control setup does more than protect against external risks. Over the past several years, the number of internal security incidents has increased by nearly 45% – according to a 2022 study conducted by Proofpoint.
Depending on your company’s setup, you may consider investing in a customized access control system that allows clearance levels for employees, management, C-suite, and so on. This will help to keep private company information secure and restrict access to certain areas. Moreover, this approach makes the investigation process much easier in the event of a breach.
6. Set Up Security Layers
Security layers should be incorporated in the early stages of an access control system installation. This typically involves IT measures like multi-factor authentication with PINs and passwords.
Ingraining security layers into the access control system at the appropriate level can do a lot to keep the business safe from cyber-attacks and breaches. Consider which components will need these extra layers.
For example, data centers, networks, and servers will likely require extra security measures for proper protection. Talk to your security provider to determine how these layers will be incorporated into the access control system.
7. Look Into Biometric Readers
A biometric access control system is a new-age security solution designed to read a person’s physical characteristics. As employees position themselves in front of an entryway, the biometric reader will scan certain modalities, including (but not limited to) retinas, fingerprints, voice, face, and so on. The sophisticated technology then sends a signal to the system to grant access.
Biometrics provides an incredibly high level of security and significantly reduces the margin of error. Incorporating this capability into your custom access control setup may be pricey, but the benefits speak for themselves.
8. Automate as Much as You Can
Automation software can do wonders to eliminate manual processes, improve tracking, and make security more mechanized. As you establish roles and responsibilities within your access control system, determine a process to track assigned authorizations and keep records of all security information.
With automated software, activities are all recorded and changes are reflected in real-time. This typically involves tasks like IT integrations, policies, password management, and auditing.
Automation is generally used in companies that employ hundreds – or thousands – of people. If you are in a growing company, it is important to work with an expert to plan for the future.
A customized access control system is arguably the best business investment you can make. But it’s important to understand that your requirements are unique. A standardized system may not be enough to cover all your gaps.
It’s highly recommended to work with a professional to determine where your biggest vulnerabilities lie and how to maximize the security system.
2 Krew provides customized access control setups in Pittsburgh and the Greater Metropolitan. No matter what your needs look like, our experts will work closely with you to find a solution that gives you complete peace of mind. To learn more about access control systems for your Pittsburgh-area business, contact our team online or call us at 724-543-0274.