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Access control systems play well with others

An access control system is one of the most fundamental components of an integrated network of security solutions, as the intrusion prevention technology prevents unauthorized individuals from entering restricted areas. Depending on the tool's sophistication, it can use multiple methods of authenticating an identity, including ID cards, PINs and biometrics.

A new report by the British Security Industry Associated highlighted the multiple benefits of an advanced access control system.

Multifactor identification
In the past, many physical security systems used a single method for identifying an individual. This would often consist of something an individual may know or have in their possession, the report said.

This is no longer the case, as too many organizations have experienced physical and digital breaches because outsiders easily bypassed such simple security designs. Now many solutions use a two- or threefold authentication process. These are often a combination of something an individual knows, like a pin; something someone has, like an ID card; and a physical or behavioral characteristic, also known as biometrics.

A separate report by Global Information Inc. revealed that the market for multifactor authentication technologies is forecast to expand at a compound annual growth rate of more than 21 percent through 2015, largely driven by the adoption of bring your own device (BYOD) and near-field communications (NFC).

Integration with other solutions
During the past several years, more manufacturers have been using IP and other technologies that make it possible for users to merge varying solutions under a single umbrella. These interoperable tools, also know as integrated security systems, have been gaining momentum recently, largely because they make managing incidents easier, BSIA said.

Assimilating access control systems and surveillance cameras, for example, enable decision-makers to initiative pre- and post-event monitoring, which lets executives identify potential culprits and motives. This also makes locating surveillance footage easier, as it is much more convenient to go through the security log to find a breach than it is to search through hours of content, BSIA noted.

While the prospect integrating multiple solutions together can seem promising, decision-makers should not do so unless there are clear benefits associated with doing so. In many cases, there is some level of risk involved that executives need to weigh before deploying the technology. Neglecting to balance the benefits and drawbacks could introduce significant challenges in the long run.

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