Critical facilities need a comprehensive security system that can account for personnel and visitors. Fortunately, most smart buildings have reliable and robust access control systems to help monitor those coming and going. When appraising today’s access control systems, what are the “must-have” features facility managers should be looking for in its toolkit?
Assign Access Privileges
Different groups of people should be assigned different access privileges throughout the facility. To limit the through-traffic of people to sensitive areas of the building, thus reducing risk, restricting access privileges only grants essential personnel to particular building areas. Regular workers and visitors may have front-door and washroom access, while security personnel and management teams have greater access to more parts of the facility.
Two-factor authentication provides an additional layer of security when it comes to being granted permission to enter an area by access control systems. Personnel ID codes are programmed into the system, and the user is given access when they present their code, usually via card reader or manually entering their credentials. By enforcing a second factor to verify one’s identity, it reduces the chance of wrongful entry if someone were to steal another’s ID card or memorize their code.
Auditing Trail and Reports
The access control system should be able to store log-in/out occurrences in its database and be able to produce custom reports. This information is vital to keep a record of in case a breach happens and the security team needs to trace to a possible culprit. Further, this could show when and where employees had access to and can help run reports of any suspicious activity or find unused credentials.
Control Multiple Sites
A facility’s security team is responsible for monitoring multiple sites throughout the premises. A sound access control system should let the team manage their efforts from a central station or interface. To make sure nothing gets overlooked, security personnel can be assigned to different sites, while a central security team can keep everyone in communication and provide the necessary support.
Emergency Response and Behavior
In the event an emergency happens, some doors and entryways should not behave according to regular protocols. It’s important for access control systems to respond to different emergencies accordingly. Perhaps, if it’s a fire-related emergency, door overrides should be in place to let everyone evacuate the building. If it’s a scenario involving a possible trespasser, all doors could be overridden not to open, essentially putting the building into lockdown until the situation is resolved. Access control systems can also send mass messages to employees to alert everyone on situation statuses.
Integration with Other Systems
Building or security management teams also look for access control systems that integrate with other security systems. Managing door access control, video surveillance, and intrusion detection systems from a central interface are incredibly valuable when most facilities are sprawling.
EcoStruxure Access Expert from Schneider Electric
Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure Access Expert (formerly AccessXpert) can provide facilities with these features and more! The cloud-based platform gives facility managers and their security team flexibility by adapting to their unique building needs without sacrificing efficiency. Managing integrated systems from this product could even reduce operating costs.
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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!