The Basics Of Access Control

Access control is a security measure that regulates who can view, use or enter a restricted area or system. It’s a critical component of cybersecurity and physical security, and tools like keycards, PIN codes, or biometrics are used to control access.

Ben Lagden - Commercial Director of Grosvenor Technology

Ben Lagden

Commercial Director

It’s fair to say that 2024 finds us in a world where security and the protection of your people and assets are more of a challenge than ever.

Often, physical security products – and people – take front and centre. CCTV, turnstiles, motion detectors, security personnel – these things are the most obvious security solutions. But each has its limitations and it can be cumbersome to manage each aspect independently.

Which is where access control comes in. For those new to the concept of access control, here’s a short overview.

What is Access Control?

Access control is a security measure that regulates who can view, use or enter a restricted area or system. It’s a critical component of cybersecurity and physical security, and tools like keycards, PIN codes, or biometrics are used to control access.

Access Control represents a large portion of the security sector, and Grosvenor Technology has been around long enough to have carved out a considerable reputation within the industry. Since 1993 when our first access control products were launched, we have been innovating and exploring what’s possible. And here we are today with one of the most robust and secure offerings on the market.

But enough about us. Let’s look at what considerations you should make when it comes time to select your access control solution.

Cyber Security

Cyber threats are real and are as dangerous to an organisation as physical intrusions.

So, when considering potential access control systems, cyber security should be at the top of your list.

A good first step is to look for manufacturers that hold the ISO27001 certification. This ensures that they conform to a stringent set of rules and guidelines regarding data processing and adhere to the highest IT standards.

As far as hardware goes, the newly introduced PSTI Bill has taken steps to ensure that connectable products, like access control, are more secure against cyber threats.

And then there’s the OSDP protocol, which originated in the USA. In layman’s terms, OSDP ensures the encryption of data that comes from the door controllers/software to the readers in the field. Wiegand-based technology does not do this, so it’s vital to consider if you are looking to prevent a hostile cyber-attack.

Physical Security

Beyond the security of the system and its components, you must also consider the security of the accessories you will be using alongside it. Proximity cards are still one of the most common choices for access control, but it’s well documented that the old low-frequency 125khz proximity cards don’t t provide stringent security. These cards are easily copied (Google even has some how-to videos on the matter!). So, in the interest of feeling safe with your choice of proximity cards, it’s best to look at EV3 and Desfire as your best solution here.


Ask any security professional, and they will tell you that security systems have long been a siloed collection of standalone disciplines. Arduous processes need to be in place to ensure all parts of the security system are functioning, involving complex workflows and requirements.

Modern access control systems can unify these aspects into one seamless dashboard. By integrating various elements—CCTV, access control, intruder detection—they work cohesively to create a secure workplace. This integrated approach simplifies management and enhances overall security effectiveness.

Total Cost of Ownership

When purchasing an access control system, it’s extremely important to understand what you are getting for your investment. Some systems may have an attractive upfront cost, however it’s wise to look into any ongoing costs such as licencing or add-ons it order to fully understand the TCO.

Reliability and Availability  

It goes without saying that a system that has proven longevity in the marketplace will offer reliability and assurance that your system will be supported for as long as you use it. A manufacturer with a track record of reliable and robust systems over many years is generally the safest bet.

An often overlooked aspect is the supply of the equipment. Where is it stocked? Where is it manufactured? Knowing that supply is readily available means that you can be agile with updating and expanding your system should that be required.

These are vitally important considerations at the time of installation and when you are looking to keep the system maintained in the coming years.

Technical Support and Training

If you’re looking to add a new system to your offering, then factoring in the learning curve it presents is important – after all, you need to be sure you’ll have all you need to be confident in the field. Many access control manufacturers offer training, but not all training is equal – is it a link to a few online videos, or is there a person you can direct questions to? Is it free, or is there a cost?

The same goes for technical support. We all know the frustrations of call centres, and having UK-based tech support is another thing you need to check for.

While installers may use the training and technical support more than an end-user of an access control system, these things will still affect users. Whether it’s a call to tech support from an end-user or an installer, knowing the time zones, language and comprehension of the product are all assured makes everything much simpler.

Grosvenor Technology: 30 Years of Access Control

JanusC4, Grosvenor Technology’s proprietary access control system, is used by organisations all over Europe. The hardware was designed to be as fast and reliable as possible, while the software makes integration with your security systems simple, delivering a 365 approach to building safety.

Beyond the physical product, our training is free and delivered by our in-house access control trainer. Our technical support is located in Dorset, and we provide fast response times.

If you’re considering investing in access control, you’re looking to upgrade an outdated system, or you want to add an exciting and innovative system to your offering, then it’s worth a conversation to see how JanusC4 can meet your requirements.

Just get in touch with the sales team to arrange a call.