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Understanding Door Access Control Systems

November 8, 2023

Too busy to read? Here’s a summary:

  • A door access control system manages and restricts entry to buildings, rooms, and other designated areas using electronic components, software, and hardware.
  • In the context of a door access control system, an audit trail is a detailed log that records each entry and exit event along with timestamps. Audit trails provide valuable data for monitoring, investigation, and compliance purposes.
  • Door access control systems empower administrators to control the system remotely via smartphone and browser apps, enabling quick adjustments to access permissions and immediate action in the event of a security breach.

What Is a Door Access Control System?

Unlike traditional lock-and-key security methods, door access control systems use electronic components and software to authenticate users and grant or deny access based on predefined criteria.

Why Choose Door Access Control

The capabilities of a door access control system extend far beyond those of traditional lock-and-key systems.

In addition to making it much more difficult for unauthorized individuals to gain access to secured sites, administrators can easily set different access levels for different users, ensuring that individuals only have access to areas relevant to their roles.

What’s more, door access control systems maintain detailed audit trails by logging each entry and exit. This feature can be crucial for monitoring and regulatory compliance purposes.

Lastly, the ability to manage the system remotely via software adds an extra layer of convenience and control that traditional keys cannot match. Access control systems allow for immediate remote adjustments to access permissions.

Components of a Door Access Control System


  • Card Reader: A device that reads an access card or key fob.
  • Keypad: A panel where users can enter a code.
  • Biometric Scanner: A device that scans fingerprints, retinas, faces, and other unique biological markers to recognize individuals.
  • Electric Lock: Replaces or works alongside a traditional lock to secure the door.
  • Sensors: Detects if the door is open or closed.


  • User Interface: Administrators can add/remove users, adjust the privileges associated with a credential, and set access rules—all on an easy-to-use software interface.
  • Door Controller: A door controller is a device installed at each door managed by an access control system. It’s directly connected to the door's electric lock, card reader, and other hardware components. It’s responsible for receiving authentication data (like a key card swipe or a fingerprint scan) and sending that data to the access control panel for verification. In simpler systems, the door controller itself may make the decision to grant or deny access.
  • Control Panel: A centralized unit that serves as the hub for managing multiple door controllers. It’s usually installed in a secure location and connected to a network. The panel receives information from various door controllers to grant or deny access based on the data it receives. It often has a user interface, either physical or software-based, where administrators can manage access levels, view logs, and configure settings for multiple doors.
  • Database: Stores user information and access logs.
  • Notification System: Sends alerts for unauthorized access attempts or system failures.

Types of Door Access Control Systems

  • Discretionary Access Control (DAC): The owner sets policies for who can enter.
  • Mandatory Access Control (MAC): Access is granted based on predefined policies.
  • Role-Based Access Control (RBAC): Access is granted based on the user's role within the organization.

How Does It Work?

  • Authentication: The user presents a credential (card, code, or biometric data).
  • Authorization: The system checks the credentials against its database of site authorizations.
  • Access Granted/Denied: If a credential matches with a site’s specific authorizations, the door unlocks.
  • Logging: The system logs access events, noting the user, time, and whether access was granted or denied.

Benefits of Using a Door Access Control System

  • Enhanced Security: More secure than traditional lock-and-key systems.
  • Convenience: No need to carry physical keys.
  • Customization: Administrators can set different access levels for specific users.
  • Audit Trail: Detailed logs for monitoring and compliance.
  • Remote Management: Door access control systems can be remotely controlled via software applications.

Mammoth Security Knows Door Access Control

Door access control systems offer a robust and flexible solution for site security. With various types and features to choose from, these systems can be tailored to meet the specific needs of your business or organization.

For assistance selecting a cost-effective door access control system that will reliably meet the entry management and security needs of your property, reach out to Mammoth Security today. We’re offering free, zero-obligation site surveys and security assessments to businesses and organizations just like yours.




A door access control system enhances security by using electronic authentication methods, making it more difficult for unauthorized individuals to gain access compared to traditional lock-and-key systems.

The components of a door access control system include hardware like card readers, keypads, and biometric scanners, as well as software elements like a user interface and a database for storing access logs.

In a door access control system, electronic authentication works by requiring the user to present a credential such as a card, code, or biometric data, which is then checked against a database for authorization.

Access levels in a door access control system refer to the different permissions set by administrators, allowing individuals to access only areas relevant to their roles within the organization.

A biometric scanner in a door access control system is a device that scans unique biological features like fingerprints, retinas and faces for authentication.

The primary types of door access control systems include Discretionary Access Control (DAC), Mandatory Access Control (MAC), and Role-Based Access Control (RBAC), each with its own set of policies for granting access.

In a door access control system, authorization and authentication work in tandem. The user first presents a credential for authentication, which is then checked against a database for authorization. If the credentials match, access is granted; otherwise, it is denied.



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