What is access control? What are the different aspects of access control systems?

Garima Bharti Mehta
May 11, 2022

Access control as a security concept means regulation or restriction of access to a certain place or data to keep a check on risks to an establishment- whether residential or commercial.

Depending on the modes and usability, access control can be segmented into different categories, such as Discretionary Access Control (DAC), Mandatory Access Control (MAC), and Role-Based Access Control (RBAC). However, for the sake of simplicity, we will discuss the two types of access control – Physical Access and Virtual Access.

What is physical access control?

Physical access control, as the name suggests, is the regulation of access through physical entry points such as doors and turnstiles after identity authentication and authorization. Access to offices, buildings, rooms, and physical IT assets is restricted via physical access control.

Physical access control vs Virtual access control

Virtual access control, on the other hand, regulates access or connection to computer networks, system files, and data. Organizations use physical access control systems (PACS) to monitor and manage access events within the workplace premises.

A robust PACS is pivotal in maintaining the security of a workplace along with a frictionless experience for the employees, consultants, and other visitors.

Why do we need a robust access control system?

Most organizations set up on-prem access control systems with multi-factor authentication capabilities to secure their workplace. However, despite many measures, we frequently see reports of high-profile data leaks and security breaches. According to a report published by Security Magazine, the USA saw a 10% increase in data breaches in 2021.

On the face of it, it may appear that access control is all about things like who gets access, when they get access, how they get access, and under what conditions. However, it’s not an easy task to accomplish. A robust and modern PACS must not only help in securing the premises but also provide the audit trails and help you identify the potential loopholes in the physical access space.

Oloid’s access control solutions help you augment your existing PACS by converging the physical and cyber identities and topping it up with cloud-based security, data encryption, and enriching data intelligence.

In terms of access control systems, what was once aspirational has become a must-have today. And therefore it’s important that your PACS represent agile technologies, and are mobile, scalable, and risk-averse.

What are the different aspects of access control systems?

Your access control systems are foundational to your organizational security. To any PACS, there are three key aspects.

  • Identification

To create an effective PACS, you must first identify the individual. It is here that a badge reader, facial recognition, or biometric authentication panel can be installed. Facial recognition or a biometric system can record the name of the individual accessing a door or an endpoint. The majority of organizations prefer to use either one or more of these identification systems to control access in the workplace.

  • Authentication

Once the system recognizes the individual trying to access it, their authenticity is assessed. Various methods can be used for authentication, such as – Facial Recognition, Biometrics, QR Code, Badges, Mobile Access, Single Sign On (SSO), and Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML). Most organizations prefer to use more than one or a combination of these modes to accomplish authentication. This ensures better security.

Using more than one authentication method to gain access qualifies to be called multi-factor authentication or multimodal authentication.

  • Authorization

Once the identity of the user is authenticated by the badge reader, he is authorized to go through the access point. This is a sort of authorization system where individuals in the same building are allowed to access different rooms and spaces. In a logical space, we can call this a role-based permissions system.

These three aspects of the PACS work together to provide a robust security infrastructure. They work as designed and in a way that no unauthorized person can gain access to the physical spaces under their purview.

Bypassing a well-built security system is not easy. Identification is required for accounting (i.e. recording user behavior) and providing anything to authenticate, for example, easy access to the common room, generally, or to the server room in more specific cases.

Authentication prevents an unidentifiable, unauthenticated person from entering the restricted areas.

A PACS is an essential component of providing physical access to an establishment. Advancements and innovations have led us to build systems with cutting-edge technologies to set up intelligent identification, authentication, and authorization systems.

Oloid’s Access Solution

Oloid provides the new-age access control solution. It allows you to upgrade your existing access control systems with its retrofit access control solutions without any hardware replacement, any wiring, or additional hardware cost.

Oloid provides enterprise-class security with features such as multimodal authentication and AI-enabled access control. It also provides contactless access control, optimum flexibility, and integration compatibility. To know more, you can write to us at info@oloid.ai!