Defining Access Control
An access control system is a system that provides an individual(s) (like a boss or manager) with the ability to grant permission for certain people to enter/exit a space. In order for someone to gain entry, they must have a credential. There are different types of credentials, the most basic being a key (a physical brass key that you can get at HomeDepot). But there are more sophisticated options as well.
- Radio Frequency Identification (RFID or, “key fobs”) RFID is a two-part piece of technology (tags and readers) that uses radio waves to passively identify a tagged object.
- Biometrics — biometrics uses biological recognition (scanning your eyes, face, fingerprints, listening to your voice, monitoring your heart rate, etc.) to either permit or deny access. Most likely, your phone is using this technology!
- PIN Codes — pin codes will be assigned to each individual and they will type it into a system prior to entering a space.
Poorly Managing Key Credentials Can Increase Security Risk
Above, we mentioned that a brass key is technically a credential, however, this is not the best option when it comes to preventing security risks! Sure, you can have a detailed list of who has a copy of the key, but it is impossible to prevent duplication! (Even on keys that say, “Do NOT MAKE A COPY!) Therefore, realistically, no one will ever know how many keys are in circulation and/or who has them. Consider the following when choosing a key credential.
- Make sure the credentials allow you to know who/when someone is in a certain space
- Be able to suspend access at any time without physically taking a key away
- Be able to add temporary access (this will make your life easier)
- Make sure you can set time barriers (perhaps someone should only be in there for a certain amount of time)
- Depending on the information/location someone needs to access, it’s a great idea to add multiple “credentials” in order to grant access