Physical Access Control (PACS)is the restriction and granting of employees, customers and contractors access to a physical space within the business or organization by electronically authenticating their smart card or PIV credentials. This type of access control limits access to rooms, buildings and physical IT assets. In addition, physical access control keeps track of who is coming and going in restricted areas.
Physical access control can be achieved by a human (a guard, bouncer, or receptionist), through mechanical means such as locks and keys, or through technological means such as access control systems like the mantrap. Within these environments, physical key management may also be employed as a means of further managing and monitoring access to mechanically keyed areas or access to certain small assets.