The Evolution of Access Control
In an overwhelmingly connected world, traditional lock & key systems are antiquated. These systems are no longer the most reliable means to ensure the security of properties. Technology is ever-evolving, and as technology advances, access control systems have emerged as essential aspects of property security. Access control technology has reshaped how we access properties, from residential or commercial properties to businesses that require easier access solutions for their customers, like AirBnB, VRBO, etc. If you want to learn a bit about the evolution of access control technology, its ever-developing impact on property security, or how access control can help your property, you will find all the answers in this article.
The Evolution of Access Control Technology
Like all technology, access control technology has come a long way. Gone are the days of the simple mechanical locks of the past. Digitalization and smart devices have paved the way for innovative solutions offering enhanced security for property owners and managers and overall convenience for everyone using the system. Here are some key stages in the evolution of access control technology:
Keycards and Fobs
First, the technology needed to rid the world of traditional metal keys that anyone could replicate. Thus, one of the earliest advancements in access control was the development of keycards and fobs. These cards would be issued to one person and could be swiped or tapped against a reader at the entry and exit of a property to grant access. This first evolution of access control technology diminished the risk of key duplication and provided a newfound, although relatively basic in retrospect, level of security.
Keypad Entry Systems
Second, keypad entry systems were introduced. The concept of keypad entry systems relied on personal identification numbers (PINs). Each user had their unique PIN and needed to enter that PIN onto the keypad to gain access. Sure, this offered another level of security, but as you can imagine, sharing PINs or PIN theft was prevalent, thus proposing a new security threat.
Biometric Access Control
One of the most significant leaps in the evolution of access control technologies is undoubtedly biometric tech. This impressive technology brought a noteworthy leap in security. Fingerprints, facial recognition, and retina scans enabled properties to be secured based on people’s unique physiological characteristics. Biometric access control minimized all security risks but was not a likable solution for most properties worldwide. This top-of-the-line technology is undoubtedly suitable for government, tech giants, etc., but not for the residential property seeking ways to increase security via access control for their hundreds of residents that come and go constantly.
This is where it gets good! The widespread use of smartphones unlocked a world of possibilities. Sure, it took a bit of time for everyone to succumb to the draw of smartphones, but once most of the world had one of those in their hands, people’s smartphones led to the development of mobile-based access control. Property owners could now grant or revoke access remotely using dedicated mobile apps. This evolution of access control technology allowed for real-time control over property access and greater flexibility. Learn more on how smartphone-based access control could suit your property’s needs.
Cloud-based Access Control
The next necessary step in the evolution of access control technology was using one online platform and controlling multiple properties with a few clicks of a button. Cloud-based technology did that! It transformed the access control landscape by enabling centralized management. Property owners and managers could now control access to multiple locations from a single platform. See how cloud-based access control has streamlined administration and offered insights through data analytics.
Impact on Property Security
As you can imagine, the integration of access control technology into property security has had several noteworthy impacts:
- Improved Security: Access control systems, especially the later versions, significantly reduce the risk of unauthorized entry. Biometric data, encrypted credentials, and smartphone-based access make it more complicated for unauthorized users to gain access through traditional means.
- Activity Monitoring: Modern access control systems have a thorough and detailed log of all entries and exits, creating an electronic trail of precisely who accessed the property and when. This feature assists with any investigation and provides valuable insights in case of security infringements.
- Customizable Access Levels: For properties with a higher need for security, property owners can now assign specific access levels to individuals. Only authorized personnel can enter restricted areas, minimizing potential internal security threats.
- Remote Management: Cloud-based access control technology enables property owners and managers to control access remotely. So, if you are traveling and need to tweak your access list, have at it! Access permissions can be adjusted in real-time, even from different geographical locations.
- Reduced Costs: The old-school traditional lock and key systems require frequent rekeying in case of lost or stolen keys, which gets costly. Access control systems eliminate this need, reducing long-term maintenance costs. Furthermore, access control systems allow property owners and managers to reduce the staff needed daily, thus reducing costs even further.
- Integration with Other Systems: Access control technology can be integrated with preexisting systems such as security systems equipped with surveillance cameras and alarms, and property managememt software systems. API integration capabilities provides a comprehensive property ecosystem equipped for day-to-day operations and any task that may be needed regarding security. Udoubtedly, this gives property owners and managers more peace of mind.
Challenges and Considerations
While access control technology offers numerous benefits, there are also challenges to consider:
- Cybersecurity: As access control systems become more digital, they are susceptible to cyberattacks. Implementing robust cybersecurity measures to prevent unauthorized access and monitoring access logs is crucial in protecting the system from hacks. (See how ParqEx’s team helps minimize these threats).
- Dependency on Technology: Relying solely on technology can be risky. Sometimes, tech fails, Wi-Fi is down, or lines have been broken. Backup plans should be in place for system malfunctions or power outages. (Check out ParqEx’s backup plans when technology malfunctions).
- User Education: User education is crucial as only some have experienced more technologically evolved access control systems. Moreover, users must know best practices for securing their credentials. Weak passwords can compromise the safety of the entire system. (Learn how ParqEx prioritizes user education and provides several knowledge-based articles for any scenario).
Access control technology has reshaped property security by offering advanced features, improved convenience, and exceptional defense against unauthorized access. From the evolution of keycards to the rise of biometric systems and cloud-based management, this technology has transformed how we protect valuable assets and how we come and go from the gym, the office, and our homes. For the property owners and managers reading this and seeing the value in access control, book a demo with ParqEx, and we can demonstrate how our access control technology will reshape your property’s security and management.