Hi there! Are you looking to upgrade your business’s access control system? As an experienced security professional, I’ve helped companies across many industries implement the best access control technology for their needs. In this comprehensive guide, I’ll explain what modern access control systems can do and review the top 10 providers on the market today. I’ll also share key considerations to help you select the right system for your facility and budget. Let’s dive in!
What Makes Access Control Systems So Important for Businesses?
Before we get into specific products, it’s helpful to understand what access control is and why it’s become essential for business security:
- Physical security – Access control systems are your first line of defense, restricting unauthorized access to facilities, assets, and information.
- Employee safety – Knowing who has access helps keep employees safe and builds trust.
- Compliance – Regulated industries like healthcare and finance have access control requirements.
- Accountability – Access logs provide records of entry/exit activity.
- Convenience – Streamlined access procedures like mobile credentials save time.
According to industry surveys, over 60% of businesses experienced a security incident due to improper access in the past year. Modern access control systems effectively reduce these risks.
Key Factors to Consider for Your Business
With the right access system in place, you’ll gain 24/7 command over who enters your buildings. To find the best fit, start by considering:
- Number of doors and credentials – More doors and users make scalability important.
- Existing systems – Integrating video and intrusion systems enhances security.
- Credential types – Options include mobile, badges, biometrics, multi-factor auth.
- Budget – Systems range from DIY to enterprise-grade with professional installation.
- In-house vs. cloud management – Factor in IT resources for on-premise systems.
Now let’s explore the top 10 access control systems on the market today based on these criteria:
1. Avigilon Access Control Manager
Avigilon is one of the most robust and scalable cloud-based access control systems available. Some key advantages:
- Secure mobile app for access credentials and notifications
- Remote management for distributed facilities
- Integrates with cameras, intercoms, and sensors for comprehensive monitoring
- Advanced user permissions, access schedules, and event alerts
According to Avigilon, over 60% of customers integrate their system with video security.
2. ADT Commercial Access Control
ADT is the industry leader in professionally installed business security solutions, including access control.
- Nationwide network of security experts for installation and support
- Real-time mobile access to events, doors, and video feeds
- Keycard, biometric, or smartphone credential options
- 24/7 professional monitoring and emergency response
According to ADT, adding access control to video surveillance increases threat detection by 95%.
3. Honeywell Pro-Watch Integrated Security Suite
Honeywell takes an integrated approach to access control with robust features:
- Centralized management for users, credentials, access points, and events
- Built-in compliance reporting and auditing to meet regulations
- Wireless locks and support for mobile, badge, biometric, or multi-factor authentication
- More than 5 billion access events are managed by Pro-Watch annually!
4. Bosch Access Professional Edition (APE)
Bosch APE enables advanced integrated security by unifying intrusion, video, and access systems into a single platform.
- Controller-managed access sequence assurance provides military-grade security
- Credential verification methods including biometrics, mobile, and multi-factor
- Real-time monitoring and event alerts enhance situational awareness
- Scalable to secure large global enterprises
5. Salto KS (Key & Software) Access Control
Salto KS delivers powerful wireless access control through user-friendly software.
Salto stands out with:
- Real-time access management from anywhere via web-based dashboards
- Quickly update access permissions and add users wirelessly
- Touchless mobile-as-a-key credentials via Bluetooth
- Customizable access levels and schedules
According to Salto, mobile-as-a-key delivers a 5x ROI by year 3 compared to cards.
6. Envoy Passport Visitor Management System
In addition to access control, Envoy provides modern visitor management and room reservation capabilities that are especially helpful for the enterprise.
- Touchless room reservations and mobile access
- Custom visitor registration flows and health screenings
- Analytics on lobby traffic, meeting room usage, and more
- Integrates at the door with locks and video cameras
Over 10,000 organizations use Envoy to enhance lobby security and workplace access.
7. HID VertX Access Control Software
HID VertX enables businesses to set advanced, highly customized access policies across facilities.
- Scalable to manage hundreds of sites and millions of credentials
- Integrated visitor management and badging systems
- Choice of card, fob, biometric, or mobile-device credentials
- API makes integration simple with video and other systems
8. Johnson Controls C•CURE Access Control
C•CURE allows centralized management of access, security, and event monitoring for major enterprises.
- Web-based access from anywhere to credentialing, permissions, and reports
- Auto discovery simplifies installing new devices and locations
- Open architecture works with most third-party security systems
- Built-in support for disaster recovery requirements
Over 10 million credentials are managed globally through C•CURE systems according to Johnson Controls.
9. SimpliSafe Access Control
On the more affordable end, SimpliSafe offers basic access control solutions for small-medium businesses.
- Low upfront costs starting under $200 per door
- Keypad or key fob credentials
- Professional monitoring provides enhanced security
- Scalable to add more doors and capabilities
SimpliSafe is a great entry point for access management.
10. ISONAS Pure IP Access Control
ISONAS offers network-based access control that’s cost-effective and easy to install.
- Avoid expensive retrofitting – IP systems use existing networks
- Quick DIY installation with minimal wiring
- Encrypted controllers enable secure credential management
- Integrates seamlessly with IP cameras and other networked systems
ISONAS is ideal for small-medium businesses with IP infrastructure.
Making the Best Choice for Your Organization
With the right access system in place, you can build layered security while enabling more convenience and productivity for staff. But with many options on the market, selecting the right solution takes research.
Start by taking stock of your business’s specific needs and infrastructure. Do you need beginner-friendly or enterprise-scale? Cloud vs on-premise management? Mobile and touchless access? Visitor management? No matter your requirements and budget, one of these top 10 systems can get you the ideal access control capabilities for your facility.
For further guidance as you evaluate providers, I‘m always available to chat. Contact me anytime to discuss the ideal security plan for your organization. I‘m happy to help!