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What are access control systems and some of its uses?

9/13/2013 4:38:28 PM | by Anonymous

Access Control Systems

Access control systems are used to selectively restrict certain access to either a venue or some sort of precious resource. This means that as long that what is being restricted is consumed entered or used access to that object is granted. The ability to access the resource is also known as authorization.

Types of access control systems

Some of the types of access control systems can be either physical or it could be through the computer. Physical access control systems include locks, safes, vaults, ticketing machines and many more. In today’s fast growing pace of technology, such access control systems have the most advanced mechanisms that make unauthorized access near impossible.

The other type of control system would be online. This refers to the access of data that can be stored either online or on the physical computer itself. Most of the access control systems online can be a simple password, physical keys, biometric scans, electronic keys, social barriers, hidden paths or monitoring by either automated systems or human systems.

How does the access control system work?

The system usually requires some sort of authentication. This means the user has to present some sort of credential to the reader on the control system. The access control system’s control panel; then compares the credential to a control list. After that, the access control system can either grant or deny access depending on the credential and if it matches those in its control list. A transaction log is also sent to the database.

For example if the credential matches its control list in the case of a door, the door will open. However, if the credentials do not match, then the door will not open. Some access control systems also sound an alarm if the credentials are not matched after a number of times. The reader on the access control systems often give feed back through the use of a flashing LED light.

There is also single and double factor authentication. Single authentication refers to the use of a single credential to gain access. However, single authentication is less secure than double factor authentication. Double factor or two-factor authentication refers to the usage of two credentials to gain authorization. This makes the restricted area or restricted object more secure, as for single factor authentication, if the credential is stolen then unwanted people are easily able to access the restricted area or object.

There are three factors when comes authenticating information. It could be that the user knows something such as a password, PIN code or pass phrase. It could be that the user possessed a physical credential such as a key or a card. It could also mean that the user is the credential, this means using his fingerprint or any forms or biometric means.

Security risks

One of the most common types of risks is the following of someone who possesses the credential for the access control system. This can be eliminated by either using a security guard to monitor the entry or unwanted users or using a turnstile. The other risks include leaving the door open due to carelessness, most systems have door alarms to warn users that the door is open or some doors even have automated closing mechanisms.

As for doors with physical access control systems which require a credential such as a key, they are vulnerable to threats such as lock-picking.

Thus, access controls systems still have their flaws and are vulnerable

Uses of access control systems

Most access control systems are in use in our everyday lives, such as when you take the train and you either tap a smart card. Many banks also use high security access systems which require multiple credentials to access the safes. Even when you are accessing your email and you are required to type in a password, which is also considered to be an access control system. Thus it is safe to say that access control systems are essential for our daily operations

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