Regardless of how frugal you are, the security measures of your business should not be one of the sectors to fall under your cost-cutting knife. After all, what little money you manage to save from a cheap security system will not be enough to offset how much you will lose from a burglary that succeeded because of your workplace’s weak security. On the other hand, one should still spend their budget wisely even when it comes to security, as quite a bit of the money you spend on a modern security system will go into additional features that, in your use case, you might not actually need.
For burgeoning business owners, there are a wide variety of security systems available on the market that can even be purchased off the shelf. From electronic alarms to CCTV surveillance systems, the sheer number of available options to choose from can be a bit daunting. In this article, we will be talking about electronic access control systems, and whether or not the functions and features they have on offer are worth the investment for your particular business.
Before anything else though, let us talk about what an electronic access control system even is. The idea behind access control is a bit similar to a system of doors and locks – that is, you have door locks installed into certain doors that require certain keys to open. In an electronic access system, the parallel to these physical keys are electronic keycards, which are built in with a chip that can store data such as its authorisation level and details about its cardholder. Such a setup offers various benefits for the workplace, which we will detail below:
Easy Installation and Setup
Electronic access control systems generally consist of three main components: electronic locks that are attached to doors, card readers that work in conjunction with the locks, keycards, and a central computer that tracks the statuses and interactions between the keycards and door locks. Besides the main computer, the components of the electronic access control system are small and light, allowing for flexible setups in various types of workplace layouts.
On top of that, though, there are what are known as wireless electronic access control systems. Unlike the traditional setup, the electronic door locks and card readers communicate with the central computer using low-power WiFi or Bluetooth technology, which allows the locks to operate on battery power for several weeks at a time. Such a feature makes these systems trivial to install in all sorts of setups, especially in spaces in which the layout cannot be altered to accommodate additional wiring, such as in older architecture where altering the walls can damage the building’s structural integrity.
Strong Protection against Security Threats
Modern electronic access control systems are closed-ended; that is, it only allows communications between components it is authorised to work with, blocking out all other components that do not meet that requirement. This ensures a higher degree of security for both employers and employees, as the access control system can be configured to prevent intruders, unauthorised visitors, or other unwanted people from accessing critical areas of the workplace or even the front door if needed.
Now, you might be thinking of some possible security loopholes that may arise from such a setup. For example, what would happen if a keycard held by an employee with a high level of authorisation was lost? That won’t be an issue as the authorisations coded into any missing keycard can easily be revoked with a few simple clicks into the central computer, and all of the electronic locks in the system will instantly update in accordance to the new settings.
What about guest keycards, you might ask? Well, the central computer can also encode a minimum authorisation level to a certain keycard that will prevent access to all parts of the workplace except for areas configured to be okay for guests, such as company conference halls or meeting rooms. And when the guest leaves the company premises, the cards can just as easily be wiped of their authorisation, disabling their functions unless authorisations are enabled again later.
Flexible Integration with Other Systems
One of the most useful features of electronic access control systems is its ability to work with other security measures to create a unified and more effective security system. For example, certain workplace alarms can be wired to be set off when the central computer of the electronic access control system when it detects a security breach. Surveillance cameras can also be used to track and identify intruders in such cases, aiding law enforcement in gathering information about said intrusion, or command the electronic locks to enter a lockdown state if the cameras detect suspicious activity.
Lower Maintenance and Upkeep Costs
For a lot of businesses, especially small ones, money that can be set aside for investing in security is often a bit tight. And yes, electronic access control systems can get rather expensive, especially when we consider its up-front cost. However, much of the value of this type of security system is found in the long term. With all things considered, electronic access control systems are much cheaper than hiring security guards over a longer period of time. On top of that, these systems are often optimised for efficiency and ease of use, so most people will be able to operate and perform basic maintenance on the system (such as swapping out batteries on wireless electronic door locks) without the need fora high level of technical knowledge – and if you are faced with a broken system, most electronic access control systems on the market give you access to their technical support network that you can reach by phone or email so issues can be resolved quickly.