A Buyer’s Guide to Access Control Security Systems

Table of contents

    What is access control security?

    Access control security is a sophisticated security solution that helps businesses manage who can access their properties with modern technology rather than the traditional lock-and-key method. In an access control security system, the system verifies users through various login credentials, including key fobs, biometric scans, pin codes, or a multifactor authentication process requiring multiple authentication methods for entry.  

    Access control security systems are user friendly, offer high-tech security, and provide a wealth of data on how a facility is accessed. With an access control security system, you can grant or revoke permissions remotely, access historical data, and review user logs from your laptop or smartphone.

    What is included in an access control security system?

    Access control systems include a few key components:


    All hardware required for an access control system should be included in the price and installation, but there may be requirements such as a power source or network capabilities. Access control systems vary in complexity, and may include: access control panels, remote access control readers, key fobs or key cards used to tap in or out of a location, electronic locks or gates, access control keypads, and biometric readers.


    Access control systems connect to an online portal used for monitoring access, granting and revoking permissions, and reviewing historical data. These dashboards make tracking and managing the system easy and manageable, and give users a comprehensive overview of how the system is being used.


    Access control security systems collect valuable historical data on how a facility is accessed. As part of the access control system software, managers will have access to this data to help with key business processes as needed.

    How does access control security work?

    Set up and installation

    Access control security system professionals will install a system that works best for your business. They will thoroughly assess your facilities—you’ll need a functional network, like a cell gateway or communicator, for the system to run on, and if you don’t have one you’ll need the provider to give you one. They’ll then install all the systems needed to ensure your security system is up and running well. They’ll also provide and distribute any hardwarelike key fobs or access cardsneeded for you and your team, and help ensure you and your staff understand how to use it.

    Owner or manager configures system on phone or laptop

    After the hardware is installed, the process involves configuring the system on your laptop and smartphone. They will ensure you have all the necessary software properly installed, and walk you through the online dashboard so you have a solid grasp on the capabilities and functions of your new system.

    Visitor and employee security authorization

    Once the access control security system is configured, approved employees and visitors can be added into the system. During this step, the system gains critical information on access permissions of each user.

    Visitor and employee security authentication

    Authorized users are then authenticated in the system, and given the necessary hardware to access the property. At this point, they are trained on how to use the system and hardware.

    Visitor and employee access denied or granted

    Once the system is fully installed and users are granted permissions and have received the necessary hardware and trained, users attempt to access the facility. This could be through a pin code, key fob, access card, or through a biometric authentication process. Access is either granted or denied.

    Transaction recorded and audited

    Each transition is recorded, saved, and audited in the access control system’s online dashboard.

    Who are the major access control services providers?

    Bay Alarm hardware partners

    Bay Alarm works with a wide range of hardware providers for access control security  systems, including ProdataKey, Digital Monitoring Products, and Linear. These are our preferred manufacturers due to reliability, accuracy, and value.


    Major business alarm services providers include: Actually list Bay Alarm competitors who provide access control services.

    What sets us apart?

    Clients prefer us because we offer a direct point of contact for them, quick responsiveness, fast call service turnaround, and locally based staff. Customers know that with a Bay Alarm access control security system, they’re getting a high level of service along with it. We also offer the latest technology, plus remote troubleshooting via the cloud, and integration with burglar alarms.

    What should an access control security system cost?

    Pricing for access control systems varies widely; much is determined by component configuration, business size, and what’s being protected. A small business that operates out of a single space will require a more simple and lower-cost system than a large business with thousands of employees and facilities spread across multiple locations.

    Pricing structure for access control security systems is built on three main cost buckets:


    The physical equipment and hardware that make up the access control system. This includes key fobs, access panels, cards, smart devices like tablets and phones, and physical locks or gates.

    Installation and configuration

    The process of installing the equipment. A team of well-trained experts will install your access control system, set up physical locks and gates, and ensure all users have hardware and permissions set up as required. Once your access control security system hardware is installed, security experts will connect it to a customized cloud-based software system configuration and ensure that all managers and users have access to and fully understand the functionality of all aspects of the access control security system.

    Service and maintenance

    Throughout the lifespan of the system, you may occasionally require service or routine maintenance from the provider. An access control security system may also include regular monthly fees, dependent on cloud storage and the size and number of doors covered in the system.

    Why should I buy an access control security system for my business?

    Access control security systems offer you a higher level of security and control well beyond traditional lock and key methods. With access control systems you can expect:

    Stronger security

    Access control security systems are structured to provide a layer of security beyond traditional lock and key methods. Access control systems use  technology to provide an additional layer of protection to control who enters your property, and when. With an access control system, you’ll have a wealth of information on who has access to your properties in real time, and historical data at your fingertips if you need to review logs. And while traditional keys can easily be duplicated, access control key fobs or key cards are much harder to copy.


    Many businesses will be required to meet state or federal guidelines that regulate access control in certain types of facilities. Make sure your access control security system provider has experience in your specific industry, and can help you meet those requirements and operate in full compliance of all local and federal laws.


    Access control security systems give you greater control over who can access your properties and when. Cloud-based management software that is easy to use allows you to set or revoke permissions and configure each user’s access permissions as needed.


    Remote access control security systems introduce true flexibility into your security system. With instant remote capabilities, you can remove access for terminated employees or impose lockdown conditions in the case of an emergency without needing to be on site.


    Access control security systems lower the impact of human fallibility in the security equation. The information stored in the smart technology removes reliance on traditional security guards to know or screen visitors, and biometrics or key-code access removes dependence on individuals to carry and maintain entry devices.

    Auditing and monitoring

    With an access control security system, you can monitor and audit who can access different areas of your businesses. This oversight can help you identify gaps in your security or patterns you may not be aware of.

    Contact your local Bay Alarm representative to learn more about how the right access control security system can help your business.

    Start a conversation with a Bay Alarm security expert.

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