What are the various considerations one should take into account before installation?
By now, you’ve probably heard of access control and explored its benefits and applications in the modern office or facility. However, choosing to implement one can be quite a difficult decision, especially considering how many options there are when it comes to hardware, software, manufacturers, installers and management systems. It can be daunting even for the most seasoned security expert. That’s why it’s important to consider the impact of an access control system before going all in on one. The main considerations for a useful access control installation are both varied and incredibly important, so read on to find out how to get started.
The purpose installing your access control system should be clear from the get-go based on the security level that you require for your facility. For instance, high-value assets like servers, communication equipment and mission critical data should be safeguarded at every access point to keep it safe from harm, while amenities like bathrooms and vending machines can have security that is a little less robust. Consider the sensitivity of the assets within your facility and plan to protect them accordingly. Protected behind a locked door, they become much harder to steal or compromise.
There are many different types of access control systems, which can make the selection process somewhat difficult. You don’t need to know all of the ins and outs of every method, but you should narrow it down to your top one or two types. For example, systems can be standalone, integrated, mobile-based or cloud-based, plus any other customized solution that you might want to explore. Cloud-based systems are becoming the gold standard of access control, so you might want to choose a system that features this integration, including Kisi’s.
Choosing the most powerful and most suitable types of authentication — biometric data, key fobs, electromagnetic cards, keypads, signatures, touchscreen or any combination of two or more — is a big factor to consider for a good access control installation. Powerful authentication like biometric data should be used for high security assets, and it is often combined with another form of authentication. This is more expensive, so make sure you plan accordingly, especially if you don’t actually need that level of protection. Simpler forms of authentication include cards and keypads, which can protect less sensitive areas.
Choosing the right device is a very important factor of this process, considering that even one manufacturer can offer dozens of different types of access control devices. A professional level assessment of the features and capabilities of the locking system, controllers and card readers should be done, either by you or by a third-party expert, to choose the most suitable and simple devices available in the marketplace. While you can add more of them, it can be disruptive to switch them out, so choose wisely when you’re making your final selections.
Based on system assessment and security objectives, you need to choose the best technology suitable for the management of your access control system. This allows you to check data and respond to alarms, for example. You have multiple options to choose from in terms of technologies such as cloud-based access through the IoT model, mobile-based access, and wired or wireless connectivity to nodes and servers in the cloud. Again, any combination of multiple technologies can work here, so creativity is encouraged for more difficult situations.
Even once you’ve decided on the best system for your space, the hardware still needs to be placed by professional access control installers. While it might be tempting to go with the quickest or cheapest option, consider the fact that this system, when installed properly, will deliver years of performance and safety. Even if the most trustworthy installer is a little more expensive or takes a bit more time, the end result is more than worth the extra fuss in the beginning.
Last but definitely not least, the cost of the entire system is a critical component of the selection process. There’s a kind of Goldilocks situation here; spend too little and you might end up with a subpar system, but spend too much and you could end up paying off the debt for years to come. Make a realistic budget and stick to it, factoring in the cost of installation and a management system as well as the hardware. And don’t worry — you can always add more to your system.
What does a typical installation process look like?
How to Install Access Control Systems
A typical process should be based upon pre-assessed and pre-planned methodology, which may go as given below:
- Unpack the required access control system equipment and accessories
- Install pathways, ducts, closets and terminals of cabling
- Lay the cables, if wired technology is used otherwise install the wireless routers at the designated points
- Install door locks and door readers at every door
- Install sensors at the planned points
- Install main controller at the central point and connect through wires or wirelessly
- Connect the power cables, if not using PoE system
- Hand over the installation to the configuration engineer after physical power on testing
The process of choosing an access control system is one with plenty of moving parts, which can be difficult for anyone who wants to get started. Thankfully, the right research can make it easier, especially when starting with a clear objective and budget. Every facility’s ideal access control system will be a little different, so don’t be afraid to try something new, especially for unusual spaces or ideas. And be sure to check out Kisi’s line of access control products, which can streamline everything and last for years to come.
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