How To Choose the Best Commercial Access Control System

How To Choose the Best Commercial Access Control System

by Josh Murray on April 28, 2022

What is an access control system, exactly?

These systems are a little different than regular access systems. An access system gives individuals the ability to open a door with their credentials—fairly simple and straightforward. However, an access control system gives you the ability to monitor who enters and exits. This extra feature helps you keep an eye on building capacity and know exactly when those doors open, closed, locked and unlocked.

Depending on the type of facility you run, one access control system may suit your needs more readily than another. Learn how different access control systems work and how to choose the best commercial access control system for your business.

Why Use an Access Control System?

Many commercial enterprises can benefit greatly from an access control system. These systems help to ensure that only authorized individuals can gain access to your building. Other benefits include:

  • Save money on locksmiths: Rather than having to hire a locksmith to change the locks every time an employee loses their keys, you can simply delete their proximity credential from the access control system and you're done.  No additional costs!  No security risks!
  • Selective access restriction. Depending on the nature of your business, some rooms may contain more sensitive material than others. With a high-tech access control system, you can choose who has access to more heavily restricted areas. An employee could feasibly have access to the building’s entrances and exits without being allowed into vaults or other heavily monitored rooms.  In addition to restricting/allowing access to doors, you can also determine when their card or key fob will allow them access doors at specific times.
  • Traffic monitoring. This element especially benefits businesses that have “peak” hours and “slow” hours. If your building has reached its capacity, your access control system can prevent others from entering until foot traffic has calmed down.
  • Monitor alarms: With the right set up, you can monitor alarms real-time as they are happening and have greater response times.
  • Increased convenience. Keyless entry systems have come into the mainstream due to their ease of use. Fumbling with a keyring can take extra time and cause frustration, while an RFID key fob or badge allows quick, touchless entry.
  • Archived access logs: How would you ever know who was in a specific area months or even years from now?  Access logs kept by an access control system will store records for however you long you desire.

Primary Types of Access Control Systems

When considering which system is right for your commercial enterprise, learn more about the types of access control systems out there. There are three main varieties.

Discretionary access control, or DAC, allows multiple people to provide individuals building access at their discretion. Instead of a single security guard holding all the power, multiple managers or property administrators can decide who gets access and who doesn’t. If your business uses multiple buildings with separate management teams, a DAC system can make security control easy for everyone.

Meanwhile, mandatory access control (MAC) leaves that power to a single professional. MAC systems are often used by organizations with high-security requirements. If your business has strict confidentiality rules, consider hiring a chief security officer to handle the mandatory access control system.

The third and most customizable variety is role-based access control, or RBAC. This type of system allows you to grant more access to some individuals than others. For example, a regular employee’s proximity key fob may give them more extensive access than an independent contractor’s fob. If some areas of your commercial building require more security than others, an RBAC system helps keep those areas secure.

Rule-based access control, not to be confused with the RBAC mentioned above, is often used in conjunction with one of these three types. The individual (or individuals) in charge of granting access will lay out a set of rules—for example, closing and locking the building between 9:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. That rule prevents individuals from gaining access during those hours, even if they have an access fob or badge.

Your Security Needs

To determine what type and level of access control your business needs, consider the level of security you need. A military base or government institution will require heavily monitored access control, while commercial enterprises may have different needs.

Not all doors need the same level of security. Some commercial businesses elect to keep their front doors open and accessible for customers during the day. However, the back room and the manager’s office should require authorized access credentials to keep those areas safe.

How large is your business? How many locations do you operate? For smaller retail businesses, a system with a one- or two-door application is generally the most cost-effective. If you want your employees to have access to one building or office but not another, cloud-based access applications make that selection easier for everyone.

Different Access Credentials

With old-fashioned locks and keys going out of style, plenty of new access solutions have stepped up to take their place. Let’s look at some of the most common types:

  • Proximity Key cards: Recognizable and easy to use, key card systems have been in use in places like hotels for decades now. They are a convenient size and shape, with space to print your company’s name and an employee’s photo if you’re so inclined.
  • Proximity Key fobs: They’re also known as proximity fobs or access fobs, and they use a technology called radio frequency identification, or RFID. Users only need to hold their fob in front of the sensor to gain access instead of turning a key or swiping a card. The fob fits neatly onto any keyring or badge reel.
  • Proximity Adhesive Tags: Similar to key fobs, adhesive tags are small stickers about the size of a quarter that can be stuck to wallets, cell phones and other items.  
  • Proximity Wristbands: Sometimes you need free hands.  Proximity wristbands allow you to enter restricted areas without the need to fish out a key fob or card.  Proximity wristbands are a popular option for law enforcement and healthcare.
  • Mobile credentials: These are another touchless way to allow entry to authorized individuals. Instead of a fob, they use the credentials on their smartphone to open the door.

Depending on how many employees you have, the hardware installed in your doors, and the unique security needs of your business, you may choose one credential over another. Each application has its own set of benefits and drawbacks.

In order to heighten the security of your commercial business and monitor entry more closely, invest in an access control system for your building(s). Control when your doors lock and unlock, view entrances and exits in real time, and make security solutions easy for everyone.

AUTHORIZ-id’s extensive collection of RFID key fobs and proximity access cards brings safety and convenience together for your commercial enterprise. The right security access control system allows you to monitor who has access to different areas and restrict access under certain conditions.

Examine your business’s existing security system and identify where—and how—you can improve it. Choose the best commercial access control system for your business’s unique needs. From convenient key fobs to attractive badge reels, AUTHORIZ-id has everything you need to improve security while retaining accessibility for authorized employees.

How To Choose the Best Commercial Access Control System