Card Access Systems: Security 101

July 12th, 2010 | Security 101

A card access system’s primary function is to regulate access through specific doors to secured areas, elevator control and to support alarm monitoring at the facility.   Most systems also allow a credential creation and production system to be integrated with the cardholder management system.  The system typically utilizes a single database, under one environment, for both access control and photo imaging functionality.

The access control industry has made impressive technological improvements over the last decade, bringing the cost down and increasing the benefits.   Electronic access control systems have become multifunctional, able to analyze system operations and produce detailed management audit reports.  The industry has largely taken advantage of the information and technology sector’s explosive growth.   Some of these new technologies are impressive and will last through the technological explosion, while others will fall by the wayside.

SMC designs systems for any size facility. Our design process incorporates open architecture which allow for easy expansion to meet the changing needs of each customer, and operate on a stand-alone base or a wide range of computer platforms.

Working with architects/engineers, security contractors and customer facility and security managers, SMC can assume turnkey security project management.

Types of Smart Cards

Contact Smart Cards

  • Must be inserted into a smart card reader.
  • Have a small gold plate about ½” in diameter on the front, instead of the magnetic strip on the back like a credit card
  • Must make contact with electrical connectors inside a smart card reader that transfer data to and from the chip.

Contactless Smart Cards

  • Are passed near an antenna to carry out a transaction.
  • An electronic microchip and an antenna embedded inside allow the card to communicate with an antenna / coupler unit without an physical contact.
  • Are the ideal solution when transactions are necessary.