Frequently asked Questions lists, or FAQs, are a life-saver for security and technology. Let’s look at the security benefits of an access control system and how these systems work.


Access control systems allow organizations to physically limit entrance permissions to whole or specific areas of a property. It can be used to keep people out of buildings or rooms, or vehicles out of restricted parking areas.

Aside from the real-time benefit of controlled entry, access control systems keep an activity log at secured entrances. If needed, post-incident investigations can be handled quickly and effectively. System integration with video surveillance allows investigators to review the cameras closest to a specified location during any given timeframe.

Entrance Hardware

The hardware for door control is fairly simple, but there are a variety of additional customizations. Each application can be adapted to an organization’s unique situation.

For an access control system to operate, devices on and around the door keep the door closed until an authorized credential is presented. Credential readers are common for door applications, using either a magnetic or electric lock. For gates at parking entrances, credential readers are installed along the driver’s side of the entrance. As the vehicle approaches and stops, the driver presents a credential and the gate opens.

For more single or low-count door applications, access control can be integrated into the door handle and lock itself. For example, a small retailer may desire to secure the office with a very simple solution. The door handle mechanism cab be easily replaced with an all-in-one solution without having to deploy and enterprise-class access control solution.


Credentials often double as an identification card. The credential card contains technology that communicates with the credential reader, usually at very close range. The information stored on the card is compared to the access control database of authorized users. If a match is made, the door or gate will unlock or open. If the credential doesn’t match, the gate remains closed and the door locked. Many systems can be programmed to create an alert when a card is declined, prompting an immediate response to the location or marking the instance on a daily report log for review.

And as the use of mobile phones has become an integral part of our work and personal lives, solutions are now available that use the Bluetooth on your phone to activate a door to unlock.

Aside from our phones, keys are the next thing that we always seem to have in our pockets. A small key fob can also be used as an access control credential when an ID card style is not required or when the convenience of a key ring held system is ideal. The added benefit of a key fob is that if it’s lost, there is no identifiable information on the key fob, thus greatly reducing the risk of unauthorized use of a credential.

Many systems now use biometric reader devices in place of, or addition to, card credentials. Biometric technologies vary from iris scans to fingerprint readers. Biometric options are improving in reliability and can be a viable solution for many facilities.

Computers and Servers

Depending on the scope of your project, your access control database and control software may be located on a server or hosted in an off-site cloud-based solution. One or more workstations are used by security officers to review and respond to access control and other system alerts. Given a set of organization-specific variables, your IT department may need to determine the ideal system architecture for your organization.

Professional Security Partner

The Vision team can survey your building, coordinate an IT-inclusive design, and professionally install and integrate hardware and software. Vision can also create a custom managed and hosted services plan, freeing up your staff to perform their core responsibilities, provide a safe working environment, and maintain the system. IT will appreciate the maintenance services as well. Limiting their involvement in regularly scheduled software and firmware updates may be the benefit they need to stay focused and effective.

The Vision Investment Protection plan, like your system, can scale and change with your organization. Together, you’ll uncover potential problems before they arise. Additionally, Vision Investment Protection provides onsite and remote response, safeguarding your staff and securing your facility.

Vision has a full-time AutoCAD engineer on staff. Our engineering team can provide planned drawings, riser diagrams, and as-built diagrams in both electronic and hard copy formats for every project. We provide complete network installations, maintenance, database conversions, software installations, and upgrades. Our engineering team has both Cisco and Microsoft certifications.

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