What Is Access Control?



We’ve come a long way from the days when we could depend on a simple lock-and-key system to keep our homes and businesses safe. Fortunately, advancements in technology have made security systems much more sophisticated — and effective — than ever. One of the most important innovations in recent years has been the development of business and home security access systems.

The term “access control” refers to any method used to restrict entry to a property or specific areas on a property. While access control systems can be physical (security guard or watchdog) or mechanical (lock and key), it is the electronically operated systems that now provide the most reliable option for home and business security purposes.

The Evolution of Access Control Models

Regarding access control history, electronic systems made their first appearance in the 1960s to provide a more reliable alternative to lock-and-key systems in businesses. The original systems required individuals to type a personal identification number (PIN) onto a keypad to verify their identity. This technology also soon became the access control method for home security systems at that time.

The next access control technology innovation was the access control card, which was used in conjunction with a device called a card reader. The system required the individual to swipe or insert a card key encoded with specific information such as name, employee ID or Social Security number and access level into the reader, which was connected to a central control panel that would unlock the door electronically. By the late 1970s, the invention of non-contact proximity cards allowed an individual to hold the card key in front of the reading device.

The Future of Access Control

While variations of all these access control systems are still in use today, the technology continues to evolve. Many of today’s systems feature the integration of multiple technologies that offer a more robust security solution. Examples of emerging access control trends include:

  • Wireless access control devices: Wireless devices offer greater installation flexibility along with future-proofing capabilities to accommodate facility expansion.
  • Surveillance camera integration: Linking access control and video surveillance systems provide tighter security. The camera feeds and footage enable a faster response to an unauthorized entry attempt and can be helpful in follow-up investigations.
  • Greater privilege control capabilities: Many facilities contain designated areas for storing sensitive information. Advancements in access control technology give facility operators more options for creating pre-set rules for limiting access to these areas.
  • Open-source technology options: The continued evolution from proprietary to open-source technology will provide even more opportunities for integration with a wide range of security management platforms.
  • Integration with smart technology: The continued development of smart technology will allow home and business owners to operate and monitor their access control systems with their mobile devices even when they’re many miles away.

Titan Alarm, Inc. offers the latest, most innovative access control devices and systems to residential and commercial property owners in the Phoenix, AZ area. Contact us to schedule a no-obligation, on-site security consultation today.

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Updated by Titan Alarm on November 2, 2018.