What is Physical Access Control Systems (PACS)?

Physical Access Control Systems (PACS) are necessary for modern-day businesses. They are a key component of security infrastructure and offer a comprehensive way to optimise physical safety.

PACS are beneficial for protecting physical assets, personnel, and stored confidential information. They provide a smooth, seamless, and simple way for businesses to maintain maximum security at all times.

High-quality PACS, such as the systems provided by Genetec, eliminate the need for traditional lock- and-key security methods. Instead, they use advanced technology to authenticate users, protect assets, and maintain asset safety.

In this article, we’re going to cover the main aspects and features of Physical Asset Control Systems.

Access Control Panels

The central design of most PACS is an access control panel that enables users to manage access to various areas and authenticate users.

Having an access control panel means only authorized users can enter the associated building or designated areas within this building. Access control panels are often placed at entrances and exit points.

Card Readers

PACS often contain a card-reading component that maximizes security. Only users with the correct type of access card or key fob can deactivate the security system and enter the relevant area of the building.

Employers will often code specific cards and key fobs to work with limited PACS so employees can only access the parts of the building they need to. Some employers might provide one-off cards to clients and guests so they can access certain rooms or departments during their visits.

Biometric Authentication

Many modern-day technologies, such as smartphones, tablets, and mobile apps, use biometric authentication methods. Authentication scans a user’s fingerprint or retina to confirm their identity. With biometric authentication, users can be registered on a particular Physical Access Control System.

When these authenticated users provide their fingerprints or show their faces to the scanner on the system, the security system will temporarily deactivate them to allow them into the building or department.

24/7 Monitoring

With 24/7 surveillance, PACS provide an extra layer of security that businesses of all sizes can benefit from. They have locking mechanisms that are activated every second of the day and night, aside from the few moments an authenticated user needs to open the door and access the relevant area of the building.

PACS locking systems constantly signal to the access control panel and respond immediately if a user tries to use or access the system. They may include a range of electromagnetic locks and electric strikes for maximum security.

Most PACS use role-based access control and monitoring, whereby specified individuals have permission to pass through certain locks and access designated areas of a building. Users are assigned roles and given a card or key fob that is pre-programmed to deactivate only the relevant locking systems within the Physical Access Control System.


Physical Access Control Systems (PACS), exemplified by advanced solutions like Genetec’s, revolutionize security by replacing traditional lock-and-key methods. Access control panels, card readers, and biometric authentication ensure authorized entry, limiting access intelligently. With 24/7 monitoring and responsive locking mechanisms, PACS offers a robust security layer. Utilizing role-based access control, they streamline user permissions. In conclusion, PACS are indispensable for modern businesses, optimizing physical safety, and safeguarding assets, personnel, and confidential information through cutting-edge technology.

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