Access Control systems, in simple terms, can be defined as the means through which Security personnel can control when and who enters or leaves an area of control, a building or part of it.
The global market of access control systems is expected to reach a turnover of 10,4 billion dollars by 2020, as it grows at an annual rate of 10,6%, according to a research by Markets and Markets.
Access Control technically includes the mechanical lock, but when referring to access control in the modern world of security, one means sophisticated electronic tourniquets, gateways, wireless locks and other control means.
Keys may be lost, stolen or copied, leaving property exposed, and furthermore they require a change of locks which is expensive. On the contrary, when an electronic access card is lost or stolen, access rights can be instantly removed, making the card invalid. Intruders would need to gain access before theft is reported, whereas the Security personnel can instantly identify intrusion incidents and block access to multiple points at any moment.
Modern Access Control systems offer flexible access rights. For instance, all employees may have general access through the main entrance of a building, but access to certain internal spaces may be limited to selected employees. Access may also be limited to specific time periods.
Plastic access card have been for quite some time, the main means of identity verification. Despite still being used in most installed systems, biometric solutions – identity verification through face, fingerprints and iris recognition, becomes increasingly reliable, cost-efficient and more widely used.
Access Control is often “accused” of being a “close” and non-flexible security infrastructure, however this particular sector eventually embraces connectivity. IoT offers integration with interoperability between protection systems. In parallel, in line with current trends, Access from mobile devices such as smartphones, is rapidly growing and has many operational benefits.