Common Access Control Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Common Access Control Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Implementing an access control system provides a range of security and monitoring benefits. However, there are also many pitfalls organizations can stumble into if not careful. Avoid undercutting your investment by watching out for these common Access control system mistakes:

Not Defining Access Policies

Neglecting to establish formal policies for granting and managing access is a critical mistake. Documenting standardized protocols, access levels, and security controls provides essential guidelines for current and future system users and administrators. Take the time upfront to carefully define and document detailed policies to ensure consistent, appropriate access enforcement. 

Giving Excess Access Permissions 

Resist the urge to simply grant blanket access to wide groups for convenience. Overly broad permission settings make it impossible to properly monitor or audit access. Conduct thorough reviews of individual user and group roles to refine permissions to only essential access needs. Regularly reevaluate settings as needs evolve. Grant temporary access only when required and revoke promptly after use.

Sharing Credentials 

When employees share credentials to cover for others, it bypasses individual accountability and obscures actual user activity. Strictly prohibit credential sharing. Ensure each employee has unique login credentials tied specifically to their access requirements. Automatically enforce periodic password changes to maintain security.

Not Changing Default Settings

Many access systems with Biometric security ship with default settings, passwords, etc. that are publicly known. Failure to change defaults introduces unnecessary security vulnerabilities. Review systems thoroughly on arrival and reset generic settings to customize for your facilities and policies. 

Limited System Integration

Access control systems isolated from other building systems and security measures result in functional gaps. Pursue tight integration with surveillance cameras, alarms, intercoms, etc. to unify monitoring and control. Shared data and automated cross-system responses strengthen overall security.

Insufficient System Updates

Set a routine schedule for updating both hardware and software components as the manufacturer releases patches, upgrades and new features. Sign up for update notifications and review release notes. Prompt updates maximize performance, plug security holes, and expand capabilities over time.

Lack of Redundancy 

Network disruptions or hardware failures can bring your access system offline and leave facilities unsecured. Build redundancy into critical components like servers, power supplies and network connections to avoid single points of failure. Prioritize uptime to assure 24/7 reliability.

Inadequate Access Auditing 

Access control systems generate abundant usage data. But without auditing this data, potential issues go unseen. Perform regular access and event log reviews to spot anomalies from tailgaters, unauthorized entries, denied users, etc. Many systems allow custom event flagging and reporting to focus audits efficiently.

Skimping on User Training

Maximize your access system’s value by properly training all users. Clearly demonstrate how to operate doors, manage permissions, pull reports, respond to alerts, etc. Provide quick reference guides. Untrained users fumbling through unfamiliar systems lead to security oversights or accidental misconfigurations. 

No Contingency Planning

Despite best efforts, access systems can still fail. Develop contingency plans for reverting to manual access control or temporary workarounds if the system goes offline. Keep spare credentials, documentation of doors/zones, emergency contacts etc. on hand for rapid response to minimize disruption.

Avoid undermining your security by proactively dodging these common access control mistakes. Taking the time to plan policies, integrate systems, train users, enhance redundancy, stay updated, and audit activity ensures your investment pays off with reliable, robust access management. Monitoring for missteps keeps protection strong.

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