Access Control On-Demand Overview
IPVM offers the most comprehensive access control course in the industry. Unlike manufacturer training that focuses only on a small part of the system, we look at the whole picture - design, operation, maintenance and how all parts of an access system work together.
What the IPVM Access Fundamentals Course Covers
In 12 sessions, we examine the following topics in-depth:
(1) Credential Basics
We start with the most common, but frequently misunderstand access component, teaching you the tradeoffs of iClass vs 125kHz Prox vs 13.56 Mhz vs Smartcards vs DESFire.
(2) Advanced Credentials
In this session, we build on the first class digging deeper into multi-factor authentication, credential vulnerabilities (e.g. the unencrypted but popular 125 kHz cards), and emerging technologies including mobile, BLE and NFC.
We then teach you how to select readers, explaining Wiegand vs. OSDP, and contrasting the different types, shapes, and technologies behind readers including vulnerabilities and weaknesses like 'prox card snooping', identity spoofing, and keypad PIN 'tells'.
Moving onto controllers, we explain how they coordinate activities at openings, breaking down the differences between IP, hardwired, standalone, proprietary or 'open'. You learn the major controller vendors, their tradeoffs and (in)compatibility.
(5) Management Software
Here you learn the five core elements of access software: 1) Live View, 2) Door Management, 3) Cardholder Management, 4) Reporting and 5) Access Levels & Schedules.
(6) System Operation
Then we pull together the entire system, teaching where decisions are made and key vulnerabilities exist such as tailgating and passback. You learn how to counter those vulnerabilities through door-prop alarms, forced-door events, using multiple credentials, and video surveillance integration.
(7) Life Safety Codes & Building Codes
We teach globally applicable access specific safety laws, including the International Building Code (IBC) and NFPA 101 and NFPA 72. Regardless of where you are located, you will learn which codes apply, who to contact locally for clarity, and how to improve security while keeping people safe at the same time.
(8) Doors, Openings, & Locks
You need to know door hardware to do electronic access control systems. We teach you the core function of doors, frames, opening types, and the electrified hardware options to keep each type locked securely, regardless if they are hollow metal, solid wood, or glass doors. You will learn the security benefits of revolving doors, turnstiles, mantraps, electric locks, and exit devices.
(9) Electric Strikes
Strikes are a core component of access control systems. You learn the strengths, weaknesses, and applications that characterize this lock type. We cover how to choose the 'right strike' for your opening, how to avoid expensive installation mistakes, and where avoiding use of strikes can prevent big problems.
Many simply hate maglocks but you need to know how and when to use them. Often misunderstood, misused, and maybe even illegal, we teach the entire scope of electromagnet lock use in access, including bond ratings, voltage, operation and action types.
(11) Networking & Cabling
You learn the role of cabling types in connecting access devices (e.g., 6 vs 4 vs 2 conductor), and why 'wireless' is different than 'wifi'. You will also learn how overlooked concepts like cabling shielding, drain wire use, and bonding/grounding are critical.
(12) Access System Design
In our capstone session, we pull everything together, describing how to select and use different access components and principles together for the best possible result in writing a specification, designing a new system, or just optimizing the one already in use. We teach you what to look for during the 'job walk', and how best to customize the design for your specific needs.
Who Should and Should NOT Take this Course
Even if you have lots of hands on experience with access control and manufacturer training, you should take this course. It teaches access more broadly and in depth than what regular field work or product specific training provides.
However, if you have no experience with access control, you should not take this course unless you can commit to spending 10 to 15 hours per week studying. We have had many people take this course without experience and do very well, but only if they dedicate sufficient time to studying. You cannot pass this course simply by reading a few hours the night before the exam.
The course will be lead by Brian Rhodes from IPVM. In addition to leading several IPVM courses, Brian also heads up access control coverage and testing. Before coming to IPVM, Brian worked as an engineer, designer, and manager of access, video surveillance, and intrusion projects for a security integrator.
Brian will lead each session, with others from IPVM moderating questions and providing feedback on related IPVM research and testing.
At the end of classes, you will take a comprehensive final exam. If you pass, you will become IPMVU Access Control certified (see list of IPVM Certified Professionals).
The course price is $299 USD. This includes live on-boarding with an instructor, office hours, recorded classes, private class discussion group, personal help, examination and certification, if you pass.