Investigating The Implementation Of Magnetic Access Control Card Security System Within The Swaziland College Of Technology Community

1428 words - 6 pages

1. Introduction
Access control is the restriction of access to a building or area and it can be achieved by different means of physical security. Magnetic access control card system is one of the many ways of restricting access to a building or area. According to Oke et al. (2009), magnetic access control systems are used to control entry to a room or building and were developed to reduce prodigious amount of theft and fraud.

Magnetic access control card security systems use smart cards which are small plastic cards made out of Polyvinyl Chloride incorporating one or more integrated circuits within its thickness to store and transact data (Hendry, 2007). Types of smart cards include Subscriber Identity Modules (SIM) cards, magnetic stripe cards, dual interface cards and many more. Smart card systems were developed in 1973 by a Frenchman called Roland Marino and they were commercialized in 1981 (Hsiao et al., 2011).

Colleges and universities are the leading adopters of smart cards security systems application for security reasons. The University Utara Malaysia (UUM) was the pioneer adopter and implementer of this system among universities in Malaysia (Mohammad, 2011). According to Sivalingam (2009), among the most reputable universities that use smart card security systems in its premises include University of Cambridge and University of Ottawa.

Magnetic access control systems reduce unauthorised access to facilities. The information embedded in the card is reset only by authorities (Kumar et al., 2013). Non repudiation is also ensured since a card is issued to only one user. However, the magnetic access control system is relatively expensive to put into place. The card is subject to bend in unusual ways resulting to a permanent damage. Swaziland College of Technology (SCOT) is one of the higher learning institutions in Swaziland. Ever since the college was established, it is using campus security personnel and padlock keys to control access to main areas and buildings.
2. Problem Statement
Access to the campus is through the campus gates where there are campus security personnel. There are entrances to the college which are not guarded by security personnel. There is no proper barrier around the institution which makes the posting of security personnel at the main gates insignificant. Trespassers gain access to the college residential areas and learning centres to vandalize college property.

Trespassers cut the padlocks with bolt cutters and open them. Keys are duplicated and used to gain access to restricted areas and they are habitually lost as they are relatively small in size. Once a key is reported missing or duplicated, the door locking mechanism has to be replaced which costs the college dearly as several locking points are replaced each year.

This research seeks to investigate the implementation of a magnetic access control card security system within the SCOT community. It aims is to lessen the problems of security experienced...

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