Access control is a relatively new security measure which limits the access to a specific area or resource, to a specific number of authorized individuals. This mode of security is divided into two types, physical and logical access control.
The former is concerned with access to physical locations such as buildings, rooms, or campuses, while the latter deals with limiting access to computer networks and other system-related data.
Traditionally, access control was limited to the use of identification cards and pass codes to be allowed entry or use. Luckily, modern science has developed ways to improve access control technology, thus providing both physical and logical access control with top-notch security features.
Man can now choose from an array of access control technology which varies depending on the level of security he needs. Optical turnstiles are perhaps the most popular among these devices.
This mechanism uses state of the art technology to read a persons unique access card, while also ensuring that only one person is allowed to enter at a time. Its often used by universities to separate the students from visitors, or in offices which provide individual employees with special access. More advanced optical turnstiles are paired with alarm systems which alert security personnel in cases where an invalid card was used.
Biometrics technology is another widely used access control mechanism. This type of technology refers to the use of a persons personal characteristics to be allowed entry or access.
What is being referred to as personal characteristics is often divided into physiological and behavioral characteristics. Examples of the former include a persons fingerprint, hand geometry, unique facial features, or his iris and retina, whereas the latter refers to a persons behavioral pattern like his gait or typing rhythm.
On the other hand, biometric readers use a more advanced technology. A more advanced version of the biometrics technology, it requires personnel to present at least three forms of identification before being given access. It consists of a combination of a biometrics template, an access control card, and a user-specific passcode. Since this type of access control technology provides a high level of security, its ideally used to protect sensitive information.
Another well-known access control mechanism is a screening system. A screening system is a highly sensitive inspection unit which detects metals, explosives, and chemicals, which may be harmful to the area to which a person is requesting access. However, this type of technology is often used as a supplement to other forms of access control.
To summarize, access control is one of the best technological developments in this modern age. Its a widely-used technology which is present in most establishments including universities, airports, terminals, malls, and even theme parks. Todays man is lucky enough to enjoy the luxuries of the 21st century.