In today’s economic climate, owners, directors, and shareholders are considerably more concerned with security and safekeeping than in the past. Since 2000, cyber-crime has increased over 20 times*. While cyber-crime is a significant sector of corporate security and protection, physical access to offices continues to be the number one security breach in most companies. Many times, the business internet and network security is top notch, but the physical access security is absolutely dreadful. This leads to unlawful access to information, valuables and other company secrets.
Access control systems are where loss prevention and protection must begin. Gone are the days of basic master key systems. Since controlling the access of individuals in and out of various parts of your company is often your first line of defense, a high quality access control system provides a vital core layer to safeguarding valuable company property. While other protection elements do a good job of detecting, alerting, and providing information after a security event has taken place, access control systems are meant to provide the primary role of prevention during the security cycle. Because of its preventative ability, businesses are realizing that access control significantly benefits their profitability.
Consider these questions:
- How many total keys are in circulation?
- What is the number of different keys are in your organization?
- Are you absolutely certain there is no unauthorized key usage?
- If someone misplaces his or her keys, what procedures are in place to ensure workplace safety?
- Does the key control system consider changes in personnel?
- With multiple facilities, do you have a security strategy for the overall organization and for each individual site?
- Who is mainly responsible for key maintenance in the company?
When you have a thorough comprehension of the answers to these questions, you can feel making the decision for electronic access control much simpler.
When considering your access control systems, you should grab your brass keys…. and toss them out. Something feels good about holding a ring of brass keys. Its mass can give you a sense of power over whom can enter your facility and where they’re allowed to go.
No matter what level of access control your company needs, your system should be engineered to match your specific company directives. Securing a location in today’s world demands more than locking the outside doors and windows. Nearly all businesses have zones requiring varying degrees of access, from high security locations such as research labs and server rooms to perimeter gates and routinely accessed storage cabinets. Economical access and key control for all areas of security throughout a location is a major benefit of an electronic lock systems. Additionally, companies that are required to comply with TSA, NERC-CIP, EPA, and HIPAA regulations can benefit from the system’s audit reporting of lock and key activity that provides vital information when investigating suspected security breaches.
The main thought is: What suitable controls can be placed on master keys? Even under the most deliberately managed key control protocol, variances exist, such as loaning of keys between personnel; too many and lost and stolen keys; excessive key levels; ineffective return procedures; and lack of personnel to service cylinders and keys. In addition, there is the cost and time incurred for locksmiths to service mechanical keys and locks.
Electronic access control reduces risk because it eliminates the need to mechanically re-key offices, saving time and money. An electronic system is easy to configure instantly to eliminate susceptibility, and to minimize risk and liability.
*—IC³ Internet incident reports from 2000-2010
About the Author
Derrel Allen is a technology adviser for a Fortune 100 company. He is also an entertainer and well sought after internet marketing consultant. You can read more about him at xaranews.