• INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT: Centralized, multi-site door access control made simple

    960 640 Stuart O'Brien

    Problem: Most access control systems are site-centric, driven by local databases of staff permissions, so when it comes to trying to oversee or manage building access for sites in different locations, sharing and synchronising access information requires additional appliances and significantly increases system complexity.

    Enterprise-class solutions for physical access management require substantial up-front investment and still typically rely on installing dedicated sync-servers at each site to duplicate data across locations.

    Solution: Leverage existing enterprise-wide IT access control infrastructure that’s designed to deliver centralized visibility and control, in real-time, across all networked sites. Simply add controlled doors to the network – just like connecting a PC – and have staff-access similarly managed.

    The EdgeConnector physical access system addresses door access control in exactly this way – radically simplifying the solution and making it limitlessly scalable, covering all sites, all connected doors, and all users, automatically.

    Companies often expand to new sites through acquisition, making it likely that different access control systems are used at each location. Integrating unalike systems to provide organization-wide physical access management then becomes a far greater challenge, requiring ether the rip-out and replacement of a legacy system or comparably expensive development of bridging systems. 

    EdgeConnector works with existing credentials and readers (that use the industry standard Wiegand interface) avoiding the need to change much of the hardware for legacy systems. EdgeConnector also works with a range of compatible wired and wireless door controllers – avoiding the need to swap-out these devices in some cases, although installation typically only requires a single network cable supporting PoE+ for wired door control and PoE for wireless door control.

    IP network based door access systems can provide real-time control and economical scalability, EdgeConnector takes this further by making use of the existing centralized staff database used for IT-access (typically Microsoft Active Directory) to handle door access permissions. This approach streamlines the infrastructure required, which in-turn facilitates streamlined access administration processes. Taking the the critical process of staff off-boarding as an example – it’s possible to ensure all door access privileges, for all premises, as well as all IT-access permissions,  for an individual are rescinded in just one step.

    Unifying IT and physical access infrastructure is consistent with the trend over recent years for IT teams to be involved in the selection and integration of physical access control systems. An HID published survey1found that well over 70% of organizations expect IT departments to influence physical security technology decisions and to integrate physical access controls into the wider IT ecosystem.

    IT teams have their own interests in being involved – taking a holistic approach to an organization’s security avoids the risk of physical access, and physical access systems, providing a ‘weak link’ in an otherwise robust cyber-security strategy. By ensuring all elements of critical infrastructure, including door access controls, are properly secured through standard support practises, organizations can avert issues arising from siloed infrastructure that may otherwise avoiding regular scrutiny.

    Summary

    Building access control systems using contactless identity credentials, such as RFID cards, fobs or mobile phones, are commonly used in all but the smallest of organizations. By being able to easily manage who has permission to use what doors and when, together with the ability to quickly revoke access for lost credentials and former staff, access control systems provide organizations with the control they need without impeding or inconveniencing their personnel. However, the issue that frequently comes-up is the complexity involved in trying to extend a physical access control system to cover sites in different locations.

    EdgeConnector makes use of the power of existing IT-access controls, and the scalability of IP-network infrastructures, to minimising the cost and capital expenditure required to control access through connected doors, car barriers and other controlled opening, across all sites and for all staff.

    For more information on centralized, multi-site physical access control management contact EdgeConnector:

    www.edgeconnector.com

    +44 (0)1428 685 861

    1https://www.hidglobal.com/doclib/files/resource_files/the_rising_role_of_it_in_physical_access_control_-_final.pdf

    AUTHOR

    Stuart O'Brien

    All stories by: Stuart O'Brien