When we think about access control systems, we think about card readers, magnetic locks, electric strikes, biometric readers and other devices which are attached to doors to control access into and out of buildings. These systems are effective at controlling entry, securing specific areas of buildings and making key management a much easier process – in that there are no longer any more “keys” required.
What is managed access control?
The newest addition in card access control is something called managed or hosted access control. The “bones” of the card access system for managed access control do stay the same. Reader controllers are still installed on site, card readers and electric strikes are installed at doors, and access cards, keyfobs or other authentication tools are distributed to authorised users. The big change comes in how and where the data for the card access control system is stored. With a managed access control system, the data and software is hosted at a third party in a secure facility. You can think of this the same way you would think of cloud computing or any sort of “hosted” service you use on the internet. This means that the system is no longer connected to a computer on site, but securely to a remote server via the internet.
How does managed access control work?
Managed access control systems connect the controllers at any particular site to the remote server via the internet. All information from the controllers is sent via a secure connection to these remote servers and when logged into your account online, or via an app on your smartphone you can see what is happening with your access control system in real time. Doors can be remotely managed via this portal, and often via applications installed on a desktop or an app for your phone. In the event of an internet failure, the card access control system will continue to operate as normal, as all data is stored in the controller. When the internet connection is restored data held in the card access systems controllers memory will be uploaded to the internet.
Managed access control vs hosted access control
In general, there are two main types of services provided by companies and manufacturers who provide this sort of service: hosted access control and managed access control. With a hosted access control system, all data is stored on the remote servers of the service provider as previously mentioned. Designated users of the system are then able to log in and make any changes they want at any time to their system from anywhere in the world that they can get an internet connection. It remains the end user’s responsibility to alter and administer their own card access system.
In a managed access control system, the data, and software is still stored on the service provider’s remote cloud based servers. However in this case, a fee is paid to the service provider to manage the card access system on behalf of the customer. This means card entry and deletion, schedules and anything else you need done on the access control system are performed by a trained security professional remotely. Requests are made to the company providing the managed access control service, and they get made for the customer.
What are the benefits of managed access control and hosted access control systems?
There are a few benefits to moving to a managed or hosted access control solution. The first, for either type of service is data security. All too often, back ups of access control data are not done on a regular basis, and when issues arise data is lost. Reconstructing card lists and access control properties can be a timely and costly endeavour. Having your data hosted in the cloud means that this data will never be lost, ensuring system continuity.
A second benefit for these types of services is availability. As these systems are hosted, they often have the ability of logging in and doing administration from anywhere you can access a web browser. This is particularly useful if you are attempting to manage multiple sites, and saves the hassle of having to potentially RDP into remote servers to perform data changes. These can all be done through a familiar web browser from the comfort of wherever you happen to be.
Finally, there is greater certainty that the changes and updates you are doing with a managed system are done correctly, as they are being performed by trained security professionals. With a managed access control solution, changes and administration are done by the service provider so you do not need to worry about training staff on how to administer your access control system, everything is completed off-site by professionals.
Managed access control and hosted access control systems are new and have shown lots of promise. Managed access control and hosted access control allow greater data security with more convenience for the end user. If you would like to learn more about these access control solutions, please contact us on 0203 808 1128 and we would be happy to discuss further.