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Close up of a hand swiping a card to an access control point

A critical element of your business’s access control system is your method to authenticate users and grant them access. A lot has changed since the days of the electronic access cards and lanyards. Today, business owners and human resources managers have a myriad of choices regarding access control credentials. Here are four of the most popular methods.


  1. Radio frequency identification (RFID) RFID authentication describes devices like electronic access cards or fobs and is a traditional access control method. Basic systems consist of proximity cards that trigger the main network when close to an entrance. More advanced cards contain circuit chips that provide encrypted communication with the reader, so you can better manage people flow and restrict access to certain areas by specific employees. However, RFID technology has several drawbacks. For example, cards can easily be cloned, and if a card gets lost or stolen, your business becomes vulnerable to break-ins.

  2. Personal identification number (PIN) A PIN eliminates the need for a card or device. You simply assign employees numerical codes, which they can then type into a keypad next to a door. However, employees often share their PINs which can create security risks. Plus, managing the codes can be challenging.

  3. Biometrics Biometrics has become increasingly popular for access control systems. Biometric reading devices scan your fingerprints, retina or the palms of your hands to verify your identity and grant access. Some manufacturers offer facial scanning, where a device can recognize the faces of your employees. Biometric authentication provides increased security, as unique physical features can’t be shared or stolen. However, the readers need to be installed in precise locations where the proper environmental conditions exist.

  4. Mobile Today, pretty much everyone has a smartphone, and you can use them to store employee authentication, usually in the form of a mobile app. The app talks to your access control network and employees must simply press a button on their phone to gain access. To verify someone’s identity, a mobile authentication system takes advantage of the phone user’s existing unique security features, such as PINs, biometrics or swipe codes that they already use to access their phone.


Access control systems in Calgary and Lethbridge

Don’t put the safety of your business in the wrong hands. At Guardian Security Solutions, our access control systems use state-of-the-art technology to secure an entire building or a single room. Our technicians also provide skilled commercial alarm and security camera installation. To get a free estimate, contact us in Calgary and Lethbridge.


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