Guide: Access Control

Access Control Systems 101: Everything There is to Know About Access Control Systems

Among many others, the following wide range of questions must get answered by your organization’s security access control systems to safeguard your data adequately:

  • Who should have access to your company’s data?
  • How do you know that people who try to gain access have gotten granted access?
  • When is it appropriate to refuse admission to a user with access privileges?

At their most basic level, access control and security systems are a security approach that governs who or what can view or utilize resources in a computing environment. It is a basic security concept that reduces the risk to the company or organization.

This article will delve into the core concepts surrounding Access Control Management System.

This is part of our extensive access control guide.

Access Control Definition

When it comes to the Access Control definition in security, it ensures that users are who they claim to be and that they have the appropriate access control in the company data.


There are two types of security access control solutions: physical and logical. Access to campuses, buildings, rooms, and physical IT assets gets restricted via Physical Access Control. On the other hand, connections to computer networks, system files, and data are all determined by Logical Access Control.


To secure a facility, organizations use electronic access control systems that rely on user credentials, access card readers, auditing, and reports to track employee access to restricted business locations and proprietary areas, such as data centers in real-time.


By analyzing required login credentials, such as passwords, personal identification numbers (PINs), biometric scans, security tokens, or other multi-factor authentication elements, access control security systems conduct identification, authentication, and authorization of individuals and entities to perform a maximum level of security.


Access control is a critical component of security compliance programs because it guarantees security technology and access control rules to secure sensitive data, such as customer information.

The 4 Elements of An Access Control System

The Master, the Site Controller, the Entry Control Unit, and the User Input Device are the four essential components of a building access control solution. These four elements are crucial when designing or expanding your access control system.

Master Station

A master station communicates with your Site Controllers and updates your system’s access codes, timetables, and BAS-specific instructions. A master station allows you to administer the entire system from a single location.

Site Controller

The Site Controller controls local access at your remote location. The Site Controller knows who has access to which doors on which days and at what times. A competent Site Controller should keep an ongoing tally of each site access in a history log.

Entry Control Unit

The ECU accepts an access code read by the proxy card reader and sends it to the Site Controller or the master station for verification. The ECU will release the door strike if the access code is valid.

User Input Device

These devices are attached to a wall or a door. The proxy card reader transmits codes from keypads or keycards to the Entry Control Unit for verification.

Examples of Access Control Systems

There are many different access control systems for commercial buildings and organizations. Still, not all systems will be the ideal fit depending on the deployment size, the number of users and entries, and the level of security required.


Here are some of the most common Access Control System examples:

Server-based Access Control

Server-based access control is a type of Access Control Software that typically necessitates the purchase and renewal of software licenses and the maintenance of servers by a dedicated IT team. If the company needs access control at numerous locations, you must establish servers at each site.

Biometric Door Readers

Biometric readers are a type of Access Control Door Readers, which are often the most expensive sort of door security reader, and use scanners to identify persons based on a unique physical trait such as fingerprint, iris, or facial recognition.

Mobile Credentials

A user’s mobile credentials are a type of Access Control method. Essentially, a user’s smartphone is the key to this access control. Mobile credentials, which are usually app-based, allow users to unlock the door by touching a button within the app.

Data Access Control Systems

Data access control is a method of limiting employee access to files in a company for data protection purposes. It entails implementing the Principle of Least Privilege (POLP), which entails controlling employees’ access permissions based on their job functions and defining and limiting their access data.


Access control systems get classified as one of three access control models, which govern how access permissions are issued and managed inside an organization:

Discretionary Access Control (DAC)

Discretionary Access Control is the least restrictive type of access control, and thus, the least recommended for commercial and business security. Business owners, not security professionals, have control over all users’ access rights and permissions under the DAC model, and thus, it is not ideal.

Mandatory Access Control (MAC)

Mandatory access control is best suited for businesses that demand a high level of security and privacy. The administrator has complete control over access rights and security clearance with mandatory access control.

Role-based Access Control (RBAC)

The RBAC model is the most extensively utilized control mechanism since it aligns with every employee’s position and needs: any user seeking to access data outside their scope gets restricted.


Data security requires access control to ensure that data does not fall into the wrong hands or leave the business. Many businesses keep personal information on their clients or customers and documents containing classified information. These files must get safeguarded, and adopting an access control system can help limit the risk of data leaks.

Secure Data Access Control With Satori

Satori, The DataSecOps platform, provides a security layer for data access, whether it’s databases, data warehouses, or data lakes. Among the capabilities you will enjoy are: 


Last updated on

February 7, 2022

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