Access control – the key element in building security

In addition to proving security for buildings and people, a modern access control system needs to be flexible to cope with the company’s development and everyday activity.

A modern access control system not only prevents unauthorised entry and theft, but also provides both a high level of security, with the option of configuring procedures and levels of security, and a high level of information for the system’s users and security organisation when activities, events and alarms are registered.

High security, but still an open system with many options

Like much else in IT, access control systems have developed in the direction of openness, standardisation and integration with the world around them, moving from being a “closed world” to offering integration with surrounding IT systems. In this way, the system’s data and information about the building’s security is transformed into useful knowledge that can help optimise Facility Management and contribute to energy savings.

Many companies today make use of these possibilities to integrate their access control system with their HR / staff system, so that they both use the same personnel information, which makes for simple and easier administration.

Similarly, there is often integration between the access control system, spatial lighting and the central alarm system, so that the lighting in an area is automatically regulated when there is no human activity, after which the light is turned off and the intrusion alarm automatically set. This provides optimal security, removing the need for a lot of manual procedures for switching the alarm on and off as well as the risk of human error when operating the alarm panel.

Cardholders and access

There is a tendency today for old access cards with magnetic strips to be replaced with cards with a chip that can be used with contactless card readers. The card reader can either read the access card at a distance or require that the cardholder also keys in a PIN code. For increased security against a card being given to unauthorised people, it is easy to add biometric readers that for example can scan fingerprints.

The card holder database in a modern access control system contains all the registered card holders listing all their access criteria and rights. The information is often supplemented with a picture of the person, which can be not only printed on the access card, but also shown on the system’s operating interface when the person uses the card reader at the building’s main door or other entrance.

Reporting and analysis

A modern access control system provides a large number of standard reports that can easily be created and shared in an open file format, e.g. PDF. Reports can be generated that document daily access through the building’s doors and areas. In investigations, for example, a report can be requested that shows who gained access through a particular door or a specific person’s comings and goings through the whole building within a selected period of time. 

Find out more about the options and the many functions in Access Control under Lenel OnGuard.