Understanding access control options

The primary reason organizations choose access control systems over traditional lock and keys is the increased level of security. These systems can effectively prevent unauthorized individuals from gaining access to secure content, assets, or data within the company.

For organizations concerned with internal theft, access control systems create checks and balances by tracking the entry and exit to secure areas. Monitored systems can reduce losses, catch incidents of internal theft, and provide evidence for the prosecution.

With its capacity to identify a specific employee, authenticate them, and then proceed to give that individual only access to their specific work area, access control has become a vital part of many organizations’ security approaches.

Computer-based electronic access control systems essentially marry the needs of physical security with the capabilities of information security. With the use of credentials such as codes, FOB, key cards, or biometrics, systems have the capability to provide quick and convenient access to authorized personnel, while tracking and monitoring the movement of those who enter. New technologies have rapidly increased not only the ability to restrict access to secure areas, but also the ability to monitor and manage that access through electronic means to better protect assets and data.

Access control systems come in three variations: Role-Based Access Control (RBAC), Discretionary Access Control (DAC) and Mandatory Access Control (MAC), and

1. Role-Based Access Control (RBAC)

RBAC systems are the most popular access control systems, where access is determined by an individual’s role and responsibilities in an organization.

2. Discretionary Access Control (DAC)

DAC – the least restrictive of all three systems – enables an organization to determine which people are allowed in a specific location.

3. Mandatory Access Control (MAC)

Commonly used in military institutions, MAC is highly restricted and utilized by companies that are highly concerned with confidentiality.

Which solution is best for your organization’s specific needs?

There are many factors to consider as technology is rapidly changing the physical security landscape. A top consideration of any security system is the level of security offered, but it is not the only one. Other important factors might include the quality of the hardware, ease of updating the software to reduce vulnerability to hackers, and the encryption of credentials. The systems can operate as a standalone device or be integrated within an existing system. The ease of changing user credentials, user experience, use of multifactor authentication, and level of administrative control can narrow down the system selection.

Adding to all of these considerations, is the security technology’s reliability. Despite their best efforts to research and ultimately select the right security solution, many organizations are concerned about the possibility of their access control hardware elements failing. To ensure not only the health but the connectivity of these elements, remote monitoring has become a viable option for many organizations.

Partnering with a security technology solution provider able to offer a wide spectrum of solutions that meet your specific needs is key to the overall success of any security platform. Clients have relied on SIGNET’s integrated security expertise since 1974. We understand that every organization is different – and facing unique threats, striving towards different goals, and achieving individual organizational needs requires a distinct security solution for every client.

For additional information, contact SIGNET Vice President of Engineering and security expert Greg Hussey.