Powell Tronics takes access control one step further with its incorporation of MS Active Directory into the ImproNet access control system. John Powell, MD of Powell Tronics points out that many larger corporate organisations require a higher level of access control management in terms of linking Internet and IT access to physical access into the main property and sections of the building.
“By providing an interface between MS Active Directory and the ImproNet access control system, PT-AD, we have been able to add an extra level of security to the employee access process. The biggest problem with access generally occurs when an employee is dismissed or resigns, and while the IT department revokes their access to the company’s intranet, Internet and data, unfortunately the facilities department is not always aware of the change in employee status and the employee’s access control card, or their data in a biometric database, is not erased or redeemed,” he explains.
By using PT-AD, when an employee is disabled or removed from the Active Directory, PT-AD automatically removes their physical access on ImproNet. When a person is disabled in the ImproNet system, records of their access movements remain in the system for reporting, thus allowing management to see their access history.
In strict corporate environments, blocked access is also applicable in cases where an employee incorrectly enters their password three consecutive times. They will be denied access to the IT infrastructure and in turn their access will be revoked from the access control system and they will not be permitted to leave or enter the building until the matter has been verified and resolved by the IT and/or security departments.
Powell points out that PT-AD can link employees’ access to their specific workgroups by simply allocating them to specific security groups within AD. For example, all sales staff in a branch would be assigned to the sales security group for that particular organisational unit, which through PT-AD would be given access to the demo room, the canteen, boardroom and reception area. If they were required to travel to other branches, then they are simply added to the other relative security group in AD and within a poll cycle their access would be programmed to suit.
As a further enhancement to PT-AD, the management of operators of the ImproNet access control system is catered for by the PT-ADOS module, where an ImproNet operator logs in to the ImproNet suite using their Windows credential login information. This added feature eliminates the need to manually create users and allocate access to the various access applications and servers, with the added benefit of additional security as PT-ADOS enforces the existing AD password regulations.
Powell says that PT-AD has benefitted a number of end users, including various educational facilities where students are readily provided with physical access to their boarding houses, libraries, lecture rooms, canteens, as well as network access to IT systems specific to their area of study.
PT-AD successfully bridges the technology gap between network and physical access, allowing companies full control over how their employees access their facilities based on their network access.
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