What Is A Physical Access Control System

In recent years, security matters have become a primary concern to many organizations. In fact, criminal activities have become so sophisticated, warranting the use of physical access control systems. So, what are these systems?

A physical access control system is a computerized electronic system that controls the authentication and authorization of individuals who gain entry into a property. Access control system admins preset credentials for each authorized individual, and the system uses the information to grant or deny access.

Therefore, in addition to the traditional lock and key, organizations can now employ the services of physical access control systems to regulate who enters a particular area at all times.

How Is Physical Access Control System Beneficial For Large Corporations?

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Though most people associate physical access systems with doors or elevators, they are more than that.

In a large corporation, there is a need to protect private offices and storage facilities. In addition, there are areas that only a few individuals should access. So, an ideal security system needs to permit workers only into areas they should access.

In that case, a physical access control system is beneficial to large organizations in ways that include:

Entry Control

The main advantage of using a physical access control system is managing who accesses which part of the organization at what time or date.

For example, during a conference, a facility may offer visiting stakeholders limited access for the few days they will be there.

In addition, the system helps to keep track of who gets in and out of a property without fail. An access control system also ensures people work when they are supposed to.

In a place where employees work in shifts, the system regulates who gains access at what time.

Simplified Management

With an access system in place, managing human resources becomes much easier. Keeping track of every individual in the office becomes hassle-free.

It is easy to keep track of all activities, whether by an employee or a guest from a remote location.

Improved Security

Since an access control system collects data on who gets in and out of the property or areas inside the property, the result is improved security.

In case of any incident or an accident, the system has records of individuals who accessed the area at the time.

In such a case, video surveillance which is also part of access control comes in handy as a real-time piece of evidence.

Any criminal investigations, including theft, robbery, and break-ins, benefit significantly from access control systems.

It is easy to follow documented records of who entered what part of your building in case of a security breach, hacking attempt, or a break-in. 

Safe Working Environment

As earlier observed, the main benefit of installing a physical access control system is the control it gives on who enters or leaves a premise.

When intrusion by outsiders is almost impossible, workers in any organization tend to work much better. 

Employees tend to be more productive once they are assured that everyone around them is permitted to be there and they pose no security threat.

In an emergency, escape is swift since the employees don’t have to look for misplaced keys to unlock doors. Therefore, everyone can exit from the danger area without fumbling for keys.

Components of a Physical Access Control System

Like any other system, the PACS is also made up of different parts that work in a synchronized manner. The most basic components include:

  1. Access Points

These are features in a premise that one uses to access a physical space inside the property. Some of the common access points are gates, doors, and turnstiles. 

  1. User Credentials

For the system to grant entry, it needs identification credentials for every individual. When a person presents credentials that match with what is pre-saved in the system, they gain access. These credentials include biometrics, encrypted badges or cards, mobile credentials, etc.

  1. Readers

Access control readers are devices that verify users’ credentials. The readers can be as basic as keypads to sophisticated readers such as encrypted card readers, facial recognition, or fingerprint readers.

Once the system verifies the presented credentials, it grants entry to authorized persons. 

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Access Control Systems?

It is public knowledge that every good thing has merits and demerits. As for access control systems, they have their share of advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a quick look at them.


Easy And Accurate Identification

Physical access systems accurately identify users in seconds. At the same time, the system is user-friendly. 

For example, for a biometric access system, all one has to do is place a finger for fingerprint reading or stand before a reader that recognizes their face.

The chances of two individuals having similar credentials are very minimal. Therefore, the system can accurately identify users in real time.


Physical control systems are an excellent security investment that works per the set protocols. As such, you can be assured that only authorized persons can access a facility. In case there is an intrusion, the system will provide evidence. 


After installing an access control system, it is easier to scale up in the future to match new security needs.

Disadvantages Of PACS

High initial cost

When installing access control systems for the first time, you will have to purchase all the components, unlike someone who is scaling up. As such, some folks may find shifting to PACS challenging at first.

A wireless system is prone to hacking.

There are hard-wired and wireless access control systems. Hard-wired systems are less likely to get hacked.

However, the wireless system has a higher chance of getting compromised. Hackers who access the network will also get access to protected areas.


So far, we have seen that a physical access system is a computerized electric system that regulates who gets into different areas of a property. The PACS helps to keep intruders off, thereby raising the bars of security high.

The access control system is fast and accurate in user identification, making it safe even during an emergency.

If you need help installing the best PACS, talk to experts such as sesamsec. It is the only way to avoid making mistakes in your security system choices.

Last Updated on October 11, 2022

Muhammad Usama
Muhammad Usama is a versatile writer who covers a wide range of topics with a focus on research-based content. Whether he is writing about current events, science, technology, or any other topic, Muhammad Usama is sure to deliver thought-provoking and informative content that is sure to engage and educate his readers.

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