Business man using ID card to enter with an access control system.

Key Ways to Enhance an Access Control System

If your company has invested in an access control system, then you want to be sure you’re getting the best value out of it. When it comes to commercial security, these advanced systems provide significant advantages, but they have to be used and maintained properly. Here are nine big ways to enhance the effectiveness of an access control system.

Ensure It’s the Right Access Control System for the Building.

Each building is different, and every company has different security needs. An access control system is a flexible solution which is most effective when selected to fit a specific environment. We recommend periodically evaluating the security challenges in your office or facility and checking that the system addresses those. Changing the program settings also might be a quick fix for the situation.

Specifically, ask your staff if:

  • Does it control access to all of the high-security areas?
  • Is effective during the times of day when security is the biggest concern?
  • How many people are using the access control system? Does it work efficiently for that level of traffic?
  • Does it work well with any other security system or security measures used on the property?

Is It Time to Update the System?

As technology improves, it’s likely that newer features and settings could more accurately meet those challenges. Sometimes an update, upgrade or switch to a different brand of access system can make a noticeable difference.

Our professional locksmiths recommend that business plan for technology updates. Dedicate a portion of the annual budget to maintenance, but also budget for upgrading in the long-term. An access control system will likely need to be replaced every 8 to 10 years.

Make Sure the Access Control System is Set Up Properly.

Access control systems are most effective when they are programmed to fit a building’s security demands. Settings need to allow and restrict access at exterior entry points during specific times of day and on certain days of the week. Facility managers and supervisors should give careful consideration from the beginning about where access is more strictly controlled and which users are permitted entry into each building or department.

Test Performance & Maintain the System.

Just like anything we rely on for security, regular testing and maintenance are important steps. Make sure that testing procedures and maintenance checks are part of the annual calendar for your facility.

Establish a Protocol for Traffic Data Use.

Management should set up a process for how and when information about traffic will be used. Whether it’s reviewed daily to track employee work hours, regularly to see the average flow of people coming into the building, or as needed for security issues, these details should be defined. This applies to the main door as well as specific high-security points.

Implement Access Levels.

One of the great advantages of access control is that the system can be customized to an individual building. Consider each section of the building and its particular security needs. Access should only be granted to users who need to use that space.

Review the entry credentials for each point and check if they should be more restricted. Be sure that access has been canceled for employees who have left the company or have been fired. Then, go through and update the list of users and their level of access.

Third party service providers should have strictly controlled access levels according to the areas that need to be accessed. Additionally, it’s important to restrict access in terms of work hours and period of time.

Keep Access Devices Updated.

Whether your company uses keypads, key fobs, access cards or biometric input, access device permissions should be regularly updated.

  • Access devices should be collected as each visitor exits.
  • Access devices should be collected and permissions deactivated when staff leaves the company.
  • Each code, fob, card or fingerprint should allow entry only for a set period of time.
  • After six months or one year, the system should automatically block access and require renewal for continued use.
  • The automatic block should occur sooner (about every two to three months) for third-party users.

These guidelines should help force your business to review user access permissions regularly and keep everything as up to date as possible.

Inform Staff About Correct Use.

New employees and staff should be informed about your company’s expectations when it comes to access control. For example, they should know that holding the door open for others or allowing people to tailgate into the building is unacceptable.

Double Up on Security.

Finally, consider using a double-check procedure in which supervisors must sign off on each entry request. This practice can decrease entry abuse and tailgating.

The record created can be stored electronically for future reference. For example, access validation is helpful in case valuable equipment or materials go missing, damaged or stolen.

Get expert information on How to Build an Effective Commercial Key Management System.

Commercial Security Solutions

For more information about commercial access systems and controlled entry management, contact the professional locksmiths at Great Valley Lockshop. You can reach us at 610-644-5334 or request a quote here.

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