Even though access control normally keeps people safe, tragedies have revealed a significant issue. If users are forced to unlock doors for criminals, unsuspecting people inside are vulnerable.
But 'Duress Access' is a common, although overlooked, access system feature to combat the threat.
In this note, we examine the duress options for common types of access readers:
- Card Readers
And we address how opening design, closed access areas, and physical layering adds strength to perimeter access control for such risks.
Criminals Force Users To Unlock Doors
In general, once entry is made and the criminal is able to enter a building, the primary security boundary keeping people safe has been breached.
Forced entry has been an entry path for criminals in several events, notably in 2015's mass shooting inside French tabloid 'Charlie Hebdo', where active shooters forced an employee holding her child to enter her door PIN code at gunpoint in order to gain access.
Once inside, they murdered 10 people. Armed Responders only arrived in force at the scene more than 30 minutes after the killers fled.
The overall risk includes less violent acts, including theft or burglaries, where armed bandits wait for unsuspecting users as they key in codes or present cards, only to force Tailgating into a facility to commit crimes.
Vulnerability Even In High-Security Deployments
Access control only works when credentials are protected and unable to be misused. Making sure the doors and openings are protected is not enough.