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Access Control and Personal Identification Systems.

Access Control and Personal Identification Systems

In the world of access control and personal identification systems, nearly 200 firms are involved in researching, developing, and manufacturing various components and systems. Considering that the number of businesses that label, package, and sell the efforts of the core 200 exceeds tens of thousands worldwide, the security practitioners' responsibility to understand this area of technology is immense. Many publications and associations provide bits and pieces of the puzzle at best. Complete up-to-date texts and manuals are rare. To complicate this dilemma further, the technology is growing so rapidly that last year's text is now out of date.

Bowers claims that his text serves a number of purposes: to be a primer for businesspersons, executives, and managers who seek clarity on access control issues; to offer guidelines to the various access control tasks; and to serve as a ready reference on the art of access control. These claims are realistic. With the exception of a few minor technical errors, this effort may well be the first true primer on access control.

This text is worthwhile because it represents not only the history of the art but a layperson's description of access control in the past, present, and future. Those of us who thirst for a good textbook have only found texts intended to please engineers and consultants. This effort is the best starting point to the subject of access control that I have found.

The author thoroughly covers the subject. Despite his claims in the beginning of the book that the history of this subject may be a bit too much, the lessons learned from the past are extremely beneficial to the reader. While chapters two to four are written in true textbook fashion, they are written for the layperson, and chapters five to seven offer a wealth of information without losing the reader in specifications and technical jargon. The remaining chapters were dedicated to the selection process and fundamentals of procurement.

If you were to ask who would most enjoy or benefit from this book, clearly the answer would be nontechnical personnel. To the engineer, the book lacks detail, but to those of us who worry if we are making the right decision, the text is right on target. Security directors, instructors, and novices will be at home with this book.

Bowers has done more than he set out to do in this book. By intent or by accident, he has provided us with our first primer on this subject. This text is written for us all. His language is at our level, and as we read, we learn.
COPYRIGHT 1989 American Society for Industrial Security
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1989 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Barry, Joseph A.
Publication:Security Management
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Feb 1, 1989
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