Different types of credentials also require different levels of bureaucracy to manage them effectively. Security managers need to consider how much time and budget they are willing to spend on the ongoing administration of the system. For example, systems using physical credentials like cards or tags usually come with a recurring replacement cost because people lose or damage their credentials.
Meanwhile, a keypad code costs nothing to replace, but might need to be changed on a more regular basis to reduce the risk of security breach. Security managers would then have to ensure all users are updated effectively each time the code is changed.
Do you need multi-use or multi-factor credentials?
Multi-use credentials are those which can be used at multiple entry points or for multiple purposes. For example, in an office building, you might be able to use an access card to unlock the front door, pay for food in the cafeteria, and access the gym. These systems prioritise the user’s convenience by reducing the amount of different credentials they need to carry or remember.
Multi-factor credentials refer to systems which require more than one credential to validate the identity of users. These systems prioritise security over convenience as they force users to present more than one credential before they can be granted access. High security systems commonly require multi-factor credentials. This might consist of presenting an access card and then inserting a PIN, or scanning a fingerprint and then an iris. Adding required validation methods to a system hugely decreases the likelihood of an intruder gaining unauthorised access by using false credentials.