Date icon25 March 2024

TouchStar selecting the right access control system

In today's business environment, ensuring the security of your premises, assets and your staff is non-negotiable. This is why an access control system is so important. It's not just about keeping doors locked; it's about controlling who has access to what areas and when. This blog will walk you through the key considerations in choosing the right access control system for your business, giving you improved security and peace of mind.  

The role of access control systems in business

Access control systems are key to enhancing both security and safety in the workplace. They offer more than just locks and keys, allowing you to tailor and expand access solutions across your premises. With options like biometrics and card readers, these systems ensure that only authorised people enter sensitive areas, all in real-time. They're also great for safety, limiting access to risky areas to only those employees who have the right training or certification. Plus, they provide valuable audit trails, making it easier to track who was in certain areas, such as food production zones, especially important in situations like contamination events. This boosts not only security but also the efficiency of your operations.  

Different types of access control systems

Access control systems vary to fit different security needs, starting with audio/video intercoms for basic entry-level requirements. This helps control entry during operative periods and even remotely in some configurations. For medium setups, solutions can manage up to ten doors efficiently with everything supplied, installed, and controlled by a closed system. In contrast, networked systems are ideal for more than ten doors, offering the highest scalability and integration flexibility with other systems like CCTV, fire and intruder alarms.  

There are several authentication methods: card-based systems, pin pad entry for those preferring codes, proximity sensors for contactless access, and biometric solutions, including fingerprint facial recognition, and dual factor authentication for higher security levels. Additionally, smartphone-based access control is becoming increasingly popular, offering convenience and remote management capabilities.  

Each type has its pros and cons, depending on your security needs and business model. Read our Access Control Systems Buyers Guide for a detailed overview of the types of access control systems.   

Assessing Your Security Requirements 

When considering an access control system, evaluate your security needs based on several factors:  

  • Location: High-risk areas require more robust systems.
  • Number of Users: More users mean more credentials to manage and monitor.
  • Type of Business: Different industries have varying regulatory and security requirements.
  • Future Growth: Choose a system that can scale as your business grows.  

Understanding these factors will guide you in choosing a system that aligns with your security requirements.  

Key features to look for in an access control system

When evaluating potential systems, consider the following key features:  

  • Scalability: Can the system expand as your organisation grows?
  • Integration capabilities: Can the system integrate with your existing security setup?
  • Customisable access levels: Can you set different access levels based on role or area?
  • Audit trails: Can you access detailed reports on who accessed what and when?
  • Remote management: Do you have the capability to control and monitor the system remotely?  

These features ensure that the system not only improves security but also increases operational efficiency.  

Cost Considerations When Buying an Access Control System  

Budgeting for an access control system involves upfront costs (hardware, installation) and ongoing expenses (licences, maintenance, software updates). Consider the total cost of ownership and how it fits into your budget. Remember, investing in a quality system can save money in the long run by preventing security breaches and reducing administrative costs.  

Training and Post-Installation Support  

After installation, make sure that your team is properly trained to use the system effectively. Also, check the level of post-installation support provided by the vendor. Good support can significantly impact the system's effectiveness and longevity.    

Finding the right system for your business  

Choosing the right access control system is a vital part of your business’s security and safety strategy. It requires a careful assessment of your needs, understanding the different systems available, and considering key features and costs. By taking the time to research and select the right system, you're investing in the safety and efficiency of your business.  

If you're ready to take the next step into finding the right access control system for your business, be sure to read our Buyer’s Guide for more detailed information and expert advice. Remember, the right system is out there; it's all about finding the match that best secures your unique business environment.