Being able to secure a business or commercial premise properly is among the greatest challenges that company management faces. The necessity of it makes companies, as well as property owners, go a long way in ensuring that the right security measures have been put in place and this, in most cases, involves a significant amount of technologically aided security systems. According to David Kariuki Waweru the Managing Director of Security Systems International Limited in Kenya, Access control systems have evolved tremendously over the years. “First access control was pins and code, then palms and biometric fingerprints. Now we have finger veins and face recognition making access control high level security,” he said. Security Systems International are suppliers of access control, CCTV, alarm, Time attendance, home video and audio entry systems, automated gate; barriers, baggage scanners, metal detectors among other security equipment.
Having a good security system as well as a controlled and monitored access not only safeguards a business or company from theft and damage, but also facilitates the smooth operations of the day-to-day activities of the business.
It is essential to however put in mind that different companies have different security needs based on various factors both internal and external. Being able to determine these needs will help an organization invest in the best access control systems that will work best for them. Here are some of the factors to consider before selecting an access control system.
Different locations have different security needs. Business premises located in high-risk areas or crowded areas such as transport terminus, social centers or market areas are at more risk of theft and other security risks. It is therefore important to put that in mind when selecting an access control system.
Some business premises have their own space but others share the property with other businesses, offices or even residential houses. In the case of shared property, there is the option of the general security offered by the property owners and also an individual business can have its own safety measures in addition to the general security.
Traffic flow in the premise
Before selecting an access control system, it is important to note the number of people getting in and out of the premise. If the premise is attracting a lot of walk-in visitors, it is important to come up with a system that can handle and monitor the number of visitors coming in without causing delays and overcrowding at the lobby or waiting area.
The needs of the company/business
As mentioned earlier, different companies have different needs and this influences the type of access control system to be used. Some companies such as banks, chemical industries, embassies and government offices require a unique access control system due to the nature of the business. This most often includes beefed up security including security guards or police officers, surveillance cameras and in some places biometric access or gate passes. Some businesses share premises with companies that have high security needs and this directly influences the selection of an access system.
The cost of the access control system
This is also a major factor to consider. Different security systems such as biometric access, CCTV cameras, smart cards, and fingerprint access, come at different costs. Biometric access are generally more expensive as compared to the other systems however, each system can have its own level of technological advancement and complexity. Businesses and companies should be able to select a system that works for them and is also effective and affordable. It is also possible to use more than one type of access system, for example, CCTV cameras and smart cards.
The life of the system
While selecting an access control system it is important to note how long the systems might be in good use. It is also important to keep in mind of any future technological and digital updates to the system. The system should be able to adapt to future upgrades either in the structure of the building or the technological advancements.
Integration to other systems
Most companies use security systems that are integrated to other systems such as the human resource database. This way it is easier to monitor who came in at what time, how long were they around and what time they left the premises. It is also able to be updated in the case of new employees in the system and removes information for former employees so that they can no longer access the building. The system can also select which areas are off limits to other employees such as ICT offices or the supplies closet (especially in hospitals and labs). Some even monitor log in information to computers, printers and other office equipment.
8. The ease of use
Despite the effectiveness of an access control system, it is important to ensure that the security system is easy to use by employees and other staff. In addition to that, the system should also be easy to manage and should not require a lot of monetary and personnel obligations to maintain.