What Are Physical Access Controls?

What Are Physical Access Controls?

Physical access control is security used where sensitive equipment is stored or accessed. These locations include hospitals, government offices, police stations, and data centers. These facilities use a variety of physical access controls to protect the equipment. Some of these locations use video surveillance to monitor access.

What is physical access control?

Physical access controls are the way to limit access to space by regulating who can enter. It can range from a simple access door to sophisticated identity-based entry systems.

These systems typically include electronic gates, turnstiles, and software that help organizations restrict access, identify users, and authenticate their credentials.

Before you install access control devices, you should get a physical security permit for your building. It would help if you worked with an architect to create a building plan that clearly shows where all doors and locks are and how exit routes should be installed.

Besides getting a building permit, you should also check local laws and regulations to ensure that your security system is legal.

Another essential factor to consider when implementing physical access control is the type of security barrier you want to use. Some physical barriers may have an authority barrier or a locked gate.

These barriers are usually installed on the perimeter of a building or in the interior of a building. They require that an identifying credential be presented before an individual can access an area. These credentials can be critical cards, fobs, or Q.R. codes. Some are even integrated with security cameras or video surveillance.

When it comes to security, Physical Access Control systems are generally more secure than traditional methods. They are far more challenging to duplicate and fake and offer better tracking and management. In addition, they provide real-time data.

The benefits of physical access controls

There are many benefits to implementing physical access controls in your business. Doing so can deter potential criminals from even attempting to break into your facility.

Physical access controls can also make it more difficult for unauthorized individuals to enter specific areas within your building. This can help to protect sensitive information and equipment from being accessed by those who should not have access.

Physical access control vs. logical access control

Physical access control restricts access to specific areas or locations. It may include locking doors, keeping undesirable visitors out, and requiring credentials such as a PIN code or password to enter certain areas. Physical access control is a valuable security tool for maintaining safe assets.

Depending on the needs of a particular organization, physical access control systems may range from a simple lock and key to a sophisticated multi-factor authentication system. A physical access control system is sufficient in a virtual environment, but higher-level security requires logical access control.

The oldest locks have been found in ancient sites dating back to 4000 B.C., in what is today Iraq. Back then, the safety was made of wood, which required guarding. Today, access control systems often integrate physical and logical strategies for maximum protection.

Physical access control is necessary for buildings with many doors and multiple users. It is also required when there are different levels of access and different types of credentials.

Physical access control is essential to meet compliance requirements. Physical access control systems are the first line of defense for healthcare facilities. For example, healthcare facilities often have sensitive information on patients, and therefore need to limit access to the appropriate individuals.

Physical access control allows organizations to restrict access to specific locations, such as doors and turnstiles. These systems effectively prevent theft, break-ins, and property destruction and can be used at various locations. They may also provide a means for visitors to request access if needed.

Planning for your physical access control system

When planning for your physical access control system, you’ll want to consider the features and functions you wish to include. For example, if you’re switching from an existing system to a new one, you’ll want to consider whether you need enhanced safety features.

After all, the COVID-19 pandemic has left many workplaces vulnerable, and security systems that weren’t built for the new normal won’t be able to handle the new threat. Enhanced security features like touchless access capabilities will help you reopen your facility safely after a catastrophe.

To make your access control system a success, you’ll need to take the time to consult with key stakeholders within and outside your organization. This might include members of your physical plant team, the I.T. department, or your security department. It’s also a good idea to involve local law enforcement officials and business partners.

The goal is to get as much input as possible from these parties since they may have concerns regarding installation.

While over a third of users believe that their current access control system meets their needs, 38% plan to upgrade within the next three years. The other 30% are unsure. Upgrading access control systems can be complicated, so planning for it is essential.

You’ll need to coordinate with various departments, including I.T. security, physical security, and facilities teams, to ensure that your system will provide the level of security you need.

When planning for your physical access control system, you’ll need to consider how you’ll use the system. You’ll want to plan the layout of the building, and how people will enter and exit the building. A functional access control system will allow you to grant access to only those who need it.


Physical access controls are essential for ensuring the safety of people and property. They can deter, detect, and delay unauthorized access to facilities and information. Physical access controls can be as simple as a locked door or as complex as a biometric entry system. When choosing physical access controls for your facility, consider the type of security you need and the level of protection you are willing to maintain.

By Christopher

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