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anti passback in access control

Anti-passback in Access Control

Everything You Need to Know About This Access Control Feature.

What is

Anti-passback is a security feature in access control systems that prevents users from gaining access to a secured area twice with a single authorization.

In an access control system with anti-passback enabled, a user's access credential is only valid for one entry to a specific area. When the user enters that area, the system records the time and location of the entry, and the credential is "checked out" by the system. The user must then exit the area using an authorized exit point, which the system also records. Once the user has exited, the credential is "checked in" by the system and is once again available for use.

Types of Anti-Passback

Hard Anti-passback

This form of anti-passback constitutes a tangible implementation designed to hinder a user from re-entering a restricted area until they have properly exited through a specified exit point.


The implementation of hard anti-passback involves the utilization of sensors or other physical devices to monitor the user's entry and exit from a secured zone. Following entry into the secure area, re-entry is prohibited until the user has exited through the designated exit point.


This particular anti-passback approach is commonly employed in high-security environments, such as data centers or research laboratories.

Soft Anti-passback

This form of anti-passback is a software-based implementation, relying on logic to enforce anti-passback policies. Soft anti-passback, unlike its rigid counterpart, offers greater flexibility by permitting exceptions and adjustable configurations as necessary. It is commonly employed in commercial or industrial environments where security demands may be more adaptable.


Both hard and soft anti-passback systems play a crucial role in guaranteeing that access to restricted areas is restricted to authorized individuals and is executed in a controlled and secure manner.

Timed Anti-Passback

This variant of an anti-passback system within access control imposes restrictions on a user's ability to re-enter a secure area within a specified timeframe, irrespective of the presence of an exit reader.

In the case of timed anti-passback, after a user has entered a secure area, they are prohibited from re-entering using the same access credential (such as a card or PIN) for a predetermined period, even if they have not yet exited. This feature serves to deter "piggybacking," where a second individual attempts to gain entry by using the same access credential as the first person.

Timed anti-passback finds frequent application in areas characterized by a high risk of security breaches or where close monitoring of access is crucial, such as in data centers, laboratories, or other secure facilities. By restricting the frequency of access for each user, timed anti-passback contributes to thwarting unauthorized entry and ensures that only authorized individuals can access and exit a secure area.

Local Anti-Passback

This represents another variant of an anti-passback system within access control, functioning independently for each controller within the access control system.

Each controller in the system oversees access to a specific set of doors, and the Local APB feature enables the establishment of distinct anti-passback rules for different controllers. For instance, one can implement hard anti-passback for the doors managed by Controller A and soft anti-passback for those under the jurisdiction of Controller B. This capability enhances flexibility and allows for tailored access control policies.

In essence, local anti-passback proves to be a valuable feature in access control systems, especially within expansive or intricate environments where diverse areas necessitate varying levels of security or customized access control measures.

Global Anti-Passback

This represents another variant of an anti-passback system in access control, functioning akin to Local Anti-Passback but with a comprehensive reach encompassing all controllers within the system.

With Global APB, the anti-passback rule is universally applicable across all controllers in the access control system. This proves advantageous in maintaining consistency in access control policies and security measures throughout all areas and doors in the system.

Similar to Local APB, Global APB offers the capability to reset the rule for users as required. This feature empowers administrators to modify anti-passback policies and adjust access control measures to meet evolving security needs.

In summary, Global Anti-Passback stands as a robust feature for access control systems, particularly in expansive or intricate environments where a uniform approach to security and access control policies holds significant importance.

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