The process of access control is defined as the technique of providing restricted access by which only the authorized and selective individuals are allowed entry to a property or compound. The access control can be a manned process, performed by trained security personnel, or it can be automated. In case of automated access control, special identification and authorization devices like bio metric, scanner, etc. are employed before an individual is granted permission to access any information or entry to any place.
The automated access control managementsystem employs locks and logins as a means of validating the authorization of any individual.
Let us consider the example of a controlled access room. When an individual requesting for access enters his/her credentials (usually in form of a pin number) into the reader, the reader converts the code into the binary equivalent and sends the data to a central processor located in the control panel. The processor is tasked with taking two decisions – Granting permission or Denial of permission. The memory of the processor contains a logbook of registered codes, already preset by the owner. When the input sequence from the reader is received by the processor, it checks a logbook for any possible match. On the basis of whether a match is found or not, the process decides whether to grant permission or not.
If the entered pin number matches an authentic passkey in the logbook, the processor actuates a locking mechanism and opens the door. If a match is not found, the door remains shut and the access is denied.
Generally, in the access control system India, the reader or the input device is also often used to provide confirmation of access with help of lights or sounds.
The authenticating inputs can be of the following types:
- A physical identification like iris scan or speech recognition
- An authorizing commodity like punch cards or scan cards
- A password in the form of numbers or words
Components of an access control system:
Reader- A reader is the input interface used for taking information from the applicant. The people requesting authorization enter their credentials in the reader which then converts and sends the credentials to the control panel. Depending on the various types of access control systems, the reader can also be of various types including a fingerprint scanner, a keypad for entering passwords, a voice recognition machine or a QR code scanner. It is essential that the reader be user-friendly and easy to operate as it is the interface between the individual and the system.
Control panel- A control panel is basically an integrated circuit containing a high end processor. The processor receives the input user data from the receiver and checks the log book for matches. The decision to grant or restrict access is also taken by the control panel processor. The output end of the control panel is attached to the access point.
Access Point- The access point is basically the physical mechanism installed to restrict or grant access to an individual. Generally, the access point is a door, but it can be a shaft, a bridge, an elevator, etc. When the signal from the control panel arrives, the relay assembly of the access point comes into motion and works according to the instruction. If the incoming information grants the permission, the access point will grant the access, otherwise the access point remains closed.