Access Control Systems: A Guide For Guelph Property Owners

Jay360 has a wealth of experience in access control system installations. We will help you choose a scalable solution that is compatible with your existing systems and business needs. Contact us today to discuss your needs.

Most of the security risks your business in Guelph faces don’t fall under ‘breaking & entering.’ Some of the greatest risks come not from the people who break in but with people who slip into your premises during regular trading hours and from your own employees.

So a couple of security guards and sign-in forms at the entry points should do trick, right?

Well, not quite. What you need is an automated access control system that dictates who can enter, at what time, and which parts of your building they can access. Such a system protects assets, employees, as well as your business and customer data.

But choosing the system that meets your business’s access control needs requires answering some critical questions. This guide will answer those questions.

Understanding access control systems

Access control systems use a database in combination with authentication and authorization tools to identify visitors and verify if they have the clearance to enter a building or use any monitored door.

Among other uses, access control systems are useful for:
  • Securing inventory by limiting access to warehouses,
  • Monitoring and tracking employee movements,
  • Protecting customer data and intellectual property,
  • Analyzing foot traffic into your customer service areas,
  • Preventing theft or vandalism of critical equipment.

Through smart locks, an access control system allows passage to authorized people and blocks entry to unwanted visitors, all without direct human help.

A modern, automated access control system monitors the movement of visitors and employees to ensure they go where they need to once in the building. All this simplifies access control and enhances security.

How to decide what security system is right for your business

While they primarily control access to a building and monitor the movement of employees in the workplace, there is a lot more you can do with your access control system.

Your choice of access control system is dictated by your business’s security needs. This requires careful planning. On a basic level, you want an access control system that:
  • Integrates with the other systems in your company’s security infrastructure, including security cameras, alarms, and even your HR and payroll system. Easy integration cuts costs and makes monitoring easy and cost-effective,
  • Is scalable and allows you to add new users, checkpoints, and building extensions as your needs grow,
  • Meets provincial government requirements and local fire department regulations. You may need to have a City Of Guelph fire safety officer come and review your access control plan to make sure it satisfies applicable bylaws.

Types of access control systems

An access control system’s features determine what it can and cannot do. But perhaps before you consider features against your intended applications, you need to decide on the type of access control system you need.

The type of system you use for access control depends on the type and size of your business and the complexity of the security threat your business faces. You can customize it further, but you have to decide between standalone and networked systems:

What features do you need for your access control system?

The access system you choose must fit your business’s individual security needs. To help you decide the features the system needs to meet your unique operational requirements, you must answer the following questions:
  1. Do you need to control one entry point or restrict access to different parts of your building?
  2. Do you need to assign an access level to each individual you add to the system, or access level must depend on an employee’s role or job title?
  3. Do you want the system to track and report the movements of employees?
  4. Are there specific offices or parts of the building that only certain people must access?
  5. Do you need to receive alerts for suspicious activity and failed access?
  6. Does the system have to integrate with other systems you use at your business?
  7. Do the system’s components need to be compatible with existing equipment?
  8. Will you need a cloud-based system where permissions are stored in the cloud and that you can manage remotely?

Answering these questions helps you customize your access control solution around your exact business needs. It gives you an insight into the components you need to combine to get the level of access control your business needs.

By assessing your access control needs against the security threats you are trying to manage, you can decide on the most suitable authentication factors. That determines the credentials visitors must use to gain entry.

Authentication factors to consider for your access control system are:
  • Something a user carries like a fob or a keycard,
  • Something the user knows, like a password, PIN, or answers to specific security questions,
  • Biometric features, like fingerprints, retina/iris, or face, which scans and recognition software can read.

All the above authentication options come with different benefits and promise different levels of convenience and security.

Protect your employees and assets with centrally-managed access control

Investing in an access control system prevents unwanted visitors and intruders from entering your property, which lowers the risk of vandalism and robberies. By giving you the tools to monitor and track employee movements, it also helps you prevent and investigate employee thefts and misconduct.

A well-customized access control system that integrates with other systems you use aids safe and speedy evacuations in the event of fires and other emergencies by helping to identify the fastest paths to exit.

In an age where data privacy is a topical issue, access control systems help to limit access to your server rooms and other places you store sensitive customer data and business information.

Overall, an access control system brings greater efficiency to your business operations, which saves costs. The ability to track employee movements helps you monitor their productivity, punctuality, and overall attendance.

On a customer service level, an access control system gives you data on the busiest times of the day, which helps you pinpoint times and service areas where you need to channel more staffing resources.

Are you looking to install a new access control system at your business in Guelph? Perhaps you want to upgrade on an existing one?

Jay360 has a wealth of experience in access control system installations. We will help you choose a scalable solution that is compatible with your existing systems and business needs. Contact us today to discuss your needs.
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