Today, many managers of physical security systems find themselves increasingly dependent on digital technology — like remote door locks, registration units, and RFID badges — that can only be coordinated with an access control system. There are many different systems on the market, but not all of them are right for every location.
Here is a review of two of the most popular access control systems — Kisi and Kaba access control — along with a break down of some of their features, and recommendations on which system might work best depending on specific security needs.
Kaba's access control system offers many of the basic features that are included in most others. It has registration units that feature PIN pads or readers that can scan badges and communicate with digital locks or other access control devices.
Kaba access control simplex units are designed to work with RFID badges, meaning system managers have options when it comes to purchasing badges for their site. They won't need to worry about buying proprietary badges, but they will need to code and configure them to work with the Kaba system. This is true of most access control systems.
Selling everything from electric door locks to time management systems for employees, Kaba provides a comprehensive inventory of access control hardware. Kaba registration units are also thoughtfully designed, including waterproof options Kaba door solutions have wide versatility for any type of entry way, however, the overall system may be of limited use to managers working on larger sites or companies with organizations that need varying levels of access in terms of software. For those who need help with user permission groups and more specialized access control technology, Kaba requires advanced knowledge of IT infrastructure to manage the system and store data. Many companies have moved beyond this hurdle with cloud-based access control services, like Kisi.
Kisi, as with Kaba's system, includes many of the necessary access control features that administrators and security staff need.
Kisi, however, comes with features that Kaba doesn't. One is Kisi's digital badge support. People can use Bluetooth on iPhones or NFC on other mobile devices to access areas, so long as they have the right permissions.
This feature also allows administrators and managers to assign guest passes to visitors, without needing to code a new RFID badge. Once a manager has assigned the right privileges, all the visitor needs to do is use their phone's web browser, and they'll be able to use the network. After a certain period of time, access will be automatically revoked, meaning administrators don't need to keep track of physical guest badges or worry about accidentally authorizing extended access.
With digital badges, administrators can save themselves from needing to purchase or code RFID badges.
Users and administrators can also upload and assign profile images to themselves or other users. Then, when a user scans their phone or badge at a registration unit, Kisi will log both the access event and the user's profile image. This lets administrators quickly scan the event log.
The digital badges can even work when the system is offline, so long as the system is set to the right mode in advance.
Kisi is also set up to make multi-site management easy, so system admins can manage multiple locations from the same dashboard. Kisi also includes cloud-based management software, making it a good fit for administrators who won't always be on-site or who need to manage several at once.
Kisi might be a better fit for larger sites and security staff that need cloud-based management software. Kisi will also work well for any site manager who doesn't want the trouble of coding and keeping track of RFID badges.
Kisi's Cloud Based Physical Access Control System operates purely in the cloud, making it easy to set up and highly scalable as you expand.
Admins are able to easily establish granular controls with group, user and time-based restrictions -- just to name a few. End users have a range of unlocking options, including mobile apps available on Android and iOS, key cards and fobs.
Both of these access control systems are effective at providing the basics that every security team needs, but only one offers some of the deeper functionality and connectivity that many managers and administrators require.
Kaba's access control system is extensive in the hardware department, but it’s mobile and web-based platforms are less advanced than systems that have gone completely cloud-based. Kisi's system includes advanced flexibility for administrators, like digital badges, elevator controls, and cloud management.