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When installing new access control hardware and software, testing it with existing doors and hardware is crucial to ensuring all systems are working properly.
While facility managers would not knowingly choose access control hardware and software that don't work well together, this can be the result if they don't take the time to review the systems, and test them together.
For example, consider what happens if the mechanical hardware on a door doesn't align with the electronic access control system. Once the door is mechanically locked, even a properly functioning access control system won't be able to open it.
Sometimes facility managers retain a key cylinder on a door with an electronic card reader. This allows an individual to bypass the card reading system with a key, thus destroying the audit system.
Of course, a facility still needs a backup system in case the card system fails. One way to handle this, yet not make it easy for individuals to bypass the system, is by installing new key cylinders when a new card system is implemented.
Then, the new keys should be given only to the individuals that truly need them. This provides redundancy, without potentially undermining the electronic access system.
Another mistake is failing to include all the components required to create a solid access control system. For instance, installing card access technology alone on a door creates an electronic locking system, but won't let you know if the door has been forced or propped open. That requires a door monitoring sensor.
Another area to watch is the interface between the access control system and the corporate network. Many access control systems rely on a company's network to transmit data. Some access control systems may not work effectively with the corporate network, or may strain network capacity, making data transmission more difficult.