A Complete Guide to Access Control Systems

Within the first two months of 2022, businesses noted an 88% increase in physical threats to their organization compared to 2021.

With an increased focus on digital security, a lot of companies are forgetting to take care of their physical premises as well. An access control system offers a solution to this problem.

If you want to minimize physical security threats to your business building, this is the guide for you. Keep reading to learn all you need to know about access control system implementation.


What Is an Access Control System?

An access control system is generally an electronic system that uses an identifier to authorize people to enter certain areas. Businesses with an access control system can also track who accessed what and when.

Not only do they keep a business safe, but they provide valuable data that helps you track how your building is being used.

Benefits of Using an Access Control System

A lot of businesses are forgoing their traditional keys and choosing to implement an access control system instead. Mechanical keys have flaws and limitations and can cause problems as a company grows.

The three most common issues presented to key users are:

  1. Keys get lost
  2. Keys don't offer an audit trail
  3. Keys are hard to manage

These might not seem like huge reasons to get rid of a traditional key system, but the issues can add up over time.

Although there are various benefits of using an access control system, there are two common ones: increased control and security and the option to choose an identifier.

Increased Control and Security

This is the most obvious benefit of an electronic access control system. By using one, you can avoid the downsides of mechanical keys, protect your business, and gain more control.

If you want to secure premises, get an access control system to manage who has access to what. You can choose to only allow automatic access to employees while visitors report to the reception desk when they arrive.

You can also dictate which doors employees or guests have access to. If you want only some people in certain areas, access control will come in handy. For example, technicians being the only ones allowed in labs is common.

Your business can limit access during certain times of the day as well. You might wish to allow senior employees to enter the building at any time, but choose to allow building access to the janitorial staff only during their shifts.

The best access control system will let you set each parameter by the individual. You'll be able to quickly update them whenever needed.

If there is a breach in security, you'll have the information you need to determine who might have been involved.

Variety of Identifiers

In an access control system, the identifier is what is used to gain access to the building. The most common identifier is an access card, but other options might offer higher levels of security.

With an access card, you present your card to the reader and are allowed to enter if all conditions in the system are met.

Other key identification methods include the following:

  • Identification badge
  • PIN/password
  • Biometric identifier (fingerprint, iris, etc.)

Each identification method has pros and cons of its own so the choice depends on the situation. You can choose different methods for external doors vs. internal doors as well.

When you combine two identification methods, you increase security and minimize risk. This is known as verification. The first method identifies the person and the second method verifies the identification.

For rooms that hold valuable items or customer data, verification is the best option.


Access Control Applications

Access control systems can provide authorized access in any building. You'll be able to customize a system to fit the size and scope of your business.

Security is a huge concern for public organizations, private businesses, and commercial real estate teams, among others.

Whether you want to keep employees or clients from certain areas or protect sensitive information, implement an access control system.

These solutions can be applied in various industries that include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Data centers
  • Healthcare
  • Government
  • Commercial Real Estate
  • Enterprise business
  • Education
  • Sporting and entertainment venues
  • Hospitality

With different choices and features, you can design an access control system to fit your application and maximize the user experience.

How Much Does an Access Control System Cost?

The cost of an access control system will depend on the type of identifier you use and how many doors are used to implement the system.

A keypad access control system is typically the cheapest option for businesses. The price ranges anywhere from $500 to $1,500 per door on average. This system uses a PIN or password to allow entry.

The most common option is the key card or key fob entry. This access solution, on average, costs $1,000 to $3,000 per door. Configuration, training, and wiring might increase the price per key card or fob.

Biometric access control is the most expensive option because it is the most secure method of access control. On average, you'll pay anywhere from $2,500 to $10,000 per door.

The reason for the high price is that you'll need a biometric scanner along with a locking hardware system. A business needs a network connection and certain software for this method of access control to work.

Choosing an Access Control System for Your Business Needs

Safety should always be a top priority for businesses. To minimize risk, implement an access control solution on your premises.

Now that you've read all you need to know about access control systems, you know how they can benefit you. When choosing a system, find one that fits into your business needs and budget.

Not sure which brands to choose from and what exactly you can afford? We are here for you! Compare prices on different access control systems now.


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