Sine Features | 5 min read

What is Access Control and What Does it Mean For Your Office Building?

Ask yourself: Do you allow every worker to access every part of your office building?

Probably not.

Here’s where access control comes in to help. Access control helps you keep track of everything that’s happening within your premises. It guarantees that every visitor is who they say they are, helping you prevent fraud and theft.

However, access control is more than allowing your workers to access your building. It also helps you protect your data from intruders. 

This time, we’ll dive deeper into access control and how it can improve your office building. Read more and find out!

What is access control? 

In a nutshell, access control is a granular restriction of access to data. It consists of two things: authentication and authorization. Authentication prompts people to show their true colours and verification determines whether or not that person should be allowed to access that part of your office. 

There are three types of access control systems you can use to identify an individual who does a specific job: discretionary access control, mandatory access control, and role-based access control. 

Discretionary Access Control (DAC)

This type of access control system allows the front desk professional to decide which people are allowed in a specific location, both physically and digitally. In short, DAC gives you complete control over any asset you own.

Mandatory Access Control (MAC)

This kind of access control is commonly used in companies that have a greater need for confidentiality and data classification. The best thing about MAC is that it enables you to give granular access to your workers to places with established security guidelines.

Role-Based Access Control (RBAC)

This access control system is one of the most common ones and is used in both office buildings and households. In RBAC systems, access is assigned to an administrator, and the rest of the workers get particular access permissions depending on their position.

3 moments where access control can save your office

Today, even the smallest companies use authentication and verification to make sure everybody is who they say they are. But there’s an issue with that: 

Authorization is still an area in which security professionals mess up often.

It can be challenging to determine and perpetually monitor who gets in and out of your office building, who can see your data, and who gets access, which is why access control comes in handy for companies who want to improve their safety. 

Take a look at these cases where access control software would help you protect your office building. 

That time a recently fired worker wants to tamper with your data

Let’s say Hank, your accountant got fired because he slept during office hours, and you didn’t revoke his credentials right away. If he’s mad at you, he could do a lot of damage because he’s got access to your financial data.

Besides, it turns out that internal theft is one of the most important causes of annual revenue loss. An access control system makes it difficult for intruders to access your office, but only if you conduct regular maintenance of your systems.

However, an access control solution or a check-in app like Sine can alert you if a recently fired employee tries to gain access to your office building at odd hours or when unscheduled, so you can protect your worksite from disgruntled employees. 

When an authorized worker lets an unauthorized person in

This time, George, your gardener, brought one of his apprentices with him, and your front desk person forgot to check him in for some reason, and then the young man was found in front of the CEO’s office looking confused. This form of access breach is called tailgating, and it might happen in seemingly innocent interactions such as holding the door for someone else, sharing credentials, or even giving someone access to records or assets.

Tailgating is probably one of the most common and most overlooked security weaknesses office buildings face, especially at doors that handle a high volume of workers, contractors, or visitors.

An access control system can prevent this kind of issue by, for instance, setting a geofence around your premises where you can see who’s around and spot who doesn’t belong to your company. While employee training is a great way of combating those vulnerabilities, other ways of mitigating this risk are to include security cameras or ID checks.

When you lost your visitor log and something got lost 

For instance, last week when Randy, your front desk guy, lost your visitor log, and company property got stolen that same day, an access control system could have prevented it. 

Accidents happen, but you don’t want your visitors’ data to be lost, or in the hands of unscrupulous people. The good news is that a visitor management system can help your receptionist by automating the check-in process and securely storing all the sign-in information.

With an access control system like Gallagher, Randy would have pointed your visitors to the sign-in kiosk or to the sign-in app, reducing the chances of your company falling prey to an intruder. Besides, if something happens to get stolen, you can always check your records and see who did it, what happened, and when it happened. 

Sine + Gallagher = Better access control

By now you know that Sine is all about managing your visitors, workers, and contractors, but you probably don’t know you can integrate Sine with Gallagher

Gallagher is a site access control and protection tool that adds another layer of security to your office building using a personalized, one-use QR code that grants visitors access to your site. 

The Sine+Gallagher interaction is great for businesses of all sizes, especially those in multi-tenant buildings, as it allows you granular access to certain floors and office spaces right from Sine’s dashboard. 

Instead of relying on people and paper for visitor and contractor management, why not try a digital visitor management system? Set up a free 30-day trial.