Evolution of Access Control Systems 

Evolution of Access Control Systems 

October 13, 2017 at 10:42 AM


The need to prevent access to certain areas in a business has seen the progression of access control systems to more complex yet convenient commercial security systems. Older systems involved doors with guards, which then upgraded to keys and locks, but now the systems are electronically run. The rampant evolution from the 1960’s in commercial security was brought about by the need to mitigate problems caused by loss of keys and break-ins that were easily achieved. Unlike older systems, an electronic access security system ensures that you get to allow or restrict someone’s access immediately when need be as well as monitor who comes in and goes out of the area. Let’s have a look into what there was before as well as how that has evolved.

Key Pads

These are one of the oldest entries into the field of commercial security access. One would insert a personal identity number, otherwise, a known as a PIN, into an electronic device which would match and allow access. This allows a certain level of security above lock and keys but would create trouble and insecurity in case one forgot their pin or someone else decodes and uses it fraudulently.

Card Readers

These are used to swipe cards which are also known as key cards’ or card keys’, which are plastic cards that use a technology known as Wiegand. This is a magnetic strip that is fixed to the card enabling the card to be read and allow for access. The card reader can be compromised due to their easy availability in retail stores. The card readers that need swiping evolved to proximity readers which can get information from a card at a given distance. This card system was rendered unintelligent and here’s what developers did about it.

Non-intelligent, Semi-intelligent and Intelligent

The card reader only passed on information that once the card is read, the lock on the door is released allowing for access. It was never designed to infer data and other than passing information, it could take no other action. Developers came up with Semi-intelligent readers before finally developing intelligent readers. Semi-intelligent readers could now release a lock only after receiving an authorization code from the central control panel, unlike the previous card reader.

Finally, the intelligent reader worked through sending information to the control panel after identifying and recording the user, only then does it release the lock on the door. It didn’t need a code from the panel either.

IP Door Readers

These are intelligent readers that control access by being programmed by information that enables it to decide who is allowed at a certain area and at a certain time. In addition to this, they record the history of any activity which is then maintained in the server of which this system is connected to, and can be used to make reports.

Evolution in Less than Fifty Years

The simplicity maintained by the access control systems available is something to be appreciated, considering just how much commercial security they offer. They use the latest of technologies to offer authorization and authenticating the user, allowing or restricting them from access. The level of security is not limited to the entire premise alone as a whole but also to certain areas within the business; buildings and rooms. These are efficient in today’s world since insecurity and vandalism are not only higher, but also the means of conducting them have also evolved.

Revolution in securing businesses have included visual recordings, telephone entries, photo identification badges including other techno survey means of security. These commercial security systems have ensured a return on investment; despite the initial cost of installation, the system prevents a loss that can be incurred through onsite crimes.

In less than fifty years, evolution in the commercial security, especially in access control systems has come a long way. Developers are still at work developing more sophisticated systems as the security needs evolve as well. Note that these systems are wholesome, not only preventing criminal activities but also motivate workers to work as well as maintain a productive working environment where each adheres to what is expected of them. Therefore, as you plan for your business establishment, aim at having the relevant and up to standard security systems installed from the onset.