A robust access control system and supporting technology integrations are key
- By Ellie Randall
- April 01, 2018
With the seemingly endless increase in school and
workplace shootings and other violent incidents,
businesses, organizations, and campuses are taking
a hard look at their security systems and the
safety measures they have in place now more
than ever. Although there are many different approaches that can be
taken when it comes to safeguarding a facility, one thing that should
not be compromised is having a top-notch security solution in place,
and it starts with access control.
ACCESS CONTROL LAYS THE FOUNDATION
The most basic security measure a business or organization can take to
elevate security is to observe and control who is entering their facility
by implementing an access control system. Access control technology
allows operators to electronically monitor ingress and egress to numerous
aspects of their site, including exterior doors, classrooms, offices,
storage rooms, breakrooms, and any other designated areas. While this
technology essentially serves as a first line of defense against several
variables, it is equally as important to have an access control system
that is feature-rich and able to respond accordingly should an emergency
Perhaps one of the most sought-after software features—especially
in an educational environment—is the option to remotely lock down
an entire facility with the click of a button. In the midst of the chaos of
an active shooter situation, for example, lockdown procedures are the
quickest and most effective method to protect students and staff from
harm and deny further infiltration to the perpetrator.
Another helpful tool is graphic maps, where system operators can
easily view and manage multiple facets of their security solution
through strategically placed interactive icons. Completely customizable,
the graphic maps can link to any third party integrated systems,
such as video and intrusion detection, to help track individuals and
address alarms and events for increased safety. Users can also view and
control doors from the maps, utilize lockdown settings via lockdown
icon, and more.
It is also an excellent idea for safety and security personnel to have
available a mobile and/or web component of their access control system.
These applications serve as an extension of the system, allowing
operators to address alarms and events, obtain door status and view
associated camera feed, and much more from a remote location. This
can cut down on response time should an event, such as a “door
forced” or “door held”, occur.
Over the past two decades, Open Options has serviced thousands
of customers with these types of features through their open platform
access control solution, DNA Fusion. Open Options was among the
first to begin working with Mercury Security at a time when open
architecture was a new concept in a security industry dominated by
proprietary hardware. As a Platinum Elite Partner, the company continues
to develop to the Authentic Mercury open hardware platform to
ensure DNA Fusion has the most extensive feature set available. Over
the years, Open Options has also established numerous unified partnerships
and integrations with other industry leading manufacturers
and technologies to provide a best-of-breed security solution.
INTEGRATED SOLUTIONS ADD EXTRA LAYER OF SECURITY
Although access control plays a crucial role in securing a facility, integrating
your system with other industry leading products allows for a
well-rounded and unified solution. While there are numerous technologies
that can be leveraged to maximize security, there are some
that are extremely common and can be found at nearly any site that
deploys access control.
Exterior and interior cameras, along with a video management system,
are a completely necessary tie in to any access control system.
With this integrated solution, users can view live video as well as playback
recorded video, pull up video clips associated with alarms and
events, have PTZ control of cameras, and much more. These features
provide full surveillance of a site, thus leading to enhanced security
throughout the entire building.
Visitor management systems are key in documenting and capturing
data on who is entering the facility, and allows for quick and efficient
management of visitors and temporary personnel. Upon visitor registration,
the visitor management system communicates with the access
control software to activate the access number and enroll the visitor in
the cardholder database. The access number gets printed as a barcode
on the visitor badge to be read at a card reader, and when the visitor
signs out, the access number is deactivated for future use. These systems
can also serve as a deterrent to unwanted guests, as the validation
process is much more stringent than the old-fashioned pen and paper
sign-in sheet method many campuses used to employ.
Implementing additional cutting-edge technologies such as electronic
locks, critical communications systems, and intrusion detection
with your access control system will drastically increase security
throughout the facility, making it a safer environment for all. And,
while there is no definitive answer or foolproof
method to fully prevent random acts of violence
from happening, it is a step in the right direction to
have a solid security solution and plan in place.
This article originally appeared in the April 2018 issue of Campus Security & Life Safety.