Access Control systems

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Access Control systems can be simply defined as the process by which security staff control who enters and leaves the premises and when.

The global access-control market is projected to reach a total value of $10.4bn by 2020, growing at a CAGR of 10.6%, according to research by Markets and Markets.

Access control technically includes the time-honoured mechanical lock and key, but when people talk about access control in the modern security industry, they mean sophisticated electronic turnstiles, gates, wireless locks and other barriers.

Keys can be lost, stolen and copied, leaving assets vulnerable and requiring an expensive change of locks. Happily, when an electronic access card is lost or stolen, access rights can be withdrawn immediately, rendering the card inactive. Should thieves gain access before a theft is noticed, operators can identify when they breached security and – if there are multiple access points – where in the building they are at any given time.

Modern access-control systems also offer flexible access rights. For example, while all staff can generally gain access through a building’s main entrance, access to certain internal areas may be restricted to those with relevant authority. Access can also be restricted to specific time periods.

The plastic access card has long been the dominant form of identity verification. While they still govern access for most installed systems, biometric solutions – usually authenticating identity through facial, fingerprint and iris recognition – are becoming more reliable, affordable and widespread.

Often accused of being a conservative industry the access control sector is finally emulating its CCTV counterpart in embracing IP, open-platform technology, the internet of things and integration with, and interoperability between, building systems. Mobile access – gaining access using smartphones – is one burgeoning trend with numerous operational benefits.


Latest access control articles

Access control  manufacturers

UK’s first fire door installation qualification launched by BWF

Developed in partnership with the NPTC Group of Colleges, the course is designed to be a practical introduction to installing fire doors. Read More

Do you know how much downtime of your physical security systems is costing you?

Duncan Cooke, business development manager, UK & Europe, for Stratus Technologies, defines downtime, how to quantify the costs - financial and otherwise - and how to minimise downtime. Read More

MOBOTIX publishes Cyber Protection Guide for its customers

MOBOTIX has published a cybersecurity guide to help its customers strengthen the resilience of MOBOTIX products against cyber-attack. Read More

Hackitt to consider more prescriptive approach to building regulations

MPs have welcomed comments by Dame Judith Hackitt about the need for a more prescriptive approach to building regulation. Read More

ASSA 900 electronic strikes promise heavy duty performance

The Assa 900 series of strikes is compatible with the company’s Modular and Connect lockcases, and are designed to deliver a high strength, high performance combination for doors that undergo extreme usage, or that are situated in high security areas. Read More

FRS report into Royal Clarence Hotel fire is full of holes – this is what’s missing

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service has issued a 50-page report into the fire that destroyed the UK’s oldest hotel, in Exeter, in 2016. Fire safety consultant Alan Cox dissects the findings and finds them wanting in myriad ways. Read More

‘Accidental’ landlord tries to understand her responsibilities under “confusing” fire safety legislation

Writing in the Evening Standard, Victoria Whitlock found official advice confusing and contradictory – did she make the right decisions? Also in this roundup, three in 10 still use electrical devices they know have been recalled. Read More

Optex sensors integrated with Genetec control and command centre

Laser sensors from Optex can now be integrated with Genetec’s Restricted Security Area surveillance module for enhanced perimeter or area protection, either inside or outdoors. Read More

Spring Statement: Funding boost for housing should have included fire safety fund, says BWF CEO

The Chancellor should have ring-fenced a portion of the funding pledged for affordable housing in his spring statement for vital fire safety works, the CEO of the British Woodworking Federation (BWF) has said. Read More

ASSA ABLOY launches eCLIQ locking system for harsh and high-security environments

A new electronic locking system featuring an advanced chip and 128-bit AES encryption has been launched by ASSA ABLOY. Read More