In this crime conscious age, security is something of a constant when it comes to everyday activities. From chaining up and padlocking a bicycle at the station in the morning, to showing their ID, or pressing it against a card-reader as they enter the office, many people are involved in one way or another with different aspects of security.
Indeed, the continuing background threat of crime, antisocial behaviour, and even terrorism, means that demand for integrated security solutions is growing. Moreover, it seems that the general public is largely content to accept the simple compromises (such as carrying around some form of ID) demanded by such systems.
Central to the security measures taken by companies and organisations is access control. This is the process of controlling entry to a room, part of a room, or a building through some form of identification system.
Access control systems commonly authenticate people through reading their credentials on smart cards. However, in some cases, usually where tight security is essential, biometric readers are deployed. These make use of fingerprint or iris recognition.
However, In order to minimise inconvenience, many organisations tend to stay clear of such advanced control techniques. Indeed, with the relatively straightforward contactless smartcard, access control systems can make employees’ lives easier. Some employers, for example, have introduced cashless payment in to workplace canteens, with money simply being deducted from pay cheques. Thus saving the traditional lunchtime fumble for small change – a traditional feature of office life.