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In one of our previous blog posts we stressed the importance of installing and maintaining access control in your institution. We highlighted the various benefits which hopefully persuaded you to consider or look into installing. But what exactly would you install? What are the access control options?

The following is a list of the latest and greatest access control technology:

Card Readers

  • Card readers grant access when an approved card is waved in front of it.
  • Some card readers also have a keypad for extra security.
  • Some card reader options: MIFARE, DESFire, PIV, TWIC, FRAC smart cards, HID 125KHz Proximity and legacy Magstripe cards


  • Access is granted when an assigned code is typed in.

Biometric Readers

  • Supporting finger, vein, iris, or face recognition

All three of these access control options can also be combined. For example, an authorized employee may have to first type in a code, then scan their finger and then swipe their card before access is granted.

There are also 4 different types of access control models. These models are the different levels of authorization.

Mandatory Access Control (MAC)

  • Gives only the owner and custodian management of the access controls.

Role-Based Access Control (RBAC)

  • Provides access control based on the position an individual fills in an organization.

Discretionary Access Control (DAC)

  • Allows an individual complete control over any objects they own along with the programs associated with those objects.
  • This is a least restrictive model.

Rule-Based Access Control (RBAC or RB-RBAC)

  • This model will dynamically assign roles to users based on criteria defined by the custodian or system administrator.

The many access control options and models may be overwhelming. Luckily, you have your electronic security provider to help you and guide you to making the right decision for your institution. Have you had an access control discussion with your provider? If you haven’t, it may be time to switch…

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