Planning facility access control: Best practices

Plan efficient access control to ensure the best results for your facility by assessing factors, reflecting on needs, and following best practices.

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Planning efficient access control for facilities can be complex. For best results, you need to consider many factors, reflect on your needs, and follow best practices. Before even delving into the various types of access controls, you need to assess your security needs and possible security threats.

Each facility is unique and will have different assessment outcomes. So, although it may be tempting to skip the planning process, it is highly crucial to ensure you have a robust facility security system at the end of the day.

Why is access control essential for your facility? As the first line of defense against physical or cyber attacks, a modern access control system enhances security, saves costs, and streamlines operations while creating a positive work experience for your people.

Read this guide to find out the best practices and what the various aspects of planning access control for facilities are.

Planning and designing access control

Analyzing your security needs, defining budget, and cooperating with other departments are the first steps towards deploying a robust access control system! Read our planning and designing access control guide for a quick rundown on the key factors at this initial stage.

Wondering what an access control plan looks like and looking for more examples? Find relevant examples in our planning access control guide.

Best access control practices for facilities

Whether you're planning on purchasing your first access control system or looking to upgrade your current one, consider the following facility access control best practices:

Enable remote role-based access control

Even if managing a small facility, not all people need to be able to gain access 24/7. Role-based access control enables you to group people who need to enter your facility, like employees, vendors, and visitors, into roles according to their function and align them with access permissions. For instance, employees can access your facility only during working hours, while the cleaning crew can unlock doors during service hours.

Grant facility access rights based on the principle of least privilege

To increase your facility's security, provide users with the least amount of access to physical locations, systems, and data they need to perform their specific job functions. One generic group of access permissions for all users is too permissive for most and too restrictive for the top few.

Set your role-based user groups to achieve the granularity necessary to follow the principle of least privilege. For instance, the IT group might need access to the server room but not the printer room, and only during specific hours.

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Control visitor and temporary facility access

Vendors, business partners, contractors, delivery, job candidates, and even employees' family members and friends will visit and need temporary access to your facility. Having someone greet, authenticate visitors, and unlock doors, or maybe issue a temporary access card, requires time, effort, and resources.

Deploying a modern access system is the first step toward improved, streamlined, and more secure visitor management. Some systems, like Kisi, enable admins to send access links with a few clicks that follow the principle of least privilege. Visitors get these links on their email, chat platform, or text message and can unlock the doors they need with a tap on their phones, ensuring great first impressions with your facility and improved visitor experience.

Automate access schedules

Automating access ensures precise control over accessing specific facility areas at designated times, like holidays, reducing the risk of unauthorized entry. Setting automated access schedules not only enhances security but also streamlines operations, allowing for swift adjustments to access permissions.

Kisi's automated access schedules, for instance, enable admins to completely deny access during selected time periods, like nighttime, even if a person with authorized access tries to enter the facility. The unlock schedules, on the other hand, keep doors locked and require valid access permissions to unlock during pre-set times, like working hours.

Make sure facility access control systems work offline

Cloud-based access control systems are supreme in every aspect, yet some facilities are sticking with legacy systems since they can offer basic functionality without a constant internet connection.

While seamless access control in facilities with an unstable internet connection or in the case of an internet outage is crucial, some cloud-based access control systems, like Kisi, offer offline support. This way, you get all the advantages of modern systems, like remote management, OTA updates, and integrations, while ensuring functionality even with internet connectivity issues.

Enhance security with 2FA

Reduce the risk of unauthorized access and add an extra layer of security by enforcing two-factor authentication (2FA). What does 2FA mean for your facility access system? Users need to provide two different authentication methods to verify the authenticity of the claimed access privileges.

For legacy systems, this often means users must enter a PIN and use their access card to unlock a door. Or, in the case of modern access systems that support mobile credentials, users will need to unlock their mobile device before tapping it against the reader.

Review and upgrade access control policies

Policies form the backbone of facility security since they determine who can access specific resources and the exact conditions and extent to which they can do so.

Reviewing and upgrading your access control policies ensures proper authorization and minimizes unauthorized access. It also contributes to the overall facility control system integrity by protecting sensitive data and maintaining a secure environment.

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Integrate facility access control systems

Integrating your access control system with the hardware and software you already use, like cameras and user directories, improves internal workflows while enhancing security.

For instance, integrating access control with your SSO provider enables you to securely manage users through real-time provisioning, resulting in automated, more secure on- and offboarding.

Integrating with camera systems allows you to monitor real-time access events in your facility and provides accurate, unbiased data to explore incidents after they happen.

Report on access and audit and maintain facility control systems

Access control data and reports are vital to security and helpful in making data-based decisions. The insights your access system provides for user activities can assist you in identifying and mitigating potential security threats and help you stay compliant.

Regular audits equip you with valuable insights, help you understand how users utilize your facility, and enable you to detect and respond to suspicious behavior. Use a facility maintenance checklist to keep your spaces safe through periodical planning, checkups, and maintenance activities.

Emergency facility access controls

Emergency access control functionalities, like intrusion detection and lockdown, are vital for facilities to prevent potential crises and ensure appropriate response during emergencies.

Adding sensors or integrating alarms and systems to modern access control systems, like Kisi, helps detect intruders attempting to breach secured spaces. You can also receive push notifications when unauthorized access may be taking place, for example, if a door or a window is held, propped, or forced open.

If an emergency does happen, your access system should enable you to respond quickly and effectively wherever you are. For instance, you should be able to swiftly and remotely lock down specific doors or the entire facility.

FAQ on purchasing facility access control systems

How to choose the right access control system?

From legacy to cloud-based solutions, the market today offers many different types of access control systems with various functionalities. What are some of the main factors when choosing the access control system that fits your facility's needs?

Besides considering the basic functionality, choose an all-in-one future-proof system to scale with your business. Remote, global management functionalities, integrations, and a modern, user-friendly admin dashboard are necessary for smooth operations. Take a look at the reviewing platforms, like Google and G2, to find more info on customer satisfaction and the level of support the access providers offer.

What is the pricing and installation costs for door access control systems?

The price and return on investment are determining factors when purchasing facility control systems. Explore the average cost of an access control system and the ROI when migrating your system. Determining the exact quote can be challenging since it mostly depends on your current setup and security needs. Contact our team for a customized quote.

Modern systems like Kisi offer tailored deployment options so you can enhance security while staying on budget. Cloud-based solutions ensure cost-effectiveness with their scalability and future-proof functionalities, like constant over-the-air updates.

How to make sure you’ve chosen the right facility access control system?

If you are still not sure if the access control system you like would work for your facility, you can always test things out on a small scale with a single door access control system kit.

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