Building Security:

What is Physical Access Control?

Access Control Systems Explained

Can controlling door access reduce workplace violence and decrease theft and vandalism?

The increase in active shooting incidents and violence from intrusions raise nationwide concerns for businesses. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) released its latest report for incidents involving active shooters, showing that the increase in casualties from such events in 2022 was higher than in the last four years.

A study by the University of North Carolina found that controlling door access can help reduce workplace violence by up to 90%.

The Security Industry Association also found that access control systems are commercial buildings’ most used security technology to reduce internal and external theft and vandalism effectively.

What are Access Control Systems?

Access control systems for commercial use are security solutions designed to regulate and manage access to physical buildings or areas within facilities. They utilize various technologies and mechanisms to ensure that only authorized individuals are granted entry while preventing unauthorized access.

Access control systems typically consist of several components working together to control and monitor access. These components may include:

  1. Credentials:  Credentials are used to verify and authenticate the identity of individuals seeking access. Common types of credentials include access cards, key fobs, biometric data (such as fingerprints or facial recognition), or mobile credentials stored on smartphones.

  2. Readers: Readers are devices installed at entry points and responsible for reading the credentials presented by individuals. They can be mobile authentication devices, card readers, proximity readers, or biometric scanners, depending on the type of credentials used.

  3. Locking Mechanisms: Locking mechanisms physically secure doors, gates, turnstiles, or other entry points. They can include electric strikes, magnetic locks, or motorized locks controlled by the access control system.

  4. Door Status Monitors: Door status monitors include sensors at an opening to report the status of a door and the conditions present when it is opened. Monitoring these conditions allows the access control platform to inform an administrator when an unauthorized entry may have occurred or when a door has been propped open.

  5. Access Control Software: Access control software acts as the central management system for the access control system. It allows administrators to define access rules, manage user credentials, generate reports, and monitor real-time access events. This software is typically installed on a dedicated server or hosted in the cloud, as is the case with a modern access control platform.

Benefits of an Access Control System

As more organizations bring people back into the office, keeping the workplace safe and protecting assets is top of mind for business leaders. In addition to enhancing security, access control systems also provide peace of mind and a sense of security in their workplace, increasing productivity.

Modern access control platforms also provide organizations with more control and flexibility over all internal traffic, provide audit trails and deep reporting, and have the ability to integrate with other security components of an integrated physical security system.

Read this quick guide for a detailed look at the benefits of access control systems. [insert a link to next blog- benefits of access control systems for SMBs)

Access control systems – the first line of defense in an integrated physical security strategy

Additionally, access control systems are just one component of a comprehensive security solution, and organizations should take a holistic approach to security to ensure that all areas are adequately addressed.

An integrated physical security strategy for commercial buildings involves combining multiple components to create a comprehensive and layered approach to security. Critical components typically included in an integrated physical security strategy for commercial buildings include:

  • Access Control Systems
  • Video Surveillance / CCTV
  • Intrusion Detection Systems
  • Alarm Systems
  • Perimeter Security
  • Visitor Management Systems



About PHDTech

PHDTech: Smarter Telecom & Security. 

PHDTech provides cloud-based VoIP and Commercial Security Solutions that help businesses harness the full power of technology to scale profitably, efficiently, and securely. PHDTech’s innovative solutions include VoIP & Business Telecom, Business Video Surveillance, Visitor Management, Access Controls, and Structured Cabling.

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