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Controlling access using elevators

Security at many high-rise buildings is provided using a card access control system in the elevator. This system typically involves installing a card reader in the elevator, and making connections between the access control system and the elevator control system. The system is designed so that an access card is required to operate some or all of the floor selection buttons in the elevator car.

The access control system is typically programmed so that a user's card only works on the specific floors to which he or she requires access.

Mechanical Engineer

Social aspects of elevators

Most people who ride elevators unknowingly follow a set of unwritten rules regarding their use. These rules affect how you board the elevator, how you stand when in the elevator, and how you exit the elevator. Providing security controls on elevators is contrary to social norms and may create conflicts between doing what is good for security and doing what seems natural. In most cases, the desire to be polite overpowers any concerns about security, greatly weakening the level of security that can be provided by an elevator access control system.

Security vulnerabilities of elevators

There are numerous security vulnerabilities that exist when using elevator access control. Some of the ways that an intruder can compromise elevator security include:

  • Join the Group - People without a valid access card can enter the elevator car and ride to secured floors along with other passengers. Stepping on and off of elevators with other people is completely natural, and it is rare that anyone will stop and challenge a person getting off of an elevator on a secured floor. The busier the elevators, the bigger this problem becomes.

  • Go For a Ride - People rarely notice when another person stays on an elevator, assuming that they must be continuing on to another floor. This often allows an intruder to gain access to a specific secured floor by simply boarding an elevator and waiting until it is called to the desired floor. In a busy building, this can usually be accomplished by riding the elevator for just a few minutes.

  • Share a Card Swipe - Most interfaces between access control systems and elevator control systems are one-way only and don't provide feedback to the access control system when a floor selection button is pressed. When a user who has multi-floor access privileges uses his card, the selection buttons for all authorized floors become activated and remain activated for several seconds after his card is used. This allows a second person to "piggyback" on the access privileges of the first person by selecting a secured floor immediately after the first person has used his card.

Floor access that can be controlled by the system administrator who regulates what floors a card holder is allowed on.

You can opt for a singular control operation or integrate it into the building’s automation system and video surveillance system.

Control elevator and floor access for the entire facility through a security system that allows for expansion and adaptation.