What is physical access control?

The enforcement of how an individual gains access to and from a building, property or any other facility. This is done by giving individuals credentials (cards, fobs, fingerprint, mobile), which identifies the individual, and in turn, authorizes if they have permission to gain entry.

In other words, this is how we CONTROL how someone gains ACCESS into a location.

What is cloud-based access control?

Information stored and managed through a remote third party which can be accessed through a hosted server. As this service is typically stored using a much larger network (such as the Internet), individuals can save, download and access data directly on the hosted service.

In other words, cloud lets you access information digitally, so you can use personal devices (smartphone, laptop, desktop, tablet, etc.) that integrate with the hosted platform, allowing for larger storage capacity while making information even more accessible.

What are some physical access control options?

Physical access control options include traditional lock-and-key, on-premise (computer) solution, and cloud-based solution.

lock-and-key is the lowest level of technology and security and needs no explanation.

The electronic on-premise solution is an electronic version of the lock-and-key, with the lock now controlled by a computer server somewhere in the business.

The cloud-based solution can secure and control multiple locations from a browser or mobile device, revoke access credentials whenever it’s needed, and view live or recorded video from any facility, regardless of location.

See our e-brief Physical Security: Lock-and-Key vs. Cloud for more detailed product information.

What are the benefits of an SaaS access control services?

As compared to the old traditional model where a user purchases the full data of a software, whether or not they use all of its components, the SaaS (Software as a Service) model allows access to a remote host, which only charges for the service the user wants, such as 60GB of storage monthly as opposed 80GB. In the old model, the user may or may not have technical support. SaaS, on the other hand, is through a remote host, so a user can contact the host if technical assistance is needed.

In other words, SaaS is using a software “on-demand,” as opposed to the old way of paying upfront for an entire software suite, components of which may not be needed. The subscription enables the user to decide what they want to use from the software (storage, download, files sizes, etc.), have easier access to technical support and minimize costs.

See The 5Cs of Security As A Service for more information.

What makes Brivo innovative and different than traditional physical security solutions?

The components of SaaS, digital cloud, hosted server and remote access are all brought together in the innovative platform of the Brivo Onair solution. Imagine using the same storage you pay for on other cloud platforms (downloading mp3s, watching movies, storing bank data, etc.) for one of the most important necessities: physical security.

Brivo Onair, lets you get what you need, when you need, and how you need it. The system allows you to monitor who wants access to your facility right from the screen of your tablet or smartphone. What’s more, as cloud technology is integrated, it is enabled to work with the installed hardware, which recognizes keyless access (fobs, cards, fingerprints, etc.). Whether unlocking the office door while traveling outside the country, checking a security event from eight weeks prior, or being notified on your phone of an entry attempt after hours, this information is available on any of your devices.

With Brivo, you can obtain technical support, as opposed to the traditional method of monitoring your own system. You pay ONLY for the services you choose to use. This makes for better communication, better technical resources, easier access and lower overall costs.

How do I determine what I need to buy?

When deciding how to choose your access control system, follow these six steps:

  1. Review past security incidents and identify any weaknesses in your physical security system that led to an incident.
  2. Identify what you are worried about to determine functions you need access control for (e.g., timely opening and closing of business or the need to monitor employee behaviors).
  3. Figure out what operational inefficiencies you need to solve (e.g., frequent rekeying or keeping your firmware up to date).
  4. Outline your desired outcomes.
  5. Outline what you need from an access control solution.
  6. Scope the project.

See our guide for more detailed steps to consider when selecting the ideal access control solution that fits your business needs: How To Pick The Right Access Control Features That Work For Your Business.

How do I decide which access points I need to secure?

Think about the following considerations when deciding which access points to secure:

  • The number of doors you need to secure now.
  • The number of doors you’ll need to secure as you expand—this dictates the type of access system control you’ll want to use. Cloud-based systems are adaptable and scalable.
  • The physical makeup and use of your doors—this dictates which types of locks and entry systems to use.
  • The use of the doors—are some only for customers, employees, or vendors? A cloud-based system will allow you to schedule and grant access to doors by groups.
How do I choose a system seller?

A seller should accommodate your specific business requirements. The best sellers will ask questions and help you choose a system that best fits your needs. It isn’t required for a seller to see your facility, but they should do a site visit or ask for photos of access points. Look for a seller with experience in business and commercial-grade access control. The seller is responsible for installing your access control system and integrating it with other management systems. The benefit of using Brivo is it has an open API and can integrate with other enterprise systems (e.g., your HR system).

How can I align my security strategy with the ever-changing technological environment?

Major technological factors are disrupting the security industry, such as cloud, social, mobile, big data, and IoT. Read our blog post to get guidance on how to apply these new technologies to create better security solutions and gain insight into how this digital disruption might change market dynamics and affect customer choices.  


How does Brivo Onair Pass work?

Brivo Onair Pass is a built-in feature of the Brivo Onair cloud-based access control system. Administrators can send a Brivo Onair Pass by emailing an invitation to a user. Brivo Onair Pass skips the reader and communicates from the phone directly to a secure, authenticated cloud. All Brivo Onair accounts can use this feature without the need for new card readers, control panels or smartphone upgrades.

Does Brivo work with service doors (roll-up doors)?

Brivo access control is a keyless entry system, so it can be installed with many forms of entry. The reader allows a user to open a wide variety of access points, including roll-up doors, single doors, double doors, gates, turnstiles, elevators and garages with their credentials (keycards, fobs, pin numbers, mobile, etc.).

Can the Brivo Onair security platform be used to track time and attendance?

Brivo is not a time-and-attendance solution. However, with a properly configured system (dedicated in/out readers), you can access a time-stamp report. The report doesn’t calculate work hours from the in/out data, but the data can be exported to Microsoft® Excel and a simple equation will calculate the hours. It’s a labor-saving alternative to a system which requires a person to collect the time cards and manually calculate the payroll.

Does the system integrate with intercoms, speakers or door buzzers?

Brivo panels have inputs and outputs on them that you can use to integrate certain software to work with your system. Brivo Onair also has a RESTful API that is fully documented in the link below. The three primary uses of the API are to manage users (e.g., add or delete card holders), subscribe to events (e.g., ingest a door forced alarm) and control devices (unlock doors). A savvy developer will be able to understand the calls available and also test sample code within our sandbox environment. The developer registration link is provided below as well.



How secure is the system? How do I know it won't be hacked?

As a provider of physical security services, we at Brivo believe that information security is of

paramount importance to maintaining the safety and security of your facilities. That’s why

information security has been a consideration since day one, in our data centers, our field

hardware, our people and our processes.

The topics covered include specific aspects of information security in the Brivo Onair architecture and system design, as well as background materials on cryptography, firewall technology, digital certificates and networking. Brivo has applied networking and application security best practices to the domain of cloud-based access control systems.

See our Brivo Onair Information Security Ebrief for more detailed information.

Does Brivo integrate with other systems?

The Brivo security platform is specifically designed for integration. This allows you to be in the driver seat and to build your security system to your own unique specifications. The possibilities are endless—from integrating with products such as third-party camera surveillance to using other software platforms such as EZFacility gym access. For a list of all of our integrations contact us to speak with one of our security experts.

What kind of data should I expect to get from the platform?

Currently, you can access event data. Here are some ways to use the data to improve business operations and security:

  • How do daily security patterns compare across my facilities?
  • Is traffic flow the same this year as last year?
  • What signals precede an actionable security event?
  • What’s the year-over-year change in visitor-to-employee ratios?
  • Which facilities exhibit the most off-hours video events?
  • Where are administrative privileges changed most often?
  • How do the preventive maintenance signals compare?
  • Which locations stand out this week? This month? Every month?
  • What is the seasonal variation in security events?
  • How do my large facilities differ from my small facilities?
  • How do my physical security data correlate with other data sources?


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