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What is Access Control?

A common set of questions we come across from potential clients are: What is Access Control? Describe the 3 different types of access control? What is most suitable for my building? What is the disruption? And finally what is the cost?

Access control is at its core any security system that limits access to areas and activities that you wish to control. It also is a flexible system that allows you to change access user rights fluently and not be fixed from the initial installation. Therefore access rights can be added or removed swiftly and efficiently

What are the three 3 types of access control?

The three different types of system are based around the control factors and how employees, visitors and trades access the building.

The 3 different types of access control are

  1. RBAC – Role-Based Access Control
  2. MAC – Mandatory Access Control
  3. DAC – Discretionary Access Control

RBAC – Role-Based AC

In this system roles are created and then assigned to different jobs. Employees or other users are then different roles to their profile. Furthermore each person can have numerous roles assigned to their profile. The system then restricts access via roles and only those profiles with that role will have the necessary permissions for access. Therefore management of staff can be undertaken by adding and removing roles to restrict access

MAC – Mandatory AC

In this situation the system consists of a software that restricts access or hardware that restricts access. For example this could be a password, code or keypad. The settings are centrally controlled by the operation system and system administrator.  In addition it is not possible for users to change the access control resources. Thus is is the strictest of all control levels. In addition it is also the most secure but it does have a few opposite effects. Firstly it requires increased planning prior to installation. Secondly it requires a lot more hands on attention to continually update the access rights and categorization of the users

DAC – Discretionary AC

In this situation the user is able to manage their own access and data. For example in the way most users would manage their own data and passwords in a desktop PC. The administrator sets levels that staff and other users can access and they can then control their own data within that level. The user cannot access levels that are not part of until given external access.

Outline of an Access Control System

The system itself will consist of the following segments

  • The software and management system
  • The method of staff access.
    • Cards
    • Fobs
    • Codes
  • The installation elements of the system
    • Keypads and swipe panels
    • Hardware for doors and locks
    • The communication hardware / PC’s
    • The cabling infrastructure to link it together

The access system can also be based in the following ways

  • Cloud Based Systems
  • On site controlled systems
  • Mobile Phone Cased Systems

Cloud Based Access Control

In any cloud based system the control, permissions and access are all based in the cloud and therefore changes to permissions by the administrator can be made from anywhere in the world. This is done by access a browser window, logging in and creating access permissions. Thus this is specially suitable when managing several sites or when the administrator is based off site

On Site Systems

In this scenario a dedicated PC or piece of hardware is set up with the access software and the permissions and access is set up from that specific computer. For example in a building where access is controlled through a reception desk or facilities office. Users will need to gain their access credentials from this office via the dedicated hardware. Thus their access cannot be set up remotely. In addition this is used extensively on construction sites where ad hoc access is common and access to certain areas changes as the project evolves.

Mobile Phone Based Systems

These systems work with an installed infrastructure of locks and keypads / access points. Users then have an software app deployed to their smartphones. This app is then used to use the software and activate the permissions so that once the phone is held to the access pad the door is opened.  The permissions for each user can then be changed remotely to add and limit their access.

Cost and Quotations

Each access system is unique to your building and the levels of access you require. However we are able for a FREE SURVEY to discuss your options, the requirements and installation factors. In addition we will build and proposal and quotation to meet these requirements and suit a discussed budget

Our quotations are always fully inclusive with no hidden extras. They will always highlight any additional options and ongoing costs to support the system

Access Control System quotations will contain the following

  • An outline of the system, manufacturer and type of system
  • The hardware of the system such as the communications room equipment, the access panels and the controllers
  • The locking devices, the locations and the types required
  • The data cabling that links it all together
  • The installation of the locks and hardware
  • The software
  • The licenses for ongoing use of the system

You any other questions with regards to what is access control please contact our sales team on 01923 888588 or [email protected] co.uk

For further articles and access control and other services please visit our KNOWLEDGE CENTRE