There’s no such thing as a “one-size-fits-all” access control solution for every small business. What is important for your business might not be important for the business down the street. So, when choosing an access control system, consider only your needs and choose a system that works best for you.
To help you to pick the right one, here are the steps to choose the best system for your business.
Decide on Your Security Needs
The first step to choose the best Access Control is decide what exactly you need it to do. Think about your security goals. Do you just need a way to prevent non-employees from using the back door, or do you need something more robust that can validate visitors at multiple entrances and keep track of security records?
Make a list of all the threats to your business, both internal and external, and the assets you want to protect. This will be your access control checklist. When It comes time to choose the right system, you’ll be able to go down the list and find the exact one to match your needs.
Next, think about your future goals. You want to choose a system that can scale with your growing business. If you plan on expanding in the next few years, make sure your system can handle it. Otherwise, you might be going through this process all over again.
Choose Your Entry Devices
Once you’ve identified your security goals, it’s time to choose which entry devices you need. Entry Devices are the physical equipment that keep your doors locked until the right credentials are presented.
There are a few entry devices available, each with different functions. These are some of the most common:
- Keypad – users enter a numeric PIN to gain entry.
- Card Reader – users swipe a magnetic access card for entry.
- Proximity Reader – similar a card reader, except it doesn’t require a swipe. Users simply touch their credentials (Whether it be a card, fob, or even smartphone) to the reader for access.
- Biometric Scanner – scans a user’s fingerprints or face for validation.
- Bluetooth enabled smartphones – an effective from of contactless/frictionless access control.
- Touch-free request to exit (RTE) buttons – operate on infra-red technology allowing doors to be opened without touching.
The right Entry Device for your business depend on the level of security you want versus how easy it is to manage.
Integration With Other Security Systems
Do you currently use an Alarm System, CCTV Cameras, or an Intercom? If so, you’ll want to choose an access control system that can integrate with your existing security measures. A single, integrated system is much easier to manage than several independent systems – specially for small companies with limited time and human resources.
Think about you might need in the future. Even if you don’t have a CCTV surveillance system installed now, you might want to get one in the future. Make sure your access control system will be able to integrate with other systems in the future.
Consider Your Current IT Infrastructure
Data management is an essential part of an access control system. All those users permissions and security logs need to be stored somewhere. If you have a strong IT infrastructure already in place, an on-site system might be your best bet. Keeping your system entirely in-house gives you more control over its management.
Naturally, some businesses don’t have capital, or time to manage on-site systems. So you can choose many options for a cloud-based access control system. In a cloud-based system, all your data is stored in off-site servers and maintained by a professional security provider. To manage your system, all you need to do is log in from any device.
Cloud-systems provide unmatched usability. They’re perfect for any business that doesn’t have the time or knowledge to deal with technological maintenance.