Controlling access to a facility can be difficult; authorised staff, contractors and visitors must be given access to the appropriate areas of their facilities whilst keeping unauthorised people out. It is also important to monitor and record which staff members have accessed which areas of the facility and when.
The choice of system is complex and it is often difficult particularly for businesses who may not have a dedicated security manager with the necessary experience.
Choosing a system should not require a great deal of expensive installation, and the system should have the ability to be increased in size according to future requirements.
With the right system ongoing costs can be kept to a minimum without compromising security.
Choosing the right Smart Card is vital. It should be:
– A card that can be personalised.
– A card that is easy to use.
– A card that is easy to manage.
– A card that can be implemented on current applications and supports future requirements.
– One card that is capable of being used in many ways such as access control, time and attendance, computer and application logon or storage of personal data for e-cash payments.
– A card that is secure.
Contactless smart cards or proximity cardsfrom manufacturers such as Mifare, Paxton Access, TDSi, PAC and HID allow a user to present their card to the reader and the system will read the cards’ credentials and, if authenticated, pass this information to the back-end system, which holds that individuals access rights.
There are no contact surfaces to wear or get damaged on the card or reader; this means a longer life for both card and reader adding further savings.
As these Proximity cards have no contact plates for data exchange, communication with a reader is achieved using wireless technology, commonly referred to as RF. The energy to power the card is transmitted via a high frequency signal from the reader to the card, sending encrypted data bi-directionally and providing a fast and very efficient data exchange. Proximity is a close read range technology, up to 10cm, and is ideally suited for security applications.
It is important to ensure that when choosing a card/system, it complies with existing ISO standards and the cards used are genuine products.