Understanding The Different Types Of Access Control
There is nothing more important for a business owner than the safety and security of their physical place of business. Unfortunately, both residential and commercial properties are vulnerable to break-ins and theft.
There are a few different paths you can go down to ensure the safety of your workplace. One of the most effective is installing an access control system that will protect your business from threats such as break-ins, vandalism and even employee theft.
These systems allow you to restrict access to your place of business and control who comes and goes. Some other reasons to have an access control system include:
- No more lost keys
- Protecting sensitive information
- Providing access control for owners/managers
- Ensuring the safety of employees
- Ensuring the safety of equipment
- Protecting the premises from break-ins (as well as theft from inside or outside).
Security is a real problem for business owners across the globe. In the United States, for instance, 448,617 businesses reported experiencing burglaries back in 2015, and most of these cases could have been prevented by better security.
With all the different types of access control systems to consider, it’s worth looking at the kinds thought by many to work best, both for owners and employees.
1. Discretionary Access Control (DAC)
This type of security is best suited for small properties with only one or two points of entry. This is because DAC offers the owner total control over who has access to the property. The potential issue is that once someone is given access, they can often grant access to others as well, potentially creating security problems.
DAC is considered the least restrictive type of security, but it offers excellent flexibility. It’s also very easy to use and can run on standard computer systems such as Windows, which means permissions can be modified quickly.
2. Mandatory Access Control (MAC)
On the other end of the spectrum is the MAC system. This is considered the strictest system, and it’s used in high-security situations, like for government offices. A MAC system has different security levels and offers entry to a premises at different points, based on permission given by the administrator or manager. Each section needs its own personal profile, so if new access needs to be given at a different level, a new profile must be created.
Take the example of a MAC system in use at an organisation that houses sensitive information. A general clerk would have access to pass through the front gate and into the administration office on the ground level; however, the clerk wouldn’t be able to access secure levels of the building, which an executive manager could. In turn, that manager might not have access to the next level up. In this way, the system is both restrictive and protective.
3. Role-based Action Control (RBAC)
Out of all the access control systems listed, RBAC is probably the most widely used. Access is permitted to workers based on their role within the company or organisation. For instance, a general manager will automatically have access given to those with that position in the company. This could mean all areas or just specific zones, depending on the permissions granted by whoever is in charge.
This kind of access control is useful for many businesses since it’s user-friendly and quite easy to set up. All pre-defined roles and their levels of access are specified from the outset by the administrator.
Unlike the types of access control noted above, this system grants permissions based on certain restrictions and rules. This could mean someone has access during different times of the day or week, or that they lose access after their account expires. This system works well for organisations that require accountability. A rule-based system lets you track not only if staff enter the premises, but also what areas they enter and when. You can even see the number of attempts someone has made to enter a specific area, as well as the number of times they’ve been denied access.
Rule-based systems are also considered more flexible than other types of access control because administrators can easily modify permissions and rules as needed.
These are the four main access control systems found on business premises. The type of access control that’s best for you depends heavily on the nature of your work, the size of your business, and the type of security it requires.
Access control systems can provide the security your business needs by keeping intruders out and only giving access to staff as needed. They’re there to help ensure a safe work environment for employees and to protect sensitive and important resources, data, information and materials.