January 28, 2024

Beyond Traditional Locks: Access Control's Modern Makeover in NYC

Physical data, logical data, valuable belongings – access control allows business owners to control who has access to their company’s most vulnerable information. 

More than 2.5 million burglaries are reported yearly in the United States alone. Even more shocking is that roughly half of those burglaries happen through an unlocked door – meaning half of all burglaries in the US can be prevented with a key or passcode. 

Let’s step into the shoes of a business owner who just had a relaxing weekend away from work. 

You pull up to the office on Monday morning, but instead of being greeted by a warm smile and friendly voice, you’re greeted by police officers – and they don’t have good news. 

“You see, the two perpetrators gained access through an unlocked door in the back of your building,” the police officer says. “It appears they took just about anything of value, leaving behind all the heavy stuff.”

Computers. Laptops. Tablets. Cash. Data. And, ironically, keys to the rest of the building. Anything they could easily carry out of the office is now gone – and you don’t know if you’ll ever get it back. 

Your NYC office deserves better. Your employees, customers, guests, and anyone else who (legally) enters your building – they deserve better too. 

But don’t worry – that’s where we come in. At PSE Audio-Visual, we have a solution designed to secure every nook and cranny of your office. 

We call it access control. 

Access Control: Your Key to a More Secure Office

Access control isn’t a tangible thing but rather a concept – a technique – that uses authentication and authorization protocols to allow or restrict certain people from entering certain areas of your building.

Physical data, logical data, valuable belongings – access control allows business owners to control who has access to their company’s most vulnerable information. 

Here are some of the critical features of access control systems today:

  • Being able to control your system from anywhere – even on a mobile device
  • Being able to alter who has access to what in real time 
  • Being able to customize what identifiers and credentials are used
  • Being able to introduce a two-step verification process
  • Being able to integrate your access control system with video surveillance cameras

If your business is serious about protecting its data, goods, and people from theft and/or harm (as it should be), then access control is right for you. Don’t worry – PSE can help you navigate your options.

Different Types of Access Control Systems

Technology is only improving, and access control systems continue to evolve with it – leaving business owners with a slew of options, features, benefits, and more to choose from. 

In general, access control systems are broken down into one of two categories: 

  • On-premise systems - also known as on-site access control, these systems are hosted, installed, and managed on your business’s local, on-site infrastructure and servers. 
  • Cloud-based systems - also known as ACaaS (Access Control as a Service), these systems are hosted on a remote server and accessed via the internet. 

Every office is different, so what works best for one office might not work best for another – in fact, many businesses opt for a hybrid solution that provides the best of both worlds. 

Once you’ve determined how the system is powered, it’s time to consider how your system operates. This is where business owners get to customize the features to meet their exact needs. 

Here are the four primary types of access control systems

Discretionary access control (DAC). Multiple administrators are given control of granting access to authorized personnel – it’s the least restrictive access control model available today. 

Mandatory access control (MAC). A central authority is given control of granting access to authorized personnel – usually based on security levels, like in a government or military building.

Role-based access control (RBAC). Instead of granting access based on identity, these systems grant access based on their role, assignment, and function within the company.

Attribute-based access control (ABAC). Access isn’t necessarily dependent on who, but what – such as time of day or location. This gives your business even more granular control over access points.

One of the coolest things about access control is there are no real limitations as to what a business owner can do. You control who has access, what they have access to, what times of the day they have access to it, and under what conditions they gain access to it. Now, that’s what we call full-and-total control. 

Cards, Fobs, PINs: Choosing the Right Identifiers

When most people think about access control systems, they think about the old key card or access card that you swipe through a scanner – like a credit card (before the chip came along, of course). 

While access cards are still one of the most popular identification methods used today, they’re far from your only option. In fact, they only represent one of the three primary types of identifiers – which includes: 

  • Identifiers that you own, such as key tags, access cards, and badges. 
  • Identifiers that you remember, such as keycodes, passwords, PINs, and patterns. 
  • Identifiers that you are, such as facial recognition, fingerprint, eyes, and other biometrics.

Since each identifier has its own set of pros and cons, they’re often used for entirely different purposes – which is why most businesses benefit from a combination of different identifiers. For example, using facial recognition for external doors but fingerprint scanning for interior doors. 

You can also create a two-step authentication process – for example, using a badge to identify yourself but a fingerprint to verify yourself. As we mentioned earlier – the opportunities are endless!

Safeguarding Your NYC Office Just Got a Whole Lot Easier

Are you ready to invest in a more secure office? Do you want to better protect your data, people, and resources? Have you been the victim of a recent burglary attempt – successful or not? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of those questions above, then it might be time to upgrade your access control system!

Don’t worry – that’s where we come in. 

PSE Audio-Visual understands the challenges many businesses face in the New York City area. Our solutions are custom-designed to meet your specific needs so you can sleep safely and soundly at night. 

Contact us today at (347) 460-4590 to schedule a consultation with one of our trusted experts. We’ll listen to your concerns and provide a practical yet effective solution – one that you’ll be confident in!

Thinking about integrating voice control in your home? PSE Audio Visual can help set up your devices with a seamless voice control system.
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