Casa Security

What are the Types of Systems that Control Access to Buildings?

If sensitive areas of your business are restricted to authorised personnel only, installing an access control system is the most effective way to maintain security. You can use keycards, fobs, biometric scanners, or other devices to grant or deny access to any area of the property, including parking garages, elevators, storage rooms, and resident-only recreation rooms. Even within your organisation, you may desire that only a select few employees have access to the main offices or facilities. Access control is the best method for ensuring that only trusted individuals have access to sensitive areas of your property.

In this article, we will be answering the question,”What are the different types of access control systems?”, so you will be able to choose which system is best suited for your home!

What exactly is an access control system?

An access control system is a type of physical security that manages the entry point to your company or the interior areas of a building. This can prevent unauthorised entry. Access control systems perform the function of gatekeepers, physically restricting access to users who are not permitted while allowing authorised users to enter the facility. Radio frequency identification (RFID) technology is utilised by the access control credentials in order to transmit signals to the access control panel. Employees must present their credentials before being allowed entry into an area with restricted access.

A key card for access control is an example of a physical credential, while information stored on a mobile device is an example of a digital credential. A one-of-a-kind encrypted identification number is associated with each credential. You will be able to provide the same type of tag to all of your employees; however, you can configure one tag to allow entry and one tag to deny access to certain parts of the building. Since the system administrator can change the access settings at any time, you won’t need to track down another person and ask them to swap their tag for yours because you can do it remotely.

A management dashboard or portal is typically included in access control systems on the administrative side of things. A person makes an unlock request at a card reader, which then transmits the information to an Access Control Unit, which validates the user’s credentials, and finally releases the lock on the door. Office administrators, IT managers, and heads of security can specify who is allowed access to the premises as well as the conditions under which entry is permitted, thanks to the control portal. The administrator has the ability to configure the system to operate differently depending on the shift, the time of day, the employee’s rank or job title, and even more factors.

What types of access controls are there?

Not all access control systems function identically. There are four distinct types of access control used to restrict entry to a residence or business. There are advantages and disadvantages to each type of access control, so it is essential to consider your own security needs and choose the most appropriate type for your current situation:

  • Mandatory Access Control (MAC)

As the name implies, Mandatory Access Control is the most restrictive type. A policy, software, or hardware component restricts access without exception. Mandatory access is effective in larger organisations where a head of security determines the rules for granting access. All-access control settings are predetermined by the system administrator and cannot be altered or removed without their permission. To enter a building, employees may be required to know a password or enter a PIN using a keypad. This is ideal for businesses with numerous specialised security requirements, such as technology companies. 

It enables a centralised authority, such as a security officer, to determine who has access to which areas based on policy. Additionally, it enforces uniform security policies across multiple locations. To modify permissions, the administrator must reprogram user access, not just the security lists at the entry point. MAC systems are primarily utilised by businesses and government agencies that demand the highest levels of security.


  • Discretionary Access Control (DAC)

Discretionary access control is the least restrictive and, consequently, the least recommended type of access control for business and commercial security. With a Discretionary access control system, a business owner can determine how many individuals have access to a particular location. Every point of access control has a list of authorised users. Each time a keycard is swiped, a PIN is entered, or a fingerprint is scanned, the system compares the credential to the list and either grants or denies access based on the previously established permissions. DAC systems are regarded as the most adaptable and offer the greatest number of permissions compared to other access control methods.

Due to it being the most flexible type, it is also the least secure, especially compared to Mandatory access control systems. Since one individual has complete control over the system, they may grant access to an unauthorised user. Discretionary access control systems are ideal for businesses that prioritise usability and adaptability. The DAC model gives business owners control over access rights and permissions for all users rather than security experts. DAC is only the optimal access control model if the business owner is knowledgeable about security policies and practices.

  • Role-Based Access Control (RBAC)

Under Role-Based Access Control, all users with the same position have the same level of access. This system grants employees access to only the materials they need to perform their jobs while denying them access to all other materials. Each employee is assigned a role; those in a particular position can only perform actions in the system for which they are authorised. On the basis of authority, responsibility, and job competency, roles can be created.

In a hospital laboratory, for instance, all researchers have access to the chemical storage room, but administrators do not. This system can grant access based on the level of privilege, allowing employees of varying ranks to access only the information they require. Companies can restrict employee access to view, create, and modify files for added security. Large organisations that work with contractors or other third parties frequently employ RBAC.

  • Rule-Based Access Control (RBAC)

Rule-based access control is typically used as an addition to other types of access control. This system, as you may have guessed, grants permissions based on a set of structured rules and policies. When a user attempts to access a resource, the operating system checks the “access control list” for that resource, which is mainly context-based. 

In addition to the type of access control you select, rule-based access control can modify permissions based on an administrator-defined set of rules. Forming the regulations, policies, and context for your rollout requires additional effort. In addition, this system is frequently combined with the role-based approach discussed previously.

Bottom Line

Numerous factors must be considered when deciding which type of access control system is most suitable for your organisation. These variables include the nature of your business, the organisation’s security procedures, and the number of users on the system. When it comes to access control, there is no “one size fits all” solution. Each residence and business must select the system that meets its specific needs and requirements. If you seek convenience and adaptability, a Discretionary Access Control system may be for you. A Mandatory Access Control system will provide the most incredible level of security. Consider Role-Based Access Control if you think you need a combination of the two.

If you or someone you know is in need of reliable burglar alarm systems in Perth, then Casa Security is the team you need to get in touch with. The highly experienced security personnel on Casa’s management team employ strategies that promote efficiency in every aspect of the company’s operations, passing these savings on to the end user through lower prices, higher quality, and more excellent expertise. Every member of the organisation is committed to operating with integrity and adhering to the stringent standards of the Security Industry governing bodies and the Western Australian Police.