How to Improve Your Access Control System

How to Improve Your Access Control System

by Mike Boehm on September 13, 2023

In today's fast-paced and technologically driven world, where security is paramount, access control systems play a crucial role in safeguarding sensitive areas. In the world of access control security systems, the advent the proximity key fob (also referred to as 26-bit key fobs) has revolutionized the way businesses control access to buildings, offices, and facilities. In this article, we will explore how to improve your access control system effectively by utilizing these cutting-edge proximity technologies.

Understanding the Basics of Access Control Systems

Before delving into the details of enhancing your access control system, it is essential to grasp the fundamentals of these types of security systems and how they utilize proximity technology to establish robust and efficient security measures. An access control system is a standard and increasingly ubiquitous security mechanism that regulates who can enter specific areas, ensuring that only authorized personnel gain entry. Access control systems do this by securing access points into, out of, and even within facilities with proximity readers. As such, in order to gain access to these restricted areas within the facility, an authorized user must present the reader with a piece of proximity technology (e.g., a card, adhesive tag, key fob, etc.) programmed with valid credentials. If the credentials are invalid or do not meet the security requirements of the access control system, the user is denied access.

Outdated, analogue access control methods, like lock-and-key access control, have their limitations and are much less reliable and secure than these modern forms of proximity access control. Unlike physical locks and keys, card readers, electronic locks, and proximity technology is all very difficult to hack, bypass, or clone. Among such innovative proximity technologies, the proximity key fob / 26-bit key fob has arisen as top competitors in terms of security, efficiency, and convenience.

The Power of the 26-bit Proximity Key Fob

The proximity key fob / 26-bit key fob is a smart access control device that utilizes an advanced technology known as Radio Frequency Identification (RFID). RFID technology, housed in a microchip, enables these proximity key fobs to use radio signals to communicated with proximity readers via a simple tap or wave. Each 26-bit fob is programmed with a unique identification code and security credentials—important information that gets transmitted to the proximity reader every time the 26-bit fob is read. These credentials are programmed into the access control system beforehand, allowing the proximity readers to recognize and grant access to authorized users and deny access to users whose credentials it does not recognize. Implementing these advanced proximity key fobs into your access control security system can significantly enhance your business’s security in the following ways:

  1. Enhanced Security: Unlike traditional access control methods, 26-bit key fobs use encryption algorithms that make it incredibly difficult for unauthorized individuals to duplicate or tamper with the access credentials, ensuring that only authorized individuals can obtain access to the facility.


  1. Seamless Integration: These proximity key fobs can also be seamlessly integrated with existing security systems, minimizing the need for costly system overhauls and allowing for multiple layers of security.


  1. Convenience: With a simple swipe or tap of their proximity key fob, users can gain access. Moreover, proximity key fobs are desirably small and can be easily attached to one’s keychain, thereby sidestepping the bulkiness and awkwardness of other, more inconvenient access control alternatives.


  1. Audit Trails: Since 26-bit key fobs are programmed with unique identification codes, they offer thorough audit trail capabilities whereby the access control software records a time-stamped log of which users access secured locations throughout the facility, enabling system administrators to track and monitor user activities for enhanced security and accountability purposes.


Advantages of Proximity Key Fobs

The RFID technology used by proximity key fobs / 26-bit key fobs make them a particularly advanced access control solution with many desirable capabilities. The numerous benefits of incorporating proximity key fobs into your access control system include:

  1. Contactless Access: The RFID microchip in 26-bit key fobs means that they do not require physical contact with proximity readers in order to engaged with the access control system, reducing wear and tear and ensuring a longer lifespan for both the key fobs and the reader.


  1. Quick Access: With no need to swipe or insert the proximity key fob, authorized users can gain access throughout the facility more quickly, which is especially beneficial in high-traffic areas. Gone are the days of fumbling through a disorganized ring of physical keys!


  1. Low Maintenance: Due to the lack of moving, mechanical parts, proximity key fobs require minimal maintenance, making them a cost-effective choice for access control. Furthermore, since most proximity key fobs are what’s called a ‘passive’ access control technology—meaning that they rely on the proximity reader for power—you never have to worry about replacing batteries in your key fobs!


  1. Multi-Application Use: Notably, 26-bit key fobs have multiple applications outside of access control, such as cashless payment systems or time and attendance tracking. As such, 26-bit key fobs are a versatile technology that can be used for a variety of useful applications.


Tips to Improve Your Access Control System

Now that we have explored the advantages of the proximity key fob / 26-bt key fob, let's discuss some general tips to enhance your access control system even further:

  1. Conduct a Security Assessment: If you already have an access control system, begin by evaluating your current system to identify any potential vulnerabilities. Are there points of egress that are not secured? Are there places within your facility that are not secured or that should have higher security requirements than other areas (e.g., data storage rooms, administrative offices, etc.)? Work with security professionals to understand the weaknesses in your access control system and areas that require improvement.


  1. Implement Two-Factor Authentication: You may consider adding an extra layer of security to your access control system by combining proximity key fob access with a pin code or even biometric authentication, such as fingerprint or facial recognition. In such two-factor models, the scanning of the key fob acts as the first security measure, which then initiates the second factor (be it a pin code, fingerprint, etc.). This dual verification process significantly reduces the risk of unauthorized access and is particularly useful for areas within the facility that require additional security.


  1. Regularly Update Firmware and Software: Keep your access control system up-to-date with the latest firmware and software options. This practice helps protect against known vulnerabilities, ensures optimal performance, and protects against inefficient redundancies within your system.


  1. Restrict Access Privileges: Access control software enables system administrators to program multiple clearance levels into the security system. This allows you to limit access to specific areas of your facility based on users’ job roles and responsibilities. This measure reduces the potential for data breaches, helps maintain confidentiality, and establishes thorough access control.


  1. Integrate Video Surveillance: Access control security systems are very effective, but they can occasionally have ‘blind spots.’ As such, you should combine your access control system with video surveillance to monitor entry and exit points closely. This integration adds an extra layer of visual verification and enhances overall security.


  1. Conduct Employee Training: Be sure to educate employees about the proper use of proximity key fobs, the importance of keeping them secure, and the potential consequences of misusing access credentials. Responsible employee use of the access control system will ensure that it functions as it is intended to.


  1. Regularly Review Access Logs: Consistently monitor and analyze access logs created by your access control software to identify any potentially suspicious activities or patterns. This practice allows for quick response to security breaches and protest against employee abuse of the system.


Enhancing your access control system is crucial for ensuring the safety and security of your premises. By implementing advanced technologies like the proximity key fob / 26-bit key fob, you can significantly improve your system's efficiency and security. Remember to regularly assess and update your access control system while following best practices to create a robust and reliable security infrastructure for your organization.

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