August 3, 2015

Access Control System. What are they and where do I start?

While the need for controlling physical access to a building hasn’t changed much, the tech we use and the way we integrate it with other systems has.

Security has become a much larger concern over the past decade. Looking back over my 15 years in the technologies system integration field, I have seen several things change. Closed circuit TV systems (CCTV) have changed dramatically and add an extra level of security. The funny thing is one thing has seemed to stay the same; we still use doors and we still need a way to secure them. While the need for controlling physical access to a building hasn’t changed much, the tech we use and the way we integrate it with other systems has. Marshall Industries has taken great pride for several years in being a top system integrator so it’s no surprise they have been teamed up with Tyco’s Software House access control system. Whether you’re securing a med room in your healthcare facility or the front doors at K-12 school, the rock solid foundation Software House offers won’t leave you at risk of having an unlocked door or even worse a door that won’t unlock when needed.

I want to talk about the different parts that make up a successful and affordable access control system and what Marshall Industries does to make sure you are getting a budget friendly system that won’t come back to haunt you down the road with large cost of ownership.

The door itself seems like the most obvious place to start, and it is. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most easily overlooked. Whether we are adding card access to an existing building or new construction, we start with the doors and hardware. Some of the basic things to look at include, will it be an egress or emergency exit door? Does the door need to be secure from one side or both? Does the door need to be monitored on its open or closed status? It’s easy to see how proper hardware selection can get tricky really fast.

After the door itself, we need to take a look at how the access needs or wants to be controlled. The most common type of control is a simple prox or smart card that can be swiped in front of a small reader to unlock the door for a configurable amount of time. Some other options may be a keypad or even biometrics like a finger print scanner that can be used to secure the door.

Now that we have your hardware all figured out and know what type of access control device we want to use we come down to one of the final steps and that’s the Software House hardware that runs behind the scenes and the software that’s used to configure it. We are currently using C-Cure 9000 software as it is compatible with all of the current hardware like the Istar and Istar edge controllers. This software not only allows us to easily change users and permissions in the system, but also has a live monitoring feature that will integrate with most current IP surveillance cameras. This will allow onsite security to not only see what’s happening from a site map located on the monitoring screen with easy to read and configurable alarms, but get real time integrated video that pops up only when you need to see it and will greatly reduce alarm fatigue.

If you have any questions or would like to know more about access control and how Marshall Industries can integrate it into your facility please don’t hesitate to contact myself or any of the sales staff.

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