Proximity Cards: How, When, Why

When you think of any high security industry or building, chances are that the facility that you are thinking of uses HID proximity cards as part of its identification card practices. This is because proximity cards are some of the best ways to regulate door access not only from the outside but from the inside of the facility as well. But what exactly are proximity cards and how can they help your company’s access control system?

How Proximity Cards Work

Proximity cards can take several different forms, with their most common one being contactless smart cards. These cards carry a set of data within them that communicates with other security software setup by a system administrator when bringing them near a card reader.

In typical types of access control, there are four different components that all work together to complete the process. The first of these components is the prox cards, with the second component being the card readers, the third being the access control panel, and the fourth being the access control server. Together they use the access control panel software to determine whether or not to give a certain user has the access level to the area that they are attempting to enter.

It does this by having the other components to take the prox card programming data transmitted (usually at 125 khz frequency) from the proximity card and run it through a series of role based access control checks. It will not only determine whether or not the card is valid and within its preset range, it will also run it through a series of accepted codes for that certain area and see if it matches up with any of them. If it does, then the security system grants access, door will open up and the user will gain access to the area. However, if the code does not match up then the door will remain locked and the user will not be able to access whatever area they are attempting to get into.

When Do Proximity Cards Come In Handy?

Just because someone works at a company, does not mean that they should instantly gain access to every area within the facility. There are plenty of instances why a company would want to segregate certain members of their employees and only allow them to be in their required areas. This is most commonly found in government, healthcare, or financial industries.

An example of why a company might want to utilize proximity card systems could be to prevent the employees working in the communications department from accessing the IT department areas. There may be no reason why communication employees need to gain access to the IT department. More than likely there is a large amount of sensitive data kept in that location, it only makes sense to keep it as secure as possible by only allowing IT employees to enter it.

Why Proximity Cards?

There are many different benefits that come from using proximity access control models within a company. The first benefit is that it provides the employees with a quick and easy process of gaining access to certain areas. Rather than trying to insert their ID card into a card reader, they can just bring it near the exterior of the reader and be on their way within less than a second. Since they do not need to insert their cards there is also less chance of any malfunctioning or damage occurring.

Another big advantage to using proximity cards is that they are one of the most secure forms of ID and are unlikely to be duplicated. This helps to ensure that your company is only allowing people inside who are meant to be there.

Proximity access control can come in several different forms as well. Instead of a printable prox card, there are access card key fob solutions as well as less expensive non-printable clamshell card versions.

All of these reasons combine together to make an extremely convincing argument for utilizing proximity cards in any workplace. The first step in permanently elevating the quality of security at your workplace is checking out the list of available proximity card types and deciding which one is best suited to your company’s needs and budget. Contact All Things Identification for any prox card help you may need form system advice to restocking you printable or clamshell prox cards or proximity keyfobs

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