Quantcast Section 5. Basic Automated Access Control Systems

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Section 5:
5.1  Importance of Access Control to Security Operations.  Simply defined,
access control is a process which serves to permit or deny entry, thus
regulating the flow of personnel and/or material into a protected area.  The
criteria for approving access also involves verification of an authorization
to enter the protected area or use a restricted device.  The criteria can be
verified through one or more of the elements of security:  personnel,
equipment, and procedures.  The proportion of use of these three elements to
authorize access involves analysis both of the specific threat(s) to the
protected area or object and the requirements of operational procedures to
assure mission accomplishment.  The systems discussed in this section refer
to basic electronic and electromechanical devices which are commercially
available and designed to provide automated unlocking of a portal without
human intervention by use of previously authorized credentials.
5.1.1 Increased Use of Automated Access Control in Security Operations.  The
growth of application of automated access control systems in high security
environments has been due probably more to potential cost tradeoffs than any
other criterion.  Once the basic need for reliable entry
authorization/verification was established, prior methods tended to
concentrate upon the manned entrance: the guard who would manage a
time-consuming sign-in/sign-out or badge exchange procedure.  Internal
procedures then relied upon maintenance of an effective key and lock system
with all of its inherent vulnerabilities.  The use of microprocessor
technology and recent advances in coded credentials have led to the ability
of lower cost systems to electronically control access and perform a host of
ancillary functions from a single security control point.  The employee
credential, the badge, is now increasingly the access authorization means,
and the central processor is providing alarm display, control, and related
total system integration functions.  With sufficient intelligence, these
systems can perform highly sophisticated authorization and reporting
functions with the simple insertion of the coded credential and pay for
themselves with reduced or redirected manpower costs.
5.1.2  Electronic Access Control Requires Effective Planning.  It takes
careful and effective analysis to design and implement an electronic access
control system.  At between $1000 and $2000 per controlled door, costs can
escalate rapidly and overtake the capabilities of many system
configurations.  The number of routine and nonroutine (periodic) enrollees
in the system, card credentials type, the number of doors to be controlled,
required/desired system functions, and ancillary duties of the systems such
as alarm reporting and display, all require careful thought and planning
prior to specification.
5.2  Components of Automated Access Control Systems.  Automated access
control systems, as considered here, are systems which permit a machine to
grant or deny access based upon prior approval of authorization criteria
encoded into a badge credential.  This approval authorization sequence is
information which must be communicated to the equipment in forms acceptable
to the electronics.  This information provides the criteria for the access


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