Physical access control vs. logical access control
While physical access control is the restriction of access to a certain building or space, that often isn’t enough protection in today’s world. A locked door is a pretty good way to keep unwanted people out of a space, but how can you make sure the right people have access to your data? That’s where logical access control comes in. While physical access control systems employ credentials like keycards, key fobs, or mobile credentials to restrict, allow and manage who can enter a space or building, logical access control takes security one step further by requiring identity authorization, and using processes like entry schedules and entry requirements to limit access.
In other words, there are two requirements to gain entry: something you have, and something you know. Something you have might be a keycard or fob, and something you know will be a more personal identifier that is harder for another person to obtain, like a PIN code, password, or facial ID.
Advanced physical access control systems, for example, will use this multi-factor authentication method by combining a physical barrier, like a gate, door or a turnstile, with a user authorization credential, like a password or biometric scan, to ensure only authorized individuals have access to high-security areas. Using a mobile credential for access can automatically incorporate the extra protection of logical access control. Your smartphone requires a password, fingerprint or FaceID to unlock, which makes it harder for would-be criminals to gain entry — they would need to have possession of the phone and be able to unlock it, just to get through the door. When it comes to protecting your data, using physical access control systems that employ multi-factor authentication is the first step in a comprehensive cybersecurity plan in the digital age.