Access control software is the digital application in which you grant “access” (or admittance) privileges to sensitive documents, files, rooms, buildings, and spaces.
You can purchase access control software as a standalone item and pair it with physical hardware for your building. Although, most people purchase the software when they purchase an access control system as a bundle. You can view/change employee permissions, keep a record of which employee has accessed which data, and keep areas secure. If you do not have physical hardware, you would need to purchase that separately if you have already bought the software.
Many access control systems sell access control software as an all-in-one service (meaning you will gain access to proprietary software to manage digital and physical location access as well as hardware necessary to complete this).
1. Types of Access Control Software
There are several types of access control software options however there are three main options:
This type of access control software is hosted on a server within a specific building. The software can be used to control the access within that building and only that building. You cannot access it remotely and each building would need its own server. An administrator on location gives access to employees and guests through this system. These are usually bought within a whole access control system.
Similar to dedicated server-based access control systems, browser-based solutions include a web application. For the application to operate, there is no requirement for Internet access; it connects to the LAN (local area network) and can be accessed from any device within the LAN. These are usually bought within a whole access control system. However, it is best that you do have a reliable internet connection.
Last but not least, most access control systems are turning to cloud-based solutions. The access control software is located on a remote server and can be accessed by the administrator. From the admin panel, you can complete any function anywhere as long as you have an internet connection. You can also control your entire campus, including multiple buildings, from one admin panel. You will need an internet connection to review the admin panel and make updates or changes. However, even without the internet, the hardware will still function as commanded. You just won’t be able to make updates without an internet connection. This type of system can be bought separately or bundled with an access control system. This type of system can also be used with third-party hardware devices.
If you are looking to future proof your system and use other 3rd party hardware, then cloud-based access control software can be the perfect choice for you.
2. Benefits of Cloud-Based Access Control Software
While each system has its advantages and drawbacks, most of the industry is switching to a cloud-based approach. Many companies are finding that this system provides them with the security and flexibility they need to complete their objectives. Here are some of the best benefits of cloud-based access control software.
One of the best benefits of cloud-based access control is the ability to control all these security measures from a central admin page. With cloud-based access control software, you can update the system in minutes across your entire campus. The software also keeps a record for you to view as well as collect statistical data on access point usage. You have more control over your facilities without the expensive problems such as servers. You can also better protect personal information within your business.
Cloud-based access control software can be utilized from anywhere in the world. You can work remotely and still be able to manage all your security needs. Most applications just require a secure Wi-Fi connection and a credential login. Data for the systems are placed on a remote server so you don’t have to pay for that upfront cost. Cloud-based systems also contain mobile and tablet applications so you can manage your security needs even while on the go. This provides you with a ton of flexibility to respond to security threats. Most notably, in the event of an emergency, most software solutions will allow you to lock down your facilities within a matter of minutes. Remote access allows you to be ready at a moment’s notice.
A cloud-based access control system allows you to review your security measures time and time again. Many applications offer the ability to print out an “audit trail.” This is a printout of every access point, who visited those locations, the time, and how frequently those locations were visited. You can use this data to set certain policies and guidelines, spot vulnerabilities, protect sensitive data, and monitor employee behavior.
One of the biggest drawbacks to lock and key systems is that you have manually process access to every entry point. It can be tiresome and wasteful. Cloud-based software allows you to negate this problem with automation. For example, you have a department store you are trying to run. You don’t want to hand out physical keys to managers that can be lost or stolen. Instead, have your software set up to open and close the building to the public based on specific timeframes. You can also automate certain employee usage and access as well. Owners can also set up lockdown triggers and access control policies in a flash.
Software doesn’t stay the same as time goes on. Most access control software companies are always updating the software with new features, better security, and even more data control. When you purchase software, that’s just the first iteration you are using. The service should continually improve and provide you with more value over time. These system changes also happen across your entire network. You don’t have to go and individually change each system; the updates happen automatically over time.
Unlike older systems, where you’d have to call a technician, explain the problem, then have them come to your place of business to fix the problem, you can receive support right from your computer. This means they can perform diagnostics over the internet and see problems in real-time. No more waiting around for a technician to show up, get the support you need in minutes.
Because most cloud-based access control software can be used remotely or on mobile devices, that means you act faster to security measures. Whether that’s allowing access, creating temporary users, or setting your facilities on lockdown, you can react to a developing need in minutes. You don’t need to be tied down to a central computer or be on-site to enable features. Other users can also be added for emergency situations, even if you are without cellar service.
While every software is different, most allow easy addition of new users. You can fill this information out yourself or create a form for workers to fill out and then copy that information into the system during their onboarding process. You can also remove/add permissions and remove inactive employees with a couple of clicks.
3rd Party Integration with HR and Attendance
Tired of inputting worker data into excel spreadsheets to calculate payroll? Access control software can help by automatically logging that data for you. In fact, accurate punch-in/punch-out times can be recorded with a phone, desktop, tablet, or key fob. You can use this data eliminate wasteful time and optimize HR duties. Recording flexible punch times allows you to monitor your employees no matter where they work while still being secure. Additionally, some access control software will allow you to integrate with other 3rd party platforms to complete HR tasks. At the end of the month, you can access accurate reporting for all of your employees and make decisions based off the best data for your company.
3. Access Control Software Reporting Features
Access control software can give you accurate audit reporting for all your needs. Measure things like:
- Alarms triggered
- Building occupancy
- Hardware piece count
- Key count
- Functioning locks
- ID replacement or new card issues
- Visitor records
- URL blocking list
- Document downloads
- Encrypted credentials list
- High-capacity times and capacity bottlenecks
- Identify emergency security personal and access control flaws
- Temperature check integrations
- Space utilization
- And more!
4. Industries Who Use Access Control Software
- Office Systems
- Hospitals and Health Facilities
- Government Offices
- Schools / Universities
- Apartment Complexes
- Sport Complexes
- Stores / Restaurants / and Businesses looking to Scale
- Rental Property
- Financial Institutions
- And anyone else looking to implement security measures
5. Price and Top Providers of Access Control Software
Most software systems are going to provide you with a custom quote and that could include some form of hardware as well. You’ll need to pay for licensing of the software, setup fees, and a cost per access point (that’s why many people choose a bundle solution, the overall price may be reduced due to hardware.) You’ll need to also purchase your actual “key” which could be a
- Key fob
- Mobile Phone Application
|Features:||Additional Hardware Purchases Available:||Price:|
|KISI||Cloud-based management Time-based access options Mobile authentication Data analytics Camera Integrations||Yes||Custom Quote|
|MAIROBOTICS||Cloud-based management Data encryption Activity and events log Visitor Authentication with QR code||Yes||Custom Quote|
|BRIVO||Cloud-based management 3-tiered system for companies Video surveillance integration Multi-factor authentication Data reporting||Yes||Custom Quote|
|SALTO||Cloud-based management Mobile application and authentication Data and event logs Data encryption Temporary visitor pin code Only works with SALTO locks||Yes||Custom quote + introductory SALTO door lock|
|KASTLE SYSTEMS||Cloud-based management Directory integration Mobile application and authentication Integrates with SMART applications like elevators, lighting, HVAC Will install and monitor products throughout the entire operation||Yes||Custom Quote|
Want the best access control software for your company, but not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’re here to help. At 360Connect we can supply you with high-quality quotes from qualified suppliers in your area. Just fill out our form and we’ll contact you, it’s that simple!
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