Top 7 Access Control Mistakes (and What to do Instead)

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Effective access control is critically important for homeowners and businesses of all types and all sizes. Simply put, access control is all about who has physical access to your property. If you don’t effectively control this access, you leave your property vulnerable to intruders, theft, robbery, and put not only your business’ physical assets but also your data and most importantly your people at risk. Proper access control means not only setting up the right systems but also implementing and maintaining them effectively.

access control systems

Take a look at these 7 common access control mistakes so that you know what to avoid, and what to do instead!

1. Ignoring Alerts and Notifications

Many access control systems integrate various types of alerts and alarms, whether it is an anti-passback alarm, door forced-open alarm, or alerts of other kinds. We often ignore these alerts because we know that technology can frequently glitch out, or because we don’t know how to fix them. It’s true that these alarms do not always indicate a major issue and are often a nuisance.

However, ignoring them can be a big mistake because they give you insights into your security systems. For example, if the “door held open” alarm is repeatedly triggered, this means there is an issue with your hardware. Always pay attention to alarms and notifications and check the issue. Minor issues indicated by your alarm can turn into a serious problem later, so never ignore them.

2. Single Access Systems

Many access control systems rely on a single entry method. For example, authorized individuals may simply need to insert a key card into the card reader. Anyone can use the cards to get entry to the restricted areas, which is why a single-access system is not enough to meet a high standard of security.

If an outsider or unauthorized employee uses someone else’s card to access restricted areas they gain access to sensitive documents and confidential data. Set admin access rights to ensure that the system will only allow entry after matching the card with the card-holder’s credentials. This will minimize the risk of tailgating and piggybacking, as no one can use somebody else’s card to enter sensitive areas.

3. Not Maintaining Doors and Windows

Good access control systems need robust hardware. Loose latches and maladjusted gaps in doors and windows make you vulnerable to forced entry. Every door needs regular maintenance – no matter how sturdy it is. Timely maintenance will not only keep doors and windows in good working condition, but this is also essential to security. You don’t want your investment in access control wasted just because of loose door locks or badly maintained window frames. It may seem basic, but sometimes the simplest of things can make a world of difference!

4. Not Managing your User Database

You must be across the access cards that your employees have and how often they access certain areas. Since it’s impossible to keep track of their activities manually, it is important to record everything in a database and review it frequently. With the credentials of each cardholder recorded in the database, it’s easier to manage any problems or issues if they should occur.

5. Propping Open Doors

You can have the best, most advanced access control system in the world, but it amounts to nothing if your employees decide to prop the doors open. It can get tedious having to swipe their key card every time they want to go in or out, and so people prop the doors open with a door wedge, brick, or box. This may be more convenient, but it involves a lot of risk.

This may even be a more deliberate effort to circumvent the system, as staff members don’t want to be tracked in the system when they take unauthorised breaks, for example. It is important to come down on the issue and eliminate door propping. If doors are propped open, anyone can enter restricted areas, leaving your business vulnerable to theft and breaches.

6. Inappropriate Access Levels

Another common access control mistake is allowing almost everyone on your team to access restricted areas. Instead, you should be discerning on who you grant access to sensitive areas – only give access if their job requires them to enter these places. If someone quits, their access rights should be revoked immediately from all systems. Furthermore, this information should be checked and updated regularly as part of your security processes.

7. Poor Password Management

It can be common to have the same password for all access control apps and systems. This is understandable, as it’s hard to remember multiple passwords. However, this makes you vulnerable to breaches. Make sure your employees keep a strong, unique password for each access control app and change passwords regularly. If you have a hard time remembering your passwords, use a password keeper app like LastPass.

Final Thoughts

Access control is not just about implementing  access control systems on your premises, but it is equally important to identify and address any holes in the system. This will help to ensure that only authorized people are given entry to restricted areas.

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