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Digital figures representing access control system

If you’re considering ditching your keys for automated commercial access control, you need to understand that not every system will be the best fit for your business. Knowing the differences between the types of access control networks will help you choose an efficient, secure network and improve your bottom line. Here are the three common types of access control systems.


  1. Discretionary access control (DAC). A DAC system gives the power over users’ access rights and permissions to the business owner. It’s the owner’s responsibility to know security industry best practices and ensure the highest level of security. In a DAC system, users can share access with other users, creating vulnerabilities. Because trained industry professionals don’t control the access control system, a DAC system may not be the best solution for larger organizations requiring a high level of security. However, DAC may be a good choice for small to medium-sized business owners because it’s flexible and user-friendly.

  2. Mandatory access control (MAC). A MAC system places all the control under one person or department, which has the authority to grant and restrict access to the entire organization. It’s a non-discretionary, top-down system, usually administered by a Chief Security Officer or someone trained in security. Users need to request and prove they require specific permissions. A MAC system offers a higher level of protection than DAC and is beneficial for larger organizations with numerous departments requiring different access levels.

  3. Role-based access control (RBAC). RBAC is a much more individualized access control system. With RBAC, a user’s privileges and where they go are based on their role in the company. For instance, you may want to restrict a contractor’s access to only the areas where they’re conducting their work. Moreover, an internal warehouse worker may not need access to the information technology (IT) offices.


Things to consider

Before choosing between DAC, MAC or RBAC, consider the following:

  • The size of your company. A large organization may need a more compartmentalized, tiered system than a small business.

  • The number of users. Consider your organization's future and ensure the system you invest in today is scalable to accommodate growth.

  • The degree of security you require. Access control systems can incorporate biometrics and mobile authentication for increased security. 

Access control systems in Calgary

At Guardian Security Solutions, we can help your business secure a single room or an entire building. Our access control systems offer state-of-the-art technology and installation from highly trained professional technicians. We can also install alarm systems for your business. Contact us today in Calgary and Lethbridge to learn more about how access control can help your organization.


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