Individuals are granted and denied access to controlled spaces within a facility according to the privileges given to them. This authority is pre-established and communicated to the system by means of their “credential”. A credential can be summarized within three categories.

Something you know: A combination or password can be presented to the system via keypad. The universal accessibility of this type of credential offers a high degree of convenience for the user. There is, however, a significant security risk due to the inability to control the sharing of this knowledge with unauthorized individuals.

Something you possess: Individual keys, proximity cards, key fobs and similar credentials offer an elevated security level because their possession can be tightly administered. Their compact size makes them convenient and their proprietary nature ensures that only authorized individuals can obtain them. They have the embedded technology to permit the implementation of complex privileges to the bearer. The security compromise is that they can be lost, stolen or shared without permission resulting in a temporary security breach.

Something you are: Biometric technology allows the unique identity of the individual to be recognized by the system. Fingerprint, handprint, face recognition and retina image software are examples of this application. This level of credential fulfills the need for the highest level of security. The drawback is the relatively higher cost level, which must be balanced with the level of security needed, to determine its suitability.

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