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4 access control best practices to follow in 2018

February 02, 2017

4 access control best practices to follow in 2018

Solution providers across the country are already working to meet the growing needs of their physical security customers. As the nature of security continues to evolve with each passing year, organizations require technologies that are keeping pace with today’s complex threat landscape.

Access control is a key part of any physical security system, but only if it’s leveraged to its full potential. Here we count down four of the top best practices for access control technologies in 2018.

1. Establish layers of physical security.

Of course, there’s no single physical security device or system that will offer full protection for a given facility. Instead, various technologies, such as access control and video surveillance, must work together to achieve comprehensive security, improve incident detection and response, and help prevent future emergencies.

Access control is often considered the first line of defense in any security solution. In an effective deployment, access control technologies will be layered with video surveillance cameras, intrusion detection devices and other tools that will ensure that each element is being used to its maximum potential.

Access control itself should also be layered. Today, best practices dictate that two- or three-factor authentication is the preferable option for each access point. Combine biometrics, PIN pads, card readers or other technologies to ensure that each user must authenticate at least two of the following categories: knowledge (such as a PIN), possession (such as a key card) or identity (proven through a fingerprint or retina scan). This ensures that unauthorized individuals can’t gain access to secure areas by simply stealing or borrowing an authorized user’s key card or PIN, for example.   

2. Make the most of third-party integrations.

When various technologies are used in concert, you can achieve true layers of security. To create a layered security solution, always maximize the potential of third-party integrations.

Today’s access control technologies readily integrate with a wide range of complementary devices, such as physical security information management solutions, intrusion alarms, video surveillance cameras, and fire alarms. To make your install easier and more seamless, opt for systems that are built using an open architecture. That way, they’ll be easier to integrate and will provide customers a more fluid user experience.

3. Train employees effectively.

Even in the highest-security facilities, humans can be the weakest link. Through error, malice or even haste, employees can jeopardize an access control system in a matter of seconds. That’s why it’s vital to ensure that each clients’ staffs are fully trained on using the system and adhering to the company’s security policy.

In addition, security personnel should be trained on how to maximize the system’s capabilities. Many of today’s access control solutions include advanced feature sets that some employees may not be aware of. As part of your contract, offer training for security personnel in order to ensure that they use the system to its fullest potential.

4. Secure all access control data.

Be sure to carefully consider the security of the data used in your customers’ access control systems. Today’s networked security technologies are particularly at risk, as hackers develop new techniques to access and even take control of physical devices. It’s vital to properly secure any stored data on access control systems, including biometric information, PINs, user data and usage logs, from both a logical and a physical standpoint.

What best practices do you follow for your access control installs? What do you think is the key to a successful access control project?