Exploring the Types and Benefits of Access Control Systems

Bryan Cunningham
By Bryan Cunningham
5 Min Read

Controlling access to your premises has never been more important. Access control systems play a crucial role in managing who is allowed to enter a room, building or area. They are also vital for ensuring that people, assets and information are safe and secure. Understanding the different types of systems, and their advantages can help organizations to make informed decisions about their security needs. This article examines the different types of access control systems, and highlights their benefits.

Discretionary Access Control

Description DAC is a form of access control where the owner, administrator, or data or resource protected has the option to decide who may access the resources. DAC models can be found most often in environments that prioritize information sharing and collaborative work over strict security.


  • Flexibility Users can define their own policy on who can access their data.
  • Ease Of Use is easy to use and implement, so it’s suitable for individuals or small businesses.

Mandatory Access Control

MAC has a higher level of security than DAC. It is used by military and government institutions that demand a high degree of security. In MAC, the central authority controls access policies, and users are not allowed to change their access permissions.


  • High-Security: Provides a greater level of security through access restrictions based on classifications and clearance levels.
  • Centralized Control: Policies are managed centrally, reducing the risks of unauthorized access caused by user error or manipulation.

Role Based Access Control (RBAC)

Description: RBAC limits system access based on the roles of users within an organization. The access rights are grouped according to role names, and the resources that each user has access to depend on their roles. This simplifies administration because access can be managed at a role level, rather than an individual level.


  • Efficiency simplifies the process of assigning or revoking rights to large numbers of users, making it easier for administrators to manage a large number of users.
  • Scalability Easily accommodates staff changes and role changes within an organization.

Access Control with Rules

Description This system adds a layer to RBAC, by adding rules that define conditions for access. Access could be restricted, for example, based on time or location.


  • Flexibility: Provides detailed access control policies which can be adapted to different scenarios. This increases security without sacrificing flexible.
  • Automated Decision Making: Rules are able to automatically grant or deny access, based on predefined criteria. This reduces the need for human intervention.

Attribute Based Access Control (ABAC):

Description: ABAC controls access based upon attributes. These attributes can include user attributes (e.g. department, role), resources attributes (e.g. classification, owner) and environmental attributes. This model provides a high level of flexibility and granularity for access control.


  • Dynamic Policy: Allows dynamic evaluation of policies based on context. This allows for more nuanced controls.
  • Granular Access Control: Permits precise control of who can access resources in specific conditions.

Biometric Access Control

Description: Biometric systems utilize unique physical or behavioral characteristics to identify and control access. The most common methods are fingerprint scanning, face recognition, iris recognition, and voice recognition.


  • Enhanced Security: This feature provides a high-level of security through the use of unique biological traits which are difficult to copy or fake.
  • No transferability: This feature ensures that the access rights can’t be shared or transferred, which reduces the risk of unauthorized access.


The selection of an access control system is based on a number of factors. These include the security requirements of your organization, the sensitive nature of the data or assets you are protecting, and the requirement for flexibility and scalability. Each system has its own set of advantages, from enhanced security to centralized control and flexibility in administration. By carefully evaluating the needs of their organization, they can choose an access control system which not only protects their premises, but also improves operational efficiency.


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My name is Bryan, and I'm just your average guy trying to navigate through this crazy thing called life. I'm a lover of all thing's sports, music, and food related. Don't be shy, drop me a message and let's connect! ?? #livelaughlove #foodie #sportsfanatic #musiclover
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