Access control systems are physical or electronic systems which are designed to control who has access to a location. The most simple example of a physical access control system is a door which can be locked, limiting people to one side of the door or the other.
These systems are typically comprised of:
1) Keypad for entry from outside or internal entry into a secured location (ie: server rooms, vaults, etc.)
2) Electronic lock on door(s) that will engage or disengage according to credentials programmed into system.
3) “Brain” or electronic hub where data is stored and checked, This usually includes a software module that is installed to gain access to the data.
4) In most cities there are laws and codes pertaining to egress from a location, so that must be taken into account. For example, usually a motion detector or push-to-exit button are deployed inside the building at each exit to provide a means of egress. The codes can be seen at: http://www2.iccsafe.org/
5) If a keypad is not used, the system will need a key, key fob, or magnetic card that is pre-cut or pre-programmed with access rights.
When installing access control systems, companies should consider who will use the system, and how it will be used. The larger the number of users, the higher the risk. In a situation where numerous users, including guests, are entering the area, tiered levels of security may be advisable. For example, a bank with a large staff and customer base will undoubtedly employ multiple access control systems to ensure that the public cannot reach the safe, unauthorized staff cannot reach the ATM, and so forth. On the other hand, a smaller business might be satisfied with a single key used to open all of the doors in the building, distributed to all employees.