Four benefits of integrated access control systems

In this guide to the benefits of integrating Access Control into the IT network, which has been produced with the support of TDSi, one of the UK'S leading suppliers of integrated access control systems, we highlight four areas which illustrate just why such an approach can be so valuable.

Identity Management

Personal identity is at the heart of access control and in most cases its key purpose. An effective access control system will establish who is entering (or leaving) a controlled area so that the security team knows the status of their site at any given point. This is important if valuable assets are present (be these physical items or sensitive data systems) and is a first line of defence against intrusion or theft.

At the same time, identity management means you can monitor employee access and departure – which is very well suited to Time and Attendance recording. When access control systems are linked to the HR system they can also be used to monitor shift patterns and to enable an individual's access to IT systems when required. This makes it much easier to register staff absences or lateness and adjust salary payments accordingly, saving money on any lost or unproductive working time.

Equally, it can ensure only employees with the right access can enter restricted parts of a facility to enhance internal security or use designed entrances/exits in a busy site to manage human traffic flow and safety.

Efficiency

Energy efficiency is a popular use for access control. When an individual is granted access, the integrated system can inform the environmental and business systems that resources such as lighting and heating/cooling are required.

Greater time efficiency can also be achieved by the access control system alerting staff that a member of the team has arrived in the building or that a visitor is waiting in the reception area. This makes it much easier for employees to structure their time and that customers/visitors are not kept waiting.

A well-integrated access control system also allows rapid authorisation of visitor access (with bespoke and limited access to facilities). Furthermore, directions can also be offered to ensure visitors or new employees know where they need to go.

Safety

Access control is designed to protect people and property, so safety is a key element. Integrated security adds a further level of safety by ensuring the security team is alerted to any problems and dispatched immediately.

Aside from the security aspect, knowing where visitors are has a strong safety aspect too. A site may have dangerous mechanical/electrical areas, or hazardous substances, so ensuring unauthorised people don't enter is a necessary precaution.

This can equally apply to the safety of regular users too. For example, a child safely entering a school building could trigger an automated text message to a parent to confirm they have arrived safely, or the security team could be notified if a guard hasn't checked into a designated checkpoint during a patrol. The security system ensures everyone is accounted for, bypassing the potential for human error.

'Tailgating' (whereby an intruder closely follows an authorised person through access control) can be an issue associated with some older security systems. A modern integrated system can detect additional people entering a restricted area using motion capturing software, then automatically excludes entry and/or dispatches the security team. This closes a potential security gap and prevents potentially dangerous intruders sneaking through access control. This is particularly relevant where there are vulnerable persons or property (in a school or hospital for example) but it may be impractical or financially unviable to post a human security guard at each access point.

Risk/Compliance

Ensuring risk and compliance rules are upheld is another key benefit from using integrated and automated security. The Security Manager can be alerted to any potential problems as they occur as well as receiving accurate and simple reports on past incidents.

From a risk point of view, being able to track people moving through a site is very helpful, especially if there is an incident which needs attention. For example, integrated security and access control is especially useful when it comes to a fire or similar evacuation situation. These automated systems can report on the numbers and locations of people in the building using the access control records, integrated CCTV and intruder detectors. Doors can be automatically unlocked to aid evacuation and also unsafe areas secured to help evacuees find a safe route.

Opportunities

TDSi's Integrated Security Systems

For more information on how you can take advantage of the increasing demand for integrated physical security solutions, contact the Midwich Sales Team on telephone: 01379 649200 or email fastresponse@midwich.com.

Alternatively visit www.tdsi.co.uk for more details on TDSi's extensive range of integrated security solutions.