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Access Control


In the fields of physical security and information security, access control is the selective restriction of access to a place or other resource while access management describes the process. The act of accessing may mean consuming, entering, or using. Permission to access a resource is called authorization.

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Keypads and Touchscreens

Keypads and Touchscreens are at the low end of electronic locking systems. The unit replaces the key to a deadbolt or door with a keypad or touch screen. Most units have a back-up physical key. Operating with a basic reader, the user enters a preprogrammed code. Provided the code matches, the system releases the lock. The keypad can accept multiple codes and temporary codes. Touch screens can accept a password, PIN, or biometric, such as a fingerprint.

Biometric Readers

Biometric Readers typically use fingerprints to verify credentials but can use other biometrics such as a palm scan, retina scan, or voice activation. The scanner converts the biometric measure into a numerical template, which serves as credentials. Scanners can approve multiple users and temporary access. The key benefit of biometric readers is the difficulty in faking credentials or bypassing the system. The downside is the higher cost. The original authorization requires the physical presence of the user to present the biometric measure used. It takes more time to initiate a code, and biometric systems have the highest incidence of system failure.

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Remote Access or
Smart Locks

Remote Access or Smart Locks allow the user to control the lock without proximity requirements. Rather than being at the location, the locks operate based on software transmitted through Bluetooth, WiFi connections, or Z-wave technologies. The system can also send alarms and updates when a door is locked, unlocked, or open. Users can enter credentials from a smartphone, computer, or tablet. Smart locks allow users to restrict access to only certain times of the day, access to expire, and allows users to change access codes within seconds to grant or deny credentials.

Key Cards, FOB and
RFID Readers

Key Cards, FOB, and RFID Readers use a radio transmitter to communicate between the FOB and the controller. A keycard, FOB, employee badge, or other programmed card tie credentials to the reader without requiring smart technologies. A reader can accept a swipe, tap, chip, or contactless cards. One FOB can open multiple doors or drawers provided they are part of the same access control system.

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