Over the last few years, implementing a wireless access control system has gotten easier. It’s become so easy, in fact, that in a recent survey over 38% of enterprises are using some form of wireless technology as part of their access control system.

Traditionally, access control required hardwiring readers and locks to a building. However, with wireless access control, IT and security teams can avoid the hassle of running cable to electronic locks and readers.

The noticeable growth in the wireless access control market is driven by various factors, including improvements in security technology and ease of use. 

This guide provides a detailed overview of various types of wireless access control, their components, and their benefits to enterprises, co-working spaces, universities and more.

Components of Wireless Access Control

Wireless access control uses multiple components to enable a seamless experience. Some of these components, include:

  1. Wireless locks
  2. Wireless readers
  3. Mobile credentials
  4. An access control dashboard or user interface

1. Wireless locks

A wireless lock is an electronic device that secures a door using NFC, Bluetooth or other signal-based technology. As mentioned above, wireless locks can connect an access control system without ever running a cable. Hospitals, schools and other facilities with many doors may benefit from deploying wireless access control.

2. Wireless reader

A wireless reader is a wireless device that receives and reads authentication commands to lock or unlock the door. Wireless readers may be compatible with smartphone applications and wearable devices like Apple Watch.

3. Access control application

An access control application is a centralized portal that allows administrators to generate access credentials for users, revoke permissions and monitor access activities. It allows admins to manage multiple wireless locks anywhere, at any time.

4. Mobile Credentials

Mobile credentials are digital user badges stored on your smartphone and used to gain access. Access control systems are integrated with identity management tools such as Okta, G-Suite and Active Directory.

Genea access control phone and reader illustration

Types of Wireless Access Control Systems

Depending on your business needs and security requirements, different types of wireless access control systems are available — popular among them are cloud-based, mobile-based and IoT-based access control.

Cloud-based Access Control

Cloud-based access control is a centralized software application from which admins can manage all wireless locks, user access credentials and security hardware.

In addition to providing a detailed view of everything happening within a building, the main benefit of a cloud-based access control system is that it provides teams with remote access. It creates access logs and instant notifications any time a door opens or closes or if unauthorized record door access is attempted.

Cloud-based access control outperforms on-premises access control across all aspects, including scalability, customization, remote access and automatic updates.

Mobile-based Access Control

Smartphones have become an integral part of workplaces. Today, employees use smartphones to access office-related mobile applications and interact with team members.

As smartphones become commonplace, many companies want to let employees use their smartphones to open doors and gates. With mobile-based access control, enterprises can ditch key cards in exchange for smartphones. Mobile access control is more convenient than biometric access and physical access because it allows employees to put all access credentials right on their smartphones and access doors with just a tap or twist.

Some providers have mobile access control that functions even during a power outage, network outage and slow server response. In this case, cloud-based access control that can be used from a mobile device can prove to be efficient for stable security.

IoT-based Access Control

Internet of Things (IoT)-based access control is an intelligent access control mechanism that emphasizes assigning all door locking devices, including wireless locks, access controllers, wireless readers and peripheral equipment to a separate IP address with which they communicate among themselves.

The main features of IoT-based access control are:

  • All these devices are connected to a software application or a mobile app.
  • Security administrators can configure to receive the notifications of unauthorized attempts on the mobile or software application.  
  • Authorized mobile devices will be granted access based on their unique IP address.

Benefits of Wireless Access Control

Secure

Wireless access control solutions are proven to be extremely secure for the following reasons:

  • Data Encryption: Wireless access control uses AES 128-bit or 256-bit encryption for the protection of data. Depending on the security requirements, enterprises can choose the type of encryption.
  • Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): The main issue with physical access control is lost or stolen key cards. Security breaches can happen if these stolen cards are not deactivated immediately. Wireless access control eliminates security issues caused due to stolen or lost key cards by implementing 2FA for mobile phones that is used as a door access key. For instance, Genea’s mobile access control makes sure the phone’s fingerprint reader requires 2FA while giving access to high-risk areas.

Customizable

Wireless access control offers a lot of flexibility for security administrators to create customized credentials for employees, visitors and other stakeholders. It allows administrators to assign different access credentials to different employees based on their roles, departments or designations with a click of a button.

For instance, C-suite executives may need unfettered access to all parts of the office, whereas new employees may need access to only a few areas such as the work area, canteen, and conference room. By customizing access credentials, security admins can restrict new employees from accessing important areas within the building.

Cost-effective

The installation cost and maintenance of wireless access control systems is very low for the following reasons:  

  • No wires
  • Pay only for what is used: Wireless access control provides the flexibility to pay only for what is used; this is the biggest advantage over wired systems because controllers of wired systems often charge in specific multiples of two, eight, and 16 doors. By implementing wireless access control, enterprises can avoid overspending on hardware and ongoing license fees.
  • Low power consumption

Mobile and remote access

One of the important components is the access control application that enables security administrators to monitor access activities and add or remove access credentials from any device, anywhere, at any time.

By integrating the existing access control application with an identity management tool like Okta, enterprises can further automate the process of adding and removing user workflows.  

Secure Your Building with Genea’s Cloud-Based Wireless Access Control

Genea’s cloud-based access control is a mobile-first application that increases user convenience and reduces admin times significantly. Genea’s offers cutting-edge access control technologies, such as mobile access control, a touchless visitor management system, and building access control that helps enterprises strengthen their physical and logical security. Genea’s access control technologies can be integrated with over 30 third-party applications with simple API tokens. These integrations can improve the security system of a building further and help manage user workflows remotely. Book a demo to learn more about how Genea’s security solutions can improve the physical security of your building. 

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