Why access control is about far more than just opening doors

By Dirk Riedel on May 15, 2018

Dirk Riedel

Business Development Manager

Why access control is about far more than just opening doors

Every company I talk to about access control acknowledges similar challenges. When a new employee joins the company, a complex process begins to ensure they have the authorisations, and equipment, they need to do their job. It’s a process that involves several areas of the business – from the department the employee will work in to HR, IT, local security and corporate security.

What’s more, everyone involved has to be able to coordinate things quickly and easily, ideally via a central system, so the new employee can get started promptly.

As this brief outline shows, access control is part of a company-wide process that gives employees both the permissions and equipment they need. A process that begins with a business’s security policy, and any legal requirements and local restrictions it must adhere to.

Which means any business using or planning to use access control has much more to consider than just opening and closing doors.

Even opening and closing doors isn't straightforward

While we’re on the subject, let’s look at the process of opening and closing doors. Even that’s more complicated than it might at first seem, because we usually want doors to behave differently in different scenarios and for different people.

There may, for example, be disabled employees who need doors to be open for longer to allow them to pass through. When reading the employee’s card, the access control system needs to check whether or not they’re disabled so the door opens for the correct amount of time.

Let’s now consider the building has an intruder detection system, which disables readers when activated so no badges can be read and doors remain closed.

Or, let’s imagine the door in question is an escape door whose control system can override how it operates depending on the situation. For example, if there’s an emergency, whether or not the intruder detection system is activated and whether or not the person using the door is disabled.

Which brings me to the conclusion that, to be valuable and effective, modern access control systems must be able to support door-level complexities and changes – both now and in the future.

How are you tackling access control?

Are you planning to renew or replace your access control system now or in the near future? What challenges are you facing and how are you overcoming them? I’d love to hear.

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