Expert SpeakSecurity

How Can Automated Access Systems Protect Your Company From Strangers

Written by Mohammed Ihsan, PERCo MENA Region

Anyone who has ever been to a modern business center has seen how employees go through electronic checkpoints and use cards to open office doors. Security system will not only stop a stranger, but will also help to establish labor discipline and track the number of visitors. This guide tells you how to equip an office with these security systems, and what benefits can be derived from this.

Install Turnstiles

When checking paper passes at the entrance, security officials may make a mistake – by accident or intentionally. As a result, strangers get access to the protected areas. With an automated access system and centralized control, this is unlikely to happen. Turnstiles are an important part of this system.

They are all different – they differ in size, in appearance, and in principle of operation. The most common ones are tripod turnstiles, generally used at checkpoints in institutions and transport entrances. Tripod turnstiles are designed for small spaces and provide a traffic flow of up to 30 people per minute.

There are also full height rotor turnstiles that ensure a completely enclosed secure passage area. These are installed at checkpoints to protect enterprises, stadiums and other facilities where safety is especially important – such turnstiles provide a passage of 20 people per minute.

Speed gates is the solution to provide the highest throughput rate. Such turnstiles are equipped with swing or sliding panels similar to subway ones. These are commonly used in areas with high requirements for design and comfort: for instance, in business centers and banks. Speed gates provide the traffic flow of up to 60 people per minute.

Availability of a variety of installation solutions for access control of visitors and employees. System Integrators will help you to choose equipment depending on the facility tasks. For example, an electronic checkpoint equipped with a tripod turnstile will cost less than $1000, a speed gate will cost about $10000.

Set Up Identification By Card, Smartphone or Fingerprint
Let’s say we’ve installed turnstiles. But how to organise access? The cheapest and the most familiar way of organizing it is special cards, handed out to employees. Such keys can be protected from copying, but they can be lost or forgotten. Employees can as well transfer them to each other or even to strangers.

Such fraud should be monitored by security officers: when a person uses a card, the security guard checks the owner photo on the monitor and may restrict the entrance. In addition, you can always see the image from the camcorder. An alternative to access cards is a smartphone. It is always at hand, people rarely trust it to strangers or leave it unattended.

A smartphone can be used as a pass with a special application installed. The most reliable way is fingerprint identification. The fingerprint is almost impossible to fake and it certainly cannot be forgotten, lost or given away without notice. Although the process takes a bit longer than reading a chip, this technology is in demand in offices around the globe.

Access control equipment is manufactured generally compatible with different identifiers: cards, smartphones or fingerprints. Some turnstile models are already equipped with key readers, others need to be installed additionally.

Automate Issuance of Guest Passes

So, we set up the identification for employees, and gave access keys to everyone. Now it’s time to think of guests and customers. You can put a booth with a guard who will check documents and verify names, but modern equipment and software will allow employees to order passes for guests without leaving their workplace. To do this, sign in to the application, fill in the necessary data – and the pass is ready.

You can install special scanners at the entrance that will recognize documents (passport or ID). All this will significantly simplify the process for the security service. The software allows you to automate the way you deal with passes. Entering the guest’s name and data into the system, the operator sets the validity period of his pass and access rights.

Separate Access Inside the Building

Access control equipment can be installed not only at the checkpoint, but inside the building as well. Employees can be assigned with different access rights in accordance with their work schedule or authority. Thus, the server room will be accessible for IT specialists only, loaders and storekeepers will have access to the warehouse, and only the CEO will have access to his office.

You can restrict employees to enter the office on their weekends or after hours. Each device is connected to a single system, and the security service will be able to control all the entrances and exits online, while monitoring movement on the territory.

Moreover, in case of emergency, the turnstiles are automatically unlocked for evacuation. The software allows you to put individual rooms to the “security” or “double-check” modes. Any visit to such areas will be possible only in the presence of a manager or relevant specialist.

Take Employee Time Into Account and Reduce Costs

Employee attendance tracking may be a challenge for the management team. Security system helps to organize access, but it also keeps a data track. Each time an employee uses his ID, time and place are fixed. Labor discipline reports can be generated daily, weekly or even monthly, if desired.

Labour time tracking systems are also used without turnstiles – you can simply install a registration controller for employees to apply badges to during a check in. Devices can be installed at the door in front of the office or workshop for record-keeping of arrival and departure times. The management will be able to control all reports online.

The software allows you to control the real work schedule and reduce the working time loss. For instance, after the system was implemented at a manufacturing Plant, with more than 15,000 employees, a fivefold reduction of labor discipline violation was noted in eight months.

The system pays off quickly enough: judging by experience, equipment for a small company of 100 employees will pay off in less than a month. Manufacturers and its certified partners in various regions will help you calculate the equipment cost for a particular site, configure the system and train employees to use it.

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Chris Fernando

Chris N. Fernando is an experienced media professional with over two decades of journalistic experience. He is the Editor of Arabian Reseller magazine, the authoritative guide to the regional IT industry. Follow him on Twitter (@chris508) and Instagram (@chris2508).

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