Authentication and Authorization: Building Access Control Systems

Authentication and Authorization: Building Access Control Systems

Access control systems are vital to building security. See how authentication and authorization both play a role in the system.

Building security comprises of two distinctions: identifying and verifying who people say they are, and letting those people access only where and what they have permission. Authentication and authorization are concepts found within data security and granting access control to electronically stored information. For building security purposes, keeping track of authentication and authorization is just as critical when it comes to safeguarding a physical location. Government buildings or data centers are just some of the facilities where building security is imperative. Read on to further understand the applications of authentication and authorization in a building’s access control system.

What is Authentication?

Authentication verifies who someone claims to be. Users and employees, in many building access control scenarios, are assigned  unique identification in a building’s security system. These credentials can be typed in or carried around in the form of access cards, key fobs, or increasingly, on mobile devices. When single-factor authentication isn’t sufficient “proof” of who the user claims they are — anyone could potentially steal a card or type in another’s credentials — multi-factor authentication further helps confirm the user’s identity. Biometric authentication such as fingerprint or facial recognition scanners are other methods that can be used to verify identity in high-level security locations.

 What is Authorization?

After verifying the user’s identity is authentic, the user should only access select parts of the building. Beyond who can access certain parts of the building, further conditions regarding when and how users are permitted access to the building must be met as well. Do some personnel need to be accompanied by a superior to enter a part of the building? Are there any restricted after-hours access?

Generally, a business has different departments that house sensitive information. That departmental information shouldn’t be accessible to everyone within an organization. Maintaining separation of payroll and IT, for example, lets authorized personnel access specified parts of the building and the specific information kept within those departments.

Building Access Control

Trespassers can be an apparent major threat to a building’s security, but companies should be wary of internal threats or noncompliance as well. Constant monitoring of those following proper building access control procedures and protocols ensures the organization stays compliant with security policies and helps to identify risks before they occur. Building management systems already monitor various building systems, which includes building access control. Integrating or installing a building access control system outfitted with video surveillance, alarm management, intrusion detection, and more help bring facilities up to modern security standards.


At Critical Systems, the people come first, from our employees to our customers. We strive to attract and develop the best talent in the business. Our goal is to deliver innovative solutions for the purpose of making every building secure, efficient, and effectively managed. Serving the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia, and Baltimore regions, SEBCSI provides innovative solutions for your commercial building or facility. Visit our website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn today! If you’re looking for more information or interested in working with us on your next project, please contact us!

This entry was posted on Monday, October 14th, 2019 at 9:30 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.