Powell Tronics shares its extensive access control

Sharing knowledge and experience makes for more informed choices when it comes to access control and visitor management systems. This viewpoint forms one of the cornerstones of Powell Tronics’ business philosophy and in this vein, Frazer Matchett from Powell Tronics’ Durban branch, recently presented a paper entitled ‘Getting results from access control and visitor management’ at an Estate Security event at the Durban Country Club.
The 103 delegates engaged in lively interaction with Matchett, asking numerous questions after his talk and during the subsequent panel discussion. In addition, the interest was just as enthusiastic on the company’s exhibition stand, which featured the Nedap long-range readers, PT-Guest and PT-SCAN software as well as the Impro Portal range. This is the second time that the breakfast event has taken place and also Powell Tronics ‘second time as a participant.
Matchett says that for access control to be effective we need a way to identify an individual accurately. The weakest form of identification will simply identify an individual according to a rather vague category, for example, contractor company, colour of shirt and so forth. Correct identification needs some sort of pre-recognition of the person, and in all instances we are forced to rely on that person to provide correct identification.
In order to eliminate the obvious loophole here, it is critical that identification needs to be authenticated. He cites common forms of authentication as being a fingerprint, an ID card or smart card, and a driver’s licence.
“The set of actions linked to an identity typically make up the meat of the authorisation. To allow an individual onto your premises, you should know who they are and where they want to go,” he adds.
There are many types of access control systems commonly used to allow people and vehicles to pass through an entrance, but which one you use is the million dollar question. These include an ‘honesty book’, pin codes, cards, RF remotes, long range vehicle identifiers via RFID or licence plate recognition, finger biometrics, facial biometrics and wave biometrics.
Most access control systems allow integration. Some examples include automated reports, CCTV, fire alarm systems and defined guard tour with exception reports.
While there is no silver bullet when selecting an access control system, there are specific questions one should consider:
• Am I making it difficult for my residents to gain access to my estate?
• Am I investing in a reliable system?
• Am I recording the correct details of my visitors?
• Does this fit in with my disaster management plan?
“Once these elements have been considered, it is also advisable to align yourself with a reputable supplier who has a recognised track record. Similarly, should you decide to employ the services of an installer, make sure you follow up on references and where possible, visit installations they have completed,” Matchett concludes.