How to Choose the Best Access Control Configuration

Posted by Jeremy Hillpot on Dec 11, 2019 12:00:00 PM

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Every building has a unique design, layout and construction. These idiosyncrasies reveal themselves whenever you try to equip an office space—new or old—with a modern access control system. That’s why it’s essential to take an inventory of the special access control components your building requires when selecting your access configuration.

 

What Components Does Your Access Control Configuration Need?

Here are the most common access control components found in buildings. When reviewing the list, ask yourself: How many of each component do you have, and do you need to control access for all of them?

Exterior doors

The most basic access control systems simply regulate who enters and exits through exterior doors. How many exterior doors does your building have? Do you want to incorporate them all into your access control system, or can some remain locked with a traditional key? Who should be able to access them after hours or on weekends?  How do you want to manage visitor access?

Interior doors

The most complicated access control systems lock down every suite, office, closet and storage space in a facility. This could be relevant if you’re a landlord with multiple tenants, your company deals with sensitive information, or works with expensive equipment and supplies. In such cases, you’ll want a nuanced access control system—which Openpath can provide—that prevents the wrong people from getting into the wrong places.

When considering all the doors, closets, break-rooms and storage areas throughout your office, think in terms of access levels. Start with a basic access level that requires the least security, where anyone with a credential should be able to access. This will probably include main entrances, break rooms, workout facilities, meeting spaces and bathrooms.

Next, think in terms of departments. For example, everyone in marketing needs access to the marketing suite and various parts of that area of your building. Finally, think in terms of rank. For example, you might want to create a 24/7 access level for the highest-ranking managers, that grants them access to all entries.

Of course, most access control solutions will have simpler requirements when it comes to controlling access to interior doors and storage areas.

Gates

You may need to prevent unauthorized people from entering the grounds surrounding your facility. In this case, you can extend access control to a gate system. You’ll want a gate that controls entering and exiting vehicles, in addition to bicyclists and pedestrians.

Configuring gates typically includes a high-level access category that grants 24/7 access to managers and other personnel, and a general access category that limits entry to specific working hours and days. However, as the workforce is evolving and “regular working hours” are becoming more flexible, the modern office is left looking for ways to increase accessibility to the office during all hours, without sacrificing security.  

With Openpath’s mobile access solutions, we can set up your gate to grant level-based access to all employees who have configured and installed the Openpath app on their smartphones.

Elevators

Elevators present a different kind of access control challenge. Due to the risk of ride-a-longs, it might not be enough to limit the buttons someone can press. In fact, no matter how you control the buttons on the elevator, an elevator is a poor barrier against entering certain floors and offices in your building. Someone can always wait in the elevator until a person with access pushes the right floor number.

For these reasons, consider how many elevators you have, where they’re located and whether you need to incorporate additional access limitations—such as turnstiles or locked doors where you enter and exit the elevators. At Openpath, we can help you explore your options to keep your elevators safe.

Other Access Control Situations

Many facilities have uncommon or complicated access control situations. Perhaps you’re running a hospital that needs to regulate access to potentially dangerous drugs, sensitive lab samples and valuable supplies. Or, maybe you have a unique door—like an elephant door or rollup door—that requires a special access solution. Fortunately, modern access control systems are versatile. We’ve never encountered a security challenge we couldn’t resolve.

 

Are You Installing a New Access Control System or Upgrading an Old One?

Not only is every building one-of-a-kind, but some need an entirely new access system, while others already have valuable systems in place. We designed Openpath solutions to meet the needs of both these situations.

New Access Control Systems Designed from the Inside Out

Openpath offers all the components and tools to build a new access control system from the ground up. Our patented technology provides high-quality, secure, hands-free, mobile access for all types of premises. Here are some of the reasons why businesses choose Openpath:

  • Compatible with all access options through keycards, mobile phones, touch, Apple Watch and key fobs

  • Cloud-based, real-time reporting of who is coming and going, and when

  • System integration with the most common computer applications and smartphones

  • Remote control of access

  • Easy installation with standard RS-485 wiring

  • Increased safety with the latest in security encryption technology

Upgrades to Existing Access Control Systems

We often speak with business owners who want a smartphone credential option and cloud-based access control solution, yet they already made a large investment in the keycard-based system they have in place. Fortunately, you don’t need a complete rebuild to use Openpath. We built hybrid options into Openpath’s solutions to integrate with existing access systems.

Here are a few Openpath upgrades that could bring your existing system up to modern tech standards:

  • Integrate cloud-based, real-time reporting with your existing access solution.

  • Upgrade your old system with the addition of mobile access.

  • Easily connect Openpath Smart Readers to your legacy control panel with our plug-and-play solutions.

  • In a multi-building scenario, install Openpath Readersat one building but continue to use legacy badges and keycards at a different building, and manage everything with Openpath’s cloud-based software. Employees seamlessly travel between offices, because Openpath Readers support legacy credential types.

  • Retain compatibility with high frequency or low frequency legacy keycards.

  • Build one-touch access into your existing system.

 

Learn About the Latest Access Control Technologies

These are just a few of the most important considerations for choosing the right access control configuration for your buildings. At Openpath, we will guide you through the process of designing or upgrading your access control solution from beginning to end. Contact us now if you’d like to learn about our latest access control technologies.

 

 

Fascinated by emerging technologies and the laws and market trends that follow them, Jeremy Hillpot’s background in consumer fraud litigation provides a unique perspective on a vast array of topics including smart technology, investments, startups, cryptocurrencies and the law. Contact Jeremy at legalwritingFINRA.com or jhillpot@legalwritingFINRA.com.

Topics: Access Control, SmartOffice

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