7 Things You Should Know About Anti-Passback In Access Control Systems

7 Things You Should Know About Anti-Passback In Access Control Systems

Published on : October 18, 2021

What are the features of anti-passback in access control systems?

  1. Works through access cards
  2. Prevents misuse of an access control system
  3. Improves security against infiltration
  4. Used as a form of recording attendance
  5. Multiple modes of anti-passback
  6. Commonly used in key entry points
  7. Applicable in many industries

Helping out others is common courtesy. Oftentimes, we find ourselves offering to hold a door open for our neighbors, or lending our access cards to a colleague who has forgotten theirs. However, in today’s society, security is of utmost importance. Letting these issues slide makes it difficult for buildings to maintain safety measures within their premises.

Luckily, many solutions from ELID feature anti-passback in their access control systems. Read on to learn what anti-passback is, and how adding this feature can help in managing your security.

Works Through Access Cards

The anti-passback feature works through your access control systems. It requires the use of access cards, and two access readers to work successfully. The anti-passback feature is activated at every use of an access card on the entrance (or “in”) reader. Once this is done, it requires the same access card to be used at the exit (or “out”) reader before the user can pass through the entrance (in) access reader again.

Prevents Misuse of an Access Control System

Simply put, the use of anti-passback prevents consecutive entries to one access cardholder. The main purpose of doing so is to prevent the misuse of one’s access card. The card can only be used to allow one person to enter and becomes unusable at that same entryway until certain conditions are achieved. This stops multiple people from accessing highly secured zones through illegitimate means.

Improves Security Against Infiltration

A system with an anti-passback feature logs every entry and takes notes of the user’s credentials. This will not allow a card with the same credentials from entering the area until there is a record of the user exiting the area by swiping or tapping the corresponding reader.

Depending on the configurations, the attempt to access a restricted area multiple times can log the user credentials, raise an alarm, and even completely block access for the user. Access can be restored once the user legitimately exits the restricted area, or can be reset based on time of day. This feature strongly discourages not only the misuse of access cards but also any infiltration attempts. As a result, the security and privacy of your building become much more robust.

Used as a Form of Recording Attendance

Anti-passback can also be used as a means for recording the attendance and movement of users. As mentioned earlier, security systems using this measure record which users enter and exit a specific area. It gives a clear trace of who was present in a zone and at what time, and even how often they accessed the zone. This is especially useful for areas under high security, such as parking areas and office workspaces.

Multiple Modes of Anti-Passback

There are several modes of anti-passback — the most common are called soft, hard, timed, and global. Each variant has different alarm and configuration settings.

In a timed anti-passback setup, a user who was caught violating the access control system is blocked out for a set period. In soft anti-passback, the user is still allowed through, but the access control systems operator is notified of their violation. In hard anti-passback, violators are completely locked out, and an alarm system can also be triggered.

A global anti-passback is a bit more complicated. This mode defines a zone that has two or more readers physically wired to different controllers. If anyone reader in that same area receives a user violation, it will prevent that user from accessing any other entryways or exits within the same area.

Commonly Used in Key Entry Points

An anti-passback security feature is often used for key entry points on a property. It is commonly found at parking gates, where the “in” reader is located at the entry gate and the “out” reader at the exit gate.

The user swipes their card to access their parking, and they can enter and exit as many times as they want, so long as they follow the correct enter and exit sequence. This is also used at employee entrances and exits in a building. Access cards are used by personnel to “card-in” when they enter the building and “card-out” upon leaving the premises.

Applicable in Many Industries

This security feature can be useful in many industries, particularly those who need to keep track of their guests and employees or need to heighten security around sensitive or valuable assets.

  • Hospitals — can be used to protect patients, staff, and medical supplies from harm or theft. This feature ensures only authorized users can enter certain areas of the medical facility.
  • Fitness Facilities — prevents gym members from sharing credentials to let in non-members, or skipping membership fees.
  • Parking Lots & Multi-Story — ensures accurate parking space counting, and prevents unauthorized vehicles from entering restricted areas.
  • Holiday Facilities & Parks — ensure that only guests and employees can access the facility. Prevents non-paying persons from using the facility free of charge.
  • Offices — improves security for employees, and stops tailgating or sneaking into the premises. Provides precise time-in and time-out information for employee attendance.
  • Schools & Universities — gives warnings for security breaches, improves safety for students and faculty, and gives an accurate attendance record.
  • Laboratories — provides detailed laboratory access records and prevents unwanted removal of equipment and supplies.

Key Takeaway

Choosing to implement anti-passback in your access control systems is a brilliant idea to make your facilities more secure, safe, and private for everyone who uses it. Though the concept may seem confusing at first, it’s quite a simple yet effective security measure. It’s easy enough to integrate into existing technology and systems — many products nowadays come with an anti-passback feature already installed.

ELID’s Matrix V Systems is a great example of how a robust access control system can use it. This system includes a global anti-passback feature that can fulfill any building’s security needs. If you’re interested in learning more about this product, send us a message today!