What to Look for When Choosing an Access Control System

by | Nov 2, 2022

Choosing the right access control system is crucial for any organization. However, many building owners are unsure of what to look for. Understanding what these systems offer and how one can help ensure the safety and security of your property is crucial to choosing the right system for you.

Though all access control systems are designed to protect people and property, they can offer unique capabilities and restrictions. It is important to consider these as well as your own property needs in order to make sure you select the right system. Here are a few things to look for.

Level of Security

Before installing an access control system, it is essential to consider the type of mechanisms, models, and access control policies your business requires. You will need to look at how the areas you want to control access to can be accessed and by whom. 

This can help you determine how many openings need to be secured and the level of security you need for different areas of your property. You may have some areas that require a high level of security and others that are open to the public during certain hours.

Reliability and Speed

You depend on your access control system to keep your facility safe and secure, rain or shine, and this means working in every condition. This requires a secure system that isn’t dependent on your building’s wiring. Fast wireless control ensures that your system remains working no matter what the conditions are like outside.

Flexible and Secure Access

It is important to consider what access methods a system offers. These can include a variety of physical and digital options.

Mobile Cloud-Based Credentials

Access control systems such as Brivo’s OnAir system can offer easy mobile credentials that allow users to access a facility with their smartphone. Building owners simply grant access through the Brivo mobile app without the need for key fobs or cards. This means access control can easily be managed from anywhere without worrying about forgotten or misplaced credentials.

Touch-Free Access Control

Now more than ever, touch-free access control systems are ensuring the safety of users as they offer a convenient way to access secured areas. Hands-free access through Bluetooth-based readers that detect the nearest door means fewer touch points that risk spreading illness as well as a smoother flow of traffic throughout a facility.

Key Cards or Fobs

Though increasingly obsolete, physical credentials such as key cards and fobs remain a preferred method for some. These physical tokens allow users to access permitted areas of the facility and can be distributed to authorized personnel based on their level of access.

Integrated Video Surveillance Solutions

Most property owners prefer to include video surveillance in their access control systems, and having an integrated solution is important. Traditional standalone security surveillance is a great way to enhance the security of a facility, but an integrated solution that offers wireless monitoring without separate installation and maintenance offers a whole other level of convenience and security.

Integrated cameras installed in coordination with access control equipment such as door readers can allow building owners to view access events as they happen. This can provide a far better view of who is accessing what, and allows events to be tied to relevant video footage.

A product like Brivo Access can integrate with video surveillance systems in order to allow building managers to view users in real-time as they open and lock doorways. This allows for effective real-time access control from anywhere through the Brivo mobile app.

Scalability When Choosing An Access Control System

No matter the size of a building or operation, an access control system needs to be able to meet an organization’s needs now and to grow with it. This means easily adding new capabilities as needs change. Whether this means adding new locks and readers or a new video surveillance system, it is important to know that a system can scale up and down when necessary.

Legacy or Cloud-Based Systems

One of the most significant considerations for an access control system is choosing between a legacy access control system and a cloud-based system. Traditionally, access control systems have relied on on-site computer servers to store data and control the system. These are referred to as “legacy systems” and have long required a significant investment of time and money in order to maintain.

However, advancements in internet-based technology have allowed for seamless and secure integration with offsite servers that enable cloud-based access control systems. These cloud-based systems have revolutionized the convenience and security offered by access control systems. 

Legacy servers require on-site maintenance in order to make changes to access permissions, and they require physical maintenance in order to update the system. In contrast, a cloud-based access control system does not require on-site maintenance and can be updated wirelessly at any time.

Cloud-based systems like Brivo allow building managers to update access permissions at any time, anywhere, with the touch of a button. This can also allow for the addition of new technology, such as additional smart locks, without the need to run new wires or make other adjustments to the system.

Final Thoughts

Choosing an access control system is an important decision, and it is crucial that you know what you should be looking for. There are a lot of access control systems on the market, each claiming a wide range of features, but by focusing on the most important factors as described above, you can make sure that the system you choose meets your needs.  Contact us today to get started on choosing the right fit for your company security.