Wireless technology usage is more prevalent today than ever before and the security market, specifically access control, is no exception. There are a number of ways to secure the perimeter of virtually anything and everything, and the solutions to do so vary in shape and size depending on the needs of the end user.
Key cards, PINs, passwords and biometrics are just a few of the options available to help secure everything from data to individual room access within a building or large organization.
With so many options, it can sometimes be a challenge to identify the best wireless access control system to meet your needs. With planning and careful consideration, however, finding a solution to fit your organization can be accomplished. Before making the decision on your access control hardware, here are five reasons wireless access control might benefit your campus.
Integrating access control solutions that are battery operated, or that rely on software and Web-based platforms, is a cost-effective way to increase security. Flexibility, scalability and overall lower total cost of ownership are all benefits of installing wireless locks.
Additionally, running wire through old buildings can be time consuming, difficult and may not even be an option for some organizations. Wireless access control eliminates the added cost associated with the installation of hardware and additional wiring, and greatly reduces the need for continued maintenance. Compared with hardware-based access control, wireless installation is easier and requires less hardware for sufficient coverage. By saving time during installation and avoiding running wires and cables, providers can also realize monetary savings.
2. Ease of Installation
Wireless locks can be easily installed in new or existing buildings where wiring or cabling can be difficult to maneuver. Wireless access control systems also can help users avoid significant disruptions and additional installation fees. By leveraging wireless solutions, security companies can assure customers that there will be virtually no interruption in day-to-day operations, which can be especially important for schools, university campuses, healthcare facilities and other high-traffic businesses.
3. Remote Coverage
Securing large or widespread organizations, such as university or hospital campuses, or those that consist of multiple locations in different geographic areas, can be a challenge for security directors and integrators. Wireless locks allow these types of end users to enjoy security solutions in any area regardless of the logistics. Wireless or offline locks enable such customers to install systems on doors and provide more flexibility and scalability for growing campuses.
4. More Options Available
Wireless access control systems come in a variety of configurations to suit the needs of the end user. For example, networked wireless access control systems allow customers to collect information from a data-gathering panel, and are able to communicate in real-time to a central computer over a wired system that can be IP-based. Should a communications failure occur, the data-gathering panel is able to recall the last alarm in a system, helping to identify possible reasons for the alarm.
Another advantage to this system is its ability to connect to an existing Wi-Fi network. Networked setups also have the ability to operate as a standalone system should the connection ever be lost. Standalone wireless access control systems, although able to store transactions similar to networked wireless access control, are unable to communicate to data-gathering panels. However, the advantage of a standalone system is that it can be installed virtually anywhere.
5. No Card, No Problem
Many organizations, whether large or small, face the same types of security challenges. Inevitably people will lose keys and cards; so how can you ensure that the security of the perimeter isn’t compromised? One major benefit to installing wireless access control solutions is the ability to easily delete a card from the system using remote access via a network, thereby shutting down any access to the cardholder.
Regardless of what industry you’re in, wireless technologies have become a viable option for organizations for a number of reasons. Determining whether wireless access control can be made a reality in any given end-user business requires security leaders and integrators to take a step back, identify the potential threats and risks associated with the organization, look at the scope of the project (i.e. the number of card readers, keyholders, etc.) and make a decision on what best fits the user.
Mitchell Kane is President of Vanderbilt Industries.
Originally published on September 7, 2016.