The medium security concept for door access

OK, if you have your PSP, this is probably basic to you, but it might not be if your expertise is more in the video side of our industry. I wanted to run through the basic levels of access control and touch on the concept of “medium” security. On a...


“Wireless locks typically have all the features [you’d find in a card access system], but with various levels of latency,” Martin explained. “So if you’re willing to live with delays like delays when transactions come back to your access control software, then wireless locks are for you.”

If you look at the access control industry, I’d say that this medium security concept that Martin espouses is probably the dominant product adoption trend. It’s finding that sweet spot between basic door locks (even if they are Grade 1) and full-fledged real-time monitored card access. I asked Martin where medium security wireless access control might fit into traditional corporate office building. Here’s what he said.

“The beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We have wireless locks protecting the executive wing of our headquarters so that after hours you can’t wander in and out of certain areas of the office building after 5 o’clock at night. So that’s a great place for a medium security solution where you don’t need full access control because a wireless lock will give you that time zone control at a lower cost than a full card access system. For office parks, it might be the computer areas, the server rooms. Maybe it’s the area you are doing product development or where you are storing your product records or your accounting records. It’s places today that generally might be open [during the work day] but present a higher level of risk. In schools it might be the classrooms. We have worked with a lot of schools that decided they wanted a higher level of security for people to access the classrooms. And certainly the front door of the school where you want higher security but you have budget constraints and can’t put card access but you do want some level of electronic access control. Typically it’s where you would find the mechanical lock today that isn’t really the ideal solution for that medium risk opening.”

For end-users the fit is obvious – it’s that middle price point between an inexpensive deadbolt and an expensive real-time card access. For our channel readers, it’s what you offer when you don’t want to be a traditional locksmith shop installing keyed units and yet you can’t get your customers to bite on a high-end card reader solution.

I’ll close with this thought – there are probably ways to further define medium security. There are four elements of electronic door security:

1. What position is the door in?
2. Who is trying to use the door?
3. Is this person allowed to use this door?
4. What time are they allowed to use this door?

Martin argues that it’s the implementation of latency into the system that makes a solution medium security, but I’d say that you also have varying levels of medium security based on whether the solution offers those four key elements. But that’s another blog post entirely.