To be truly valuable, today’s physical access control must be intelligent and intuitive, and offer the flexibility to respond to changing needs and risk. The answer to these needs is adaptive access control and its stronger relative, risk-adaptive access control.
Adaptive access control means your physical access control system can be adapted easily, both functionally and operationally. It balances the need to manage risk with the desire to improve user experience, and allows you to control access according to roles, departments, days, times, locations and more. And if you want to integrate new technology or add new sites to your system, for example, adaptive access control enables you to do so.
Risk-adaptive access control takes this concept a step further by also adapting easily in response to new and changing risks. So your physical access control system can quickly switch to providing a stronger security solution, when needed, while still being easy to use.
Significant commercial benefits
This kind of adaptive and risk-adaptive access control goes far beyond just opening and closing doors. It enables you to create a security system that acts as the hub of your organisation, linking to your systems for facilities management, HR and IT. And bringing a wide range of practical, experiential and commercial benefits that are all achieved through adaptability.
Let’s look at some of the benefits adaptive and risk-adaptive access control could bring to your business or organisation.
Get long-term value from your system
An access control system is a considerable investment, so it’s a decision you’ll take time researching. Will the system you opt for still be appropriate for your organisation in a year…two years…five years? Making the right choice now avoids you having to buy another a new system sooner than you need to. One of the main drivers for reinvesting in access control being that existing systems can’t support new requirements.
An adaptive access control system is future proof in that it’s easy to reconfigure and scale up when your organisation needs to expand or respond to any other kind of change. Rather than face the cost and operational upheaval of ripping out and replacing your system, an adaptive system can easily adjust to suit your future needs – and protect your initial investment.
Important characteristics for adaptive access control are for it to be open platform and able to operate with standard databases and operating environments. The level of adaptiveness is also reflected in the ease with which a system can respond to change and expansion. How flexible is the user-interface – can it be configured to suit individual user requirements? What integration tools and integrated solutions are available for it? And are these adaptive features license free so your budget is protected?
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Gain benefits beyond access control
As adaptive access control features continue to develop, we expect to see such systems play an even more important role in the organisations using them. Intelligent access control has the power to contribute to workplace management on many levels and will be key in developing smart buildings.
When facilities management systems are linked to adaptive access control, for example, the property manager can analyse how to use the buildings more efficiently. The cafeteria manager can increase the accuracy of catering. And the cleaning manager can allocate tasks and teams more effectively.
This interconnectivity is another reason why adaptability is so valuable in access control. As access control systems become more embedded and integrated with other systems, replacing them has far-reaching implications. It’s much more efficient if you can simply adapt your existing access control system, rather than upsetting the balance by replacing it.
Get security for life
For us at Nedap, security centres around people. It’s not just about technology, it’s about how people live their daily lives. For this reason, our philosophy is to provide security for life. We believe adaptive and risk-adaptive access control like our AEOS system can set people free to make the most of each day and perform at their best. And, when access control can be adapted to each person, location, situation and risk, it can be used strategically to boost productivity, creativity and fulfilment – as well as security.
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Frequently asked questions
At a very basic level, access control is a means of controlling who enters a location and when. The person entering may be an employee, a contractor or a visitor and they may be on foot, driving a vehicle or using another mode of transport. The location they’re entering may be, for example, a site, a building, a room or a cabinet. We tend to call it physical access control to differentiate it from access control that prevents people from entering virtual spaces – for example when logging into a computer network.
If you decide to use an access control system, it’s probably because you want to secure the physical access to your buildings or sites to protect your people, places and possessions. That’s just the start for access control systems though. The right system, used well, can add value in a range of ways. You can use it, and the data it generates, to boost not just security but productivity, creativity and performance.
Today, physical security is about so much more than locks and bolts. Many modern physical access control systems are IP-based, powered by smart software and able to process large quantities of data. This provides more functionality, flexibility, scalability and opportunities for integration. It also means they’re part of your IT network, so it’s essential they’re protected and upgraded – just like your other IT systems.
From our perspective, a centralised access control system is always preferable – whether you have just two locations in the same town or hundreds spread around the world. Centralising your access control brings a range of far-reaching benefits.
For the people using your building, biometrics can give a better experience compared to an access badge. These days, biometrics are used for both identification and verification – sometimes even both at the same time. Being allowed to enter your building just by scanning your hand or face makes access control more convenient than ever.
Mechanical keys are the simplest form of physical access control and the method many smaller organisations use. Even for a small company, however, using mechanical keys has several flaws and limitations – especially as an organisation gets bigger. Below are just some of the problems presented by using keys.