Access Control System Services
Honeywell International, Inc. is an American multinational conglomerate company that produces a variety of commercial and consumer products, engineering services, and aerospace systems for a wide variety of customers, from private consumers to major corporations and governments. Honeywell is a Fortune 100 company, in 2012 it was listed as 77th in the Fortune 500 America's ranking. Honeywell has a global workforce of approximately 130,000, of whom approximately 58,000 are employed in the United States. The company is headquartered in Morristown, New Jersey. Its current chief executive officer is David M. Cote. The company and its corporate predecessors were part of the Dow Jones Industrial Average Index from December 7, 1925, until February 9, 2008. The current "Honeywell International Inc." is the product of a merger in which Honeywell Inc. was acquired by the much larger AlliedSignal in 1999. The company headquarters were consolidated to AlliedSignal's headquarters in Morristown, New Jersey; however the combined company chose the name "Honeywell" because of its superior brand recognition. Honeywell has many brands that commercial and retail consumers may recognize. Some of the most recognizable products are its line of home thermostats (particularly the iconic round type) and Garrett turbochargers.
Physical security :
Geographical access control may be enforced by personnel (e.g., border guard, bouncer, ticket checker), or with a device such as aturnstile. There may be fences to avoid circumventing this access control. An alternative of access control in the strict sense (physically controlling access itself) is a system of checking authorized presence, see e.g. Ticket controller (transportation). A variant is exit control, e.g. of a shop (checkout) or a country
The term access control refers to the practice of restricting entrance to a property, a building, or a room to authorized persons. Physical access control can be achieved by a human (a guard, bouncer, or receptionist), through mechanical means such as locks and keys, or through technological means such as access control systems like the mantrap. Within these environments, physical key management may also be employed as a means of further managing and monitoring access to mechanically keyed areas or access to certain small assets
Physical access control is a matter of who, where, and when. An access control system determines who is allowed to enter or exit, where they are allowed to exit or enter, and when they are allowed to enter or exit. Historically, this was partially accomplished through keys and locks. When a door is locked, only someone with a key can enter through the door, depending on how the lock is configured. Mechanical locks and keys do not allow restriction of the key holder to specific times or dates. Mechanical locks and keys do not provide records of the key used on any specific door, and the keys can be easily copied or transferred to an unauthorized person. When a mechanical key is lost or the key holder is no longer authorized to use the protected area, the locks must be re-keyed
Electronic access control uses computers to solve the limitations of mechanical locks and keys. A wide range of credentials can be used to replace mechanical keys. The electronic access control system grants access based on the credential presented. When access is granted, the door is unlocked for a predetermined time and the transaction is recorded. When access is refused, the door remains locked and the attempted access is recorded. The system will also monitor the door and alarm if the door is forced open or held open too long after being unlocked
Access control system operation
When a credential is presented to a reader, the reader sends the credential’s information, usually a number, to a control panel, a highly reliable processor. The control panel compares the credential's number to an access control list, grants or denies the presented request, and sends a transaction log to a database. When access is denied based on the access control list, the door remains locked. If there is a match between the credential and the access control list, the control panel operates a relay that in turn unlocks the door. The control panel also ignores a door open signal to prevent an alarm. Often the reader provides feedback, such as a flashing red LED for an access denied and a flashing green LED for an access granted
The above description illustrates a single factor transaction. Credentials can be passed around, thus subverting the access control list. For example, Alice has access rights to the server room, but Bob does not. Alice either gives Bob her credential, or Bob takes it; he now has access to the server room. To prevent this, two-factor authentication can be used. In a two factor transaction, the presented credential and a second factor are needed for access to be granted; another factor can be a PIN, a second credential, operator intervention, or a biometric input
There are three types (factors) of authenticating information
- something the user knows, e.g. a password, pass-phrase or PIN.
- something the user has, such as smart card or a key fob.
- something the user is, such as fingerprint, verified by biometric measurement.
Passwords are a common means of verifying a user's identity before access is given to information systems. In addition, a fourth factor of authentication is now recognized: someone you know, whereby another person who knows you can provide a human element of authentication in situations where systems have been set up to allow for such scenarios. For example, a user may have their password, but have forgotten their smart card. In such a scenario, if the user is known to designated cohorts, the cohorts may provide their smart card and password, in combination with the extant factor of the user in question, and thus provide two factors for the user with the missing credential, giving three factors overall to allow access.
A credential is a physical/tangible object, a piece of knowledge, or a facet of a person's physical being, that enables an individual access to a given physical facility or computer-based information system. Typically, credentials can be something a person knows (such as a number or PIN), something they have (such as an access badge), something they are (such as a biometric feature) or some combination of these items. This is known as multi-factor authentication. The typical credential is an access card or key-fob, and newer software can also turn users' smartphones into access devices. There are many card technologies including magnetic stripe, bar code, Wiegand, 125 kHz proximity, 26-bit card-swipe, contact smart cards, and contactless smart cards. Also available are key-fobs, which are more compact than ID cards, and attach to a key ring. Biometric technologiesinclude fingerprint, facial recognition, iris recognition, retinal scan, voice, and hand geometry. The built-in biometric technologies found on newer smartphones can also be used as credentials in conjunction with access software running on mobile devices. In addition to older more traditional card access technologies, newer technologies such as Near field communication (NFC) and Bluetooth low energy also have potential to communicate user credentials to readers for system or building access
Access control system components
An access control point, which can be a door, turnstile, parking gate, elevator, or other physical barrier, where granting access can be electronically controlled. Typically, the access point is a door. An electronic access control door can contain several elements. At its most basic, there is a stand-alone electric lock. The lock is unlocked by an operator with a switch. To automate this, operator intervention is replaced by a reader. The reader could be a keypad where a code is entered, it could be a card reader, or it could be a biometric reader. Readers do not usually make an access decision, but send a card number to an access control panel that verifies the number against an access list. To monitor the door position a magnetic door switch can be used. In concept, the door switch is not unlike those on refrigerators or car doors. Generally only entry is controlled, and exit is uncontrolled. In cases where exit is also controlled, a second reader is used on the opposite side of the door. In cases where exit is not controlled, free exit, a device called a request-to-exit (REX) is used. Request-to-exit devices can be a push-button or a motion detector. When the button is pushed, or the motion detector detects motion at the door, the door alarm is temporarily ignored while the door is opened. Exiting a door without having to electrically unlock the door is called mechanical free egress. This is an important safety feature. In cases where the lock must be electrically unlocked on exit, the request-to-exit device also unlocks the door
Access control topology
Access control decisions are made by comparing the credential to an access control list. This look-up can be done by a host or server, by an access control panel, or by a reader. The development of access control systems has seen a steady push of the look-up out from a central host to the edge of the system, or the reader. The predominant topology circa 2009 is hub and spoke with a control panel as the hub, and the readers as the spokes. The look-up and control functions are by the control panel. The spokes communicate through a serial connection; usually RS-485. Some manufactures are pushing the decision making to the edge by placing a controller at the door. The controllers are IP enabled, and connect to a host and database using standard networks
Types of readers
Access control readers may be classified by the functions they are able to perform
- Basic (non-intelligent) readers: simply read card number or PIN, and forward it to a control panel. In case of biometric identification, such readers output the ID number of a user. Typically, Wiegand protocol is used for transmitting data to the control panel, but other options such as RS-232, RS-485 and Clock/Data are not uncommon. This is the most popular type of access control readers. Examples of such readers are RF Tiny by RFLOGICS, ProxPoint by HID, and P300 by Farpointe Data.
- Semi-intelligent readers: have all inputs and outputs necessary to control door hardware (lock, door contact, exit button), but do not make any access decisions. When a user presents a card or enters a PIN, the reader sends information to the main controller, and waits for its response. If the connection to the main controller is interrupted, such readers stop working, or function in a degraded mode. Usually semi-intelligent readers are connected to a control panel via an RS-485 bus. Examples of such readers are InfoProx Lite IPL200 by CEM Systems, and AP-510 by Apollo.
- Intelligent readers: have all inputs and outputs necessary to control door hardware; they also have memory and processing power necessary to make access decisions independently. Like semi-intelligent readers, they are connected to a control panel via an RS-485 bus. The control panel sends configuration updates, and retrieves events from the readers. Examples of such readers could be InfoProx IPO200 by CEM Systems, and AP-500 by Apollo. There is also a new generation of intelligent readers referred to as "IP readers". Systems with IP readers usually do not have traditional control panels, and readers communicate directly to a PC that acts as a host. Examples of such readers are Foxtech FX-50UX, FX-632 Fingerprint Reader/Controller Access Control System PowerNet IP Reader byIsonas Security Systems, ID 11 by Solus (has a built in webservice to make it user friendly), Edge ER40 reader by HID Global, LogLock and UNiLOCK by ASPiSYS Ltd, BioEntry Plus reader by Suprema Inc., and 4G V-Station by Bioscrypt Inc.
Some readers may have additional features such as an LCD and function buttons for data collection purposes (i.e. clock-in/clock-out events for attendance reports), camera/speaker/microphone for intercom, and smart card read/write support.
Access to accounts can be enforced through four major types of controls.
- Mandatory Access Control (MAC): In MAC, users do not have much freedom to determine who has access to their files. For example, security clearance of users and classification of data (as confidential, secret or top secret) are used as security labels to define the level of trust.
- Discretionary Access Control (DAC) : In DAC, the data owner determines who can access specific resources. For example, a system administrator may create a hierarchy of files to be accessed based on certain permissions
- Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) : RBAC allows access based on the job title. For example, a human resources specialist should not have permissions to create network accounts; this should be a role reserved for network administrators.
- Rule-Based Access Control : An example of this would be only allowing students to use the labs during a certain time of the day.
In telecommunication, the term access control is defined in U.S. Federal Standard 1037C with the following meanings:
- A service feature or technique used to permit or deny use of the components of a communication system.
- A technique used to define or restrict the rights of individuals or application programs to obtain data from, or place data onto, a storage device.
- The definition or restriction of the rights of individuals or application programs to obtain data from, or place data into, a storage device.
- The process of limiting access to the resources of an AIS (Automated Information System) to authorized users, programs, processes, or other systems.
- That function performed by the resource controller that allocates system resources to satisfy user requests.
This definition depends on several other technical terms from Federal Standard 1037C.