One of the upsides to living in the 21st century is the upgraded level of security. True enough, early man did not live in a time where technology had been maximized to provide people with accessible and affordable security measures.
An example of such an advanced step is access control security. Access control refers to the special means by which access is granted to select individuals by way of an authorization process.
Access is generally divided into two broad categories, physical and logical. Entrance to restricted locations like campuses, buildings, and rooms is the primary concern for physical access control, while logical access control is responsible for allowing access to confidential files and computer systems.
Much of access control security is dependent on todays advanced technology, which is responsible for the whole authorization process. Perhaps its simplest form comes in the form of a keypad wherein users are requested to input his unique personal identification number or PIN.
Although more affordable than its counterparts, the PIN system offers the lowest level of security and is not suggested for protecting highly sensitive information.
Optical turnstiles are more advanced than the PIN system. These devices are capable of reading the coded information found on a persons unique access card. This access control mechanism also has built-in sensors which only allow entry to one individual at a given time.
Most of these optical turnstiles also have alarm systems which can be triggered when unauthorized personnel uses invalid cards. This type of access control can often be seen in subway stations, universities, and offices.
When used as a physical access control measure, optical turnstiles are often paired with screening systems. These highly sensitive inspection units are capable of detecting explosives, metals and other effects which may be damaging to the area to which the person is requesting access. Most airports and terminals are equipped with these devices following an international safety protocol.
Another widely used security measure involves scanning a persons unique characteristics for identification purposes. This is called the biometrics technology. This technology ranges from just recognizing a persons physiological features such as his fingerprints and hand geometry, while the most sophisticated versions can recognize his voice, gait, and other behavioral characteristics.
But among all these devices, the biometrics readers offer the highest level of protection. More than recognizing ones biological makeup, it also provides added authentication features by asking the user to present a coded identification card, and by entering a passcode.
Biometric readers may perhaps offer the highest access control security, both for physical and logical access. However, they may also be the most expensive.
Although technology can never be 100% accurate, it undoubtedly contributed much to making the world a safer and happier place. And with the continuous development it undergoes, it will soon soar beyond mans expectations.
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