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A physical access control system (PAC) allows organizations to control who enters a physical space. Traditional doors and locks are the most basic form of a physical access control system, but enterprise-grade physical access control systems go far beyond that.

Components of a Physical Access Control System

A physical access control system comprises the following components:

  • Access Points: Access points are the mechanism that controls access to a physical space. These can include turnstiles, gates and door locks.
  • Credentials: Most physical access control systems require identifying credentials to gain access to a space. These can include key fobs, encrypted badges, mobile credentials or biometrics.
  • Readers or Keypads: Readers or keypads verify users’ credentials. These can range from RFID readers and basic keypads to high-tech solutions like fingerprint readers or encrypted card readers.

Physical Access Control: Beyond Doors and Locks

While many people think of a physical access control system as controlling doors and elevators—physical access control systems go far beyond that. They can also be used to manage access to private offices, storage areas, machinery, vaults, labs, parking structures, cabinets, document storage areas, and any other space that should have limited access for safety or security reasons. Entrust can help organizations configure a solution that enables access to all the spaces an employee needs access to, but none of the areas that they don’t need or shouldn’t have access to.

Physical Access Control Vs. Logical Access Control

Physical access control limits and tracks which users have access to a physical space, while logical access control limits and tracks users’ digital access. Integrated access control systems from Entrust allow you to issue PKI-enabled mobile smart credentials that can be used for both physical and digital access.

Merging Physical and Digital Worlds With Integrated Access Control Systems

Today’s user expects easy access to what they need, security against those who shouldn’t have access, and instant issuance of new IDs and replacements, with a seamless experience across their digital and physical lives. The changing landscape of ID card security includes:

  • Enabling streamlined, self-service solutions for issuing ID card credentials.
  • Providing mobile access to digital credentials instantly.
  • Converging digital and physical credentials to seamlessly provide services digitally that were historically performed in person.
  • Automated ID verification reduces friction and staffing needs, while enhancing user experience.

Physical Access Control for Frontline Workers

Frontline and hourly workers often have daily needs for physical access, but limited needs for digital access. Entrust can configure a solution that spans both physical and digital. For example, grid cards can be printed on the back of photo IDs to create a joint solution. Use IDs for physical access and grid cards for logging onto employee portals.

Visitor Management With Physical Access Control

A physical access control system allows organizations to not only enable access for employees, but also visitors, contractors and others with short-term access needs. With Entrust Adaptive Issuance Visitor Management as a Service, your front desk is everywhere, connected to the cloud, enabling streamlined experiences for visitors and hosts, and security for your facilities and personnel.

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