Access Control and Alarm Messaging

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Are you currently using either your access control system or intrusion detection system to automatically send you emails or SMS message on defined events?  In the answer is no you may want to consider this powerful tool.  Many access control and intrusion / alarm systems provide the option to send out emails or SMS messages on predefined events.  This may be a standard core feature or an optional add-on to the system but either way if it’s available it can be a very useful tool.

Access Control and Alarm monitoring are gathering information about the security threats and events that are taking place within your facilities.  But what are you doing with all of that information.  Most of the time this information sits dormant until after a security breach has been discovered.  The problem is the time between when the event happened and the event being discovered can be days, weeks or even months.  You are now simply in a reactionary mode, conducting an investigation into something that has already happened.  Even if you have a security staff monitoring system events it has become difficult and costly to have security monitoring security events 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days per year.

Utilizing email and SMS messages allows you to discover security threats, breaches and predefined events quicker.  Thus shorting the time between when the situation occurred and you taking action.  Below are two common examples of how utilizing this feature can help:

Example #1: Monitoring of doors for held open or propped door events is a problem for many companies.  Employees prop open doors for various reasons; smoking breaks being one of the largest culprits.  Installing local alarms is a common solution but many times becomes a nuisance or is disabled.  So what happens when it’s an actual threat or security breach?  Using email or SMS messaging can be a better solution when it come to this problem.  You or security staff can be alerted immediately that there has been a held open event at a specific door.  Security can then use cameras or patrol guards to investigate a situation to determine what measures need to be taken. 

Example #2: A new employee is hired at your company.  They are given a badge that provides access to specific doors within the building.  As with most people they are curious about new things.  The employee begins trying their card at various readers around the building as they pass by seeing if their new access card grants them access.  Many doors maybe to secure locations such as server rooms, file rooms, executive offices, etc…  They may be allowed through a specific door during normal hours.  What happens when the employee presents their badge and is denied access?  Does your system simple log the information?  Does it record the information at all?  This is a potential security threat that needs to be addressed.  Especially if the new employee is trying to get access afterhours.  Many times during audits it is important to document what actions were taken when the event happened.  Using email notification from the access control system you or your security staff can be immediately notified that there has been an access denied event allowing prompt action to be taken.

Utilizing email and/or SMS messaging provides many advantages and can greatly help to reduce response time to potential security threats.  Configuring your security system to utilize this feature not only is beneficial it may come at little or no additional cost.