Access Control Design: Blueprint for Modern Security Unveiled

Access control design embodies control, simplicity, and safety. It grants you the power to dictate who can access your premises, when they can do so, and which areas they’re permitted to enter.

However, access control design offers more than just entry control. It provides real-time monitoring and reporting, allowing you to track access events, set up alerts, and maintain a secure environment.

Moreover, it seamlessly integrates with other security systems, enhancing overall safety and efficiency.

To help you navigate certain access control systems, we’ll give you some tips that can be your compass, guiding you through the complexities of access control planning and design.

15 Tips To Follow When Planning & Designing Access Control

1. Project Scale & Expansion

Modern Security Access Control Systems

Assess whether your access management system is tailored for a large enterprise with complex security needs or a small startup with limited access requirements.

The key is aligning the access control system with the project’s security and budgetary requirements. Electronic systems provide benefits over keys and a traditional server-based system but can be costly. 

If you want an access control plan that accommodates future growth seamlessly, utilize standard wiring schemes. 

Request a personalized access control design proposal from Safe and Sound Security and discover how we can tailor a solution that protects your assets and provides peace of mind. 

2. Access with Number of Users

When designing your access control system plan, consider the number of users it will accommodate.

It will define what authentication method and readers will suit your needs.

3. Determine The Identity Authentication Method

  • PIN Code 

Personal Identification Numbers or PIN codes provide a straightforward and cost-effective authentication method [1].

It is an easy-to-manage access control system suitable for smaller organizations or applications with a limited user pool.

Once the PIN is encoded on the reader, the control panel will compare the PIN the approved whitelist. If the credentials are approved, the door lock will disengaged.

  • NFC 

Near Field Communication or NFC technology enables contactless access by tapping a compatible card or device on a reader [2].

For larger enterprises or facilities, NFC can enhance security and handle the complexities of managing many users- (restricting access)

NFC access control verifies and grant access to users using high-frequency radio waves. It will transmit data between credentials and readers, allowing the user to have access wirelessly.

  • Fingerprint Reader 

Fingerprint readers are the best access control system because of their high-security biometric authentication.

Each person’s fingerprint is unique, making it a reliable access control system plan.

The user will place their registered finger on the scanner then it collects the print. The fingerprint security system will run the print in their database and once it matches, the lock will disengage.

  • Iris Recognition 

Iris recognition provides a high level of security and is often used in critical infrastructure and government facilities.

The encoded representation of the iris will be stored in the security database, so when the image of the iris is taken with NIR LED light, it will confirm or refute the credential.

  • ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition)

ANPR systems identify vehicles by reading their license plates. This method is common for parking garages and utilizing access control.

With an ANPR camera, the license plate image will be passed to the reader and will be passed on an Optical Character Recognition to read the characters.

Once it matches, it can provide seamless entry and exit for authorized vehicles.

  • Bluetooth (BLE

BLE technology uses specialized wireless readers to enable mobile devices to communicate with an electronic access control unit.

It will need direct communication between the door controller and Bluetooth-enabled phone. Every phone has a unique ID that will be used for authentication.

  • QR Code Scanning 

QR code scanning is a convenient type of access control.

Every code consists of black squares and dots that represent credentials. The QR code reader will scan the smartphones or cards to gain entry.

  • RFID 

RFID technology is a type of access control that uses radio waves to identify and track objects.

The technology enables an exchange of data between readers and a uniquely identifiable tag that can be read up to a few feet away.

RFID systems are scalable and widely used in various industries with multiple end-user systems.

  • Face Recognition 

Face recognition uses biometric data to grant access. It’s highly secure, user-friendly, and avoids misplaced or stolen keys.

The role-based access control applied for face recognition is popular due to advancements in facial recognition technology.

Using AI algorithms, the face image will be converted into a series of coordinates and then compared to the string of numbers stored in the database.

4. Multiple-Factor Authentication

Two Factor Authentication Security System

Consider implementing multi-factor authentication for enhanced security.

Most Safe and Sound Security clients combine two or more authentication methods, such as a PIN code and fingerprint scan, to ensure higher control access. 

5. Identify The Number Of Access Location Points

It is important to identify the number of access location points within your facility when doing an access control plan- entrances, exits, and any internal doors that require access control.

The location points on the access control plan ensure comprehensive security coverage and effective security threats notification and intrusion detection system.

6. Internal vs External Access Points

An excellent access control system interprets internal and external threats.

External access points are more vulnerable to unauthorized entry and may require additional security measures, such as surveillance cameras or stricter access control methods.

Internal access points are usually located within the facility or building.

It is typically used to provide wireless coverage within an organization’s premises and are less expensive than their outdoor counterparts.

7. Determine If All Gates/Doors Need Access Control

Not every gate or door may necessitate access control. Evaluate which entry points should be secured and which can remain open for general use.

This decision should be based on security considerations, convenience, and cost-effectiveness. Prioritize access control for areas where it is most critical.

8. Fail-Safe Control Or Fail Secure Control

Choose between fail-safe and fail-secure mechanisms based on your security requirements and operational needs.

While key management exists, fail-safe systems unlock doors or gates during power outages to ensure quick evacuation.

In contrast, fail-secure systems keep them locked in such situations to prevent unauthorized access.

9. Poe Or 12v Power Supply

Deciding which power supplies are ideal for your access control system is best.

PoE offers advantages such as simplified or single central power supply management, making it suitable for larger setups.

In contrast, a 12V power supply (local) may be more appropriate for smaller installations or locations where PoE infrastructure is unavailable.

10. Audio / Video Communication

access control and video intercom system

Integrate audio and video communication into your access control system to avoid security vulnerabilities.

This feature enhances security by allowing visual and auditory verification of individuals seeking door or gate access control.

11. Types Of Door / Gate Locking Methods

  • Maglock (Magnetic Lock)

Maglocks use electromagnetism to secure doors or gates, and the US requires a life safety code [3] for emergency access control purposes.

Unlike in a typical door access scenario, when energized, they create a magnetic bond between the lock and a metal plate, effectively locking the access point.

Maglock access-controlled doors are suitable for businesses, especially those with high-security needs, such as data centers and government facilities, where rapid, fail-safe locking is essential.

  • Automatic Gate Controller

Automatic gate controllers are used in large entryways or parking areas. They facilitate automated parking garage entry and exit by controlling gates or barriers.

Industries used this for efficient vehicle access management and improved security and traffic flow.

  • Electric Strike Lock

Electric strike locks are installed within the door frame, allow remote unlocking, and feature a forced door alarm. 

These locks provide convenience and enhanced security, allowing authorized personnel to enter while keeping others out. It can also used in a second access-controlled door to avoid security risks.

  • Solenoid Lock

Solenoid locks utilize an electromagnetic coil to control the locking mechanism.

Solenoid locks offer reliable access control. When the power is applied, it creates a magnetic field that keeps the door in the unlocked position and moves the slug inside.

12. Consider The Form Of Egress (Exit)

When designing access control systems, consider the form of egress and install request-to-exit devices. These specialized systems exist for emergency purposes.

Ensure that the exit panic hardware complies with building codes: panic bars, motion sensors, and push-to-exit buttons are common choices.

Adding access control ensures smooth and secure evacuation, benefiting businesses focusing on occupant safety, such as schools, hospitals, and public venues.

13. Choose Between Flush-Mount Or Surface-Mount Back Boxes

When designing an access control plan, we can recommend the mounting of hardware and key control cabinets.

Flush-mount boxes are sleek and suitable for modern, minimalist environments.

Surface-mount back Boxes are versatile and ideal for where cutting into walls is impractical.

14. Door Logging Activity

Door logging activity is crucial for security and auditing purposes.

It records access events, helping businesses identify security breaches, track employee movements, and ensure compliance.

Third-party controllers will use a proprietary web-based platform and support only proprietary readers for access control deployment.

15. Integrations

Elevator Access Control System
  • Lift Access Control

For multi-story buildings, a lift access control panel helps you gain access to specific floors or areas, improving security and restricting unauthorized movement.

  • Inclusive For Impaired Users

Implement braille signage, accessible card readers, or voice-controlled access systems to accommodate individuals with disabilities.

  • Remote Monitoring Or Emergency Alarm Integration

Remote monitoring and emergency alarm integration offer real-time oversight and rapid response capabilities usually controlled by a security officer, reception, or security staff in the server room.

Don’t compromise when it comes to securing your premises. Schedule a call with Safe and Sound Security, and get a free quote today! 

FAQs

What is access control system design?

Access control system design involves planning and configuring security systems to regulate entry to buildings or areas.

It includes choosing authentication methods, access control hardware, and software to ensure authorized access while preventing unauthorized entry.

How do access control system designs work?

Access control system designs work by using authentication methods like key cards, biometrics, or PIN codes to verify a user’s identity.

When authorized, the access system can unlock doors or gates electronically.
Please note that not every system utilizes compatible readers on existing client software-installed devices. Third-party control will use their own proprietary panels and web page interface to make it work.

Final Words

An effective access control system design is paramount for ensuring the security and safety of your premises [4].

Careful consideration of authentication methods, hardware, server rooms, and integration can create an excellent access control solution and eliminate security risks.

Whether designing an access control plan for a small office or a large enterprise, the right design can make all the difference.

Don’t leave your security to chance; take control today. Contact us for a free consultation, and let us help you design a secure and efficient access control system that suits your needs.

References:

  1. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/p/personal-identification-number.asp
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/near-field-communication
  3. https://www.nfpa.org/codes-and-standards/all-codes-and-standards/list-of-codes-and-standards/detail
  4. https://www.britannica.com/technology/security-and-protection-system

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