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Access Control Systems: The Modern Stalwarts of Security

by fernandoseverns

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The term may sound complicated and unfamiliar, but access controls protocols are actually an everyday phenomenon. You encounter them on a regular basis through the PIN in your ATM cards, computer log-ins, and other password-protected documents. Access controls function by preventing unauthorized individuals from gaining access to privileged information or specific areas. To date, there are several types of access control, each having its own set of advantages and drawbacks.

Biometric Access Systems

In the movie Charlie’s Angels, you will probably remember Drew Barrymore as Dylan Sanders aligning her eye in a retina scan. What you saw there is a form of biometric access, wherein the unique physical characteristics of a person is used to grant him access. Places requiring a high level of security such as businesses, prisons, military establishments, and law enforcement agencies employ biometric access systems.

Its main advantage is that it’s extremely accurate. Biologically speaking, the possibility of two people having exactly the same physical characteristics is minimal, making biometric access extremely accurate. In addition, it captures data in a matter of seconds, and they cannot be lost or stolen as in other forms of security.

Possessed Object Access Systems

This system requires certain physical objects in your possession for identification. These objects include smart cards, magnetic cards, USB flash drives, or USB security keys. Used to control access to computer systems and other facilities, they are advantageous in protecting systems from unauthorized access. They have large memory capacities, making it possible for additional security credentials to be incorporated into them. Their portability, however, is one particular drawback, as they easily tend to get lost.

Two-Factor Authentication Systems

If you want an even higher level of security, you can combine two access control methods, such as a password and a biometric system. The added layer of complexity and security requirement makes them a well-established form of access control system in both commercial and industrial settings.

To permit access, information from two different factors must be given correctly. With a two-factor authentication system, hackers will find it difficult to break into your security system. Top government agencies and major commercial entities commonly employ access control system, as it provides a much higher level of security than any single security protocol can provide.

In this age of industrial espionage and commercial piracy, wherein a single unauthorized access can spell doom for an enterprise, the safekeeping of information cannot be discounted. But with access control systems, you can be sure that hackers and other information pirates are kept at bay. For more information on systems used for access control, visit the website

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