Access Control (part 1)

Access Control and Different Security Systems

A detailed Analysis Physical access

In physical terms, the terminology ‘access control’ mainly refers to the practice of controlling access to any physical or virtual entity, like a building, or a closed cabinet from unauthorized people. Access control in the physical level can be achieved by security personnel, a doorman, or a receptionist, or through mechanical techniques like lock & key, or through technological equipments like Access control vestibule. In this context, physical key management can also be utilized to a great extent for controlling and monitoring access to physically locked segments or access to particular minor assets.

Physical access control is definitely a factor of person, place, and time. An access control system defines who is permitted to enter or leave, to which area they are permitted to enter or leave, and at what time they are permitted to enter or leave. In the past this was partially achieved with the help of chains, keys and locks. When an entrance is closed using a lock only a person having a key can unlock the entrance which again depends on configuration of the lock. Anyhow physical lock and key mechanism does not permit access of the key holder to particular time or date. Physical lock & key mechanism does not keep any history of the key usage on any particular entrance and an unauthorized user can very easily copy or transfer the keys. When a physical key loss happens, the key holder can no more access the protected segment, and the locks will have to be reconfigured

Electronic access control utilizes computers to get solutions for the restrictions of physical lock & keys. A very wide collection of credentials is available as a replacement to the lock & key mechanism. The electronic access control technique provides access based on the authorization data displayed. When access is given, the entrance is unlocked for a specific time frame and the activity is stored in a database. When access is denied, the entrance remains closed and the attempted operation is recorded. The system will also keeps in database the activity of the entrance and alarm if the door is forced open or held open for a long time after being opened.

Access Control Card Reader

Access control card readers are widely employed in physical security techniques to read a credential that permits access via access control points, ideally a locked entrance. The main card technologies used includes magnetic stripe, bar code, Wiegand, proximity reader, contact/contact less smart cards. The wide range of biometric techniques consists of Fingerprint, Iris, retinal scan, hand geometry, signature, handwriting, voice, facial recognition, and hand Geometry Access control readers are usually grouped by functionalities they are able to do and by the technology used for identification(Shon, 2005).A credential is an entity similar to a code, a Personal Identification Number, an ID card, a biometric feature; or different combinations of these. Typically used credentials are an ID card, key fob, or another key (British Standard, 1999).

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