Like Closed Circuit Television (CCTVs) and alarm system, access control comes in different parts, shapes, and sizes too, depending on the nature of security needs and also the environment in which the system will be installed in.
In the simplest form of access control, there is the door or the gateway which barred people from entering. On these entrances, there situate readers that need certain form of credentials ranging from cards, passwords, or biometric details, so that the information can then be transmitted to the control panel for verifications before opening the gateways.
Sometimes, these gateways can be doors, other times it may be a gate, turnstile, or other physical barriers. The reader mounted onto the gateways can be a non-intelligent one which simply requires the possession of a valid access card or PIN number. The reader can also be a semi-intelligent one whereby it is dependent on a centralised control system, so that any information key in by individuals who wish to enter, will be send to the centralised area for verification. Last but not least, the intelligent reader which make all input and output decisions.
The centralised control system which governs access control can be wired based or IP based. In the case of a wired base access control system, a host computer will be present to maneuver all access control within the designated area. On the other hand, in the case of IP based access control system, the connection will be done via an internet network.
Access control can be highly varied because of the many models that it comes with. Besides the identity and attribute based access control, there is also the role based access control, which means only certain people within a certain hierarchy will have the rights to get their hands on certain information or premise. Similarly, there is the rule based access control, whereby only certain time or certain period that the access is permitted to certain people.
Moreover, in mandatory access control, the rights to certain information or premise is by permission only. Hence such control is often employ to guide highly confidential or top secret documents.
It is hard to determine which form of access control is best for which type of business setting, thus, the best way is to consult experts for their advice.