One of the worst things that could happen to a business owner is having their access control system compromised, having records and files destroyed, or having personal and business information fall into the wrong hands.
A business security breach is dreadful, causing much loss of time, finances, and resources. An event that should never have to be experienced. Though, with ill-intentioned individuals, this is sadly a risk that business owners must take the proper precautions to prevent.
Implementing protection protocols is highly advised and that is why key card entry systems are becoming more prevalent in corporations to provide another layer of business security system
A hidden camera system and an alarm installation connected to an alarm company are helpful to deter intruders and malicious activity, as well as to help capture perpetrators.
An added layer of security is a key card access system, also known as key card entry control system.
The Key Card Entry Systems Explained
The key card entry system is an access control technology that helps ensure that those with the proper permissions will be the only ones accessing sensitive and classified materials and areas within the business.
The purpose of key card access systems is to only allow authorized personnel to access the campus of your building, the building itself, and certain areas within the building.
Businesses, doctor’s offices, schools, financial institutions, law offices, and law enforcement agencies are examples of establishments that have information and records that are not meant for public viewing and are required to be secured and protected.
A key card entry system is designed for the business or entity to limit or grant access to confidential materials by way of a plastic card that is equipped with a magnetic strip or chip that is read by a card reader installed on each door.
Each key card is encrypted with a credentialing code within the magnetic stripe or the chip. The card is either swiped and read by a swipe reader, inserted into an insert reader, or tapped onto the surface of a proximity reader.
The electronic reader on the door must recognize the encryption of the key card to grant access of entry to the individual.
Benefits of a Key Card Access Control System
Key card access control systems are a big step up from the traditional lock and key protection system. Door locks are vulnerable to tampering and picking to gain access by intruders.
Employees can keep keys or forget to turn them in if in the event they were terminated or resigned, thus requiring a lock changeover. A traditional key can fall into the hands of ill-intentioned individuals who could inflict harm to your organization.
Key card systems use electronic access control and will only open when a recognized code with the proper permissions is placed in or on the reader.
Through the use of a hidden video surveillance system, an alarm system, or with an alert on a mobile app from the key card system stating that access was granted at an off-hour. A security company who is monitoring the premises or the business owner can disable access at any time they feel the organization is being threatened.
Along these lines, if an employee loses the key card or is no longer with the company and still has possession of proximity cards, its permissions can be revoked to disable the magnetic stripe. This also saves time and money for the business owner and is more convenient and streamlined to implement.
Access and Security for Management and Employees
Smart cards have the utility of being reconfigured for different personnel and permissions. An employee may have received a promotion or needs to fill in for someone on vacation or sick. The custom badge can easily be recorded to allow certain permissions, as well as disable added permissions and other security features.
Employees appreciate the small size and weight of the key card as opposed to holding multiple key cards to access different locations. A key card can easily fit into a wallet or hang from a lanyard around the neck or on a retractable lanyard attached to the person for easy, lightweight access.
Employee Activity Can be Monitored
The keyless entry systems also provide an internal data log of which key cards, as assigned to each employee, have accessed certain areas on certain days and times. This is beneficial if suspicious activity is suspected. A recording of activity is available to help investigate any unusual or alarming events.
Employee Access Can be Time Limited
As an added security measure, key cards can have a limited-access timestamp as well. This can restrict access of employees to the building or certain areas within the building to specific hours of the day. This will help to limit any suspicious activity, as well as keep employees safe.
Access Control Systems Provide Multiple Services
If there is an emergency on the premises of the business, a control access unit has the functionality to put certain areas or the entire building on lockdown to secure the area.
Another added benefit is that control access systems can be configured to adjust other features and amenities in the building, such as the lights, air conditioning, and heating units. This decreases the overhead of the business and supports the well-being of the environment.
Your Options of Control Access Systems
As a business owner, it is important to know your options and the value and risks of them all.
There are two types of access control systems: Control Panel Systems and IP Systems.
- The control panels are hardwired to the system’s equipment which offers a more secure option.
- An IP system relies on a network connection via Ethernet or wireless, which offers a less secure option but provides the ability to install more door readers at a lesser cost than hardwired systems.
Per your company’s needs, there are a few options for the type of access control system you may want to consider, per the type of access restrictions that will be necessary.
- A security access protocol that grants the same access permissions to all employees, known as Discretionary Access Control.
- A security control access system that assigns specific allowance to areas on a per person basis is known as a Mandatory Access Control.
- Specific positions or roles within the company that is granted access to areas based on their job descriptions and the duties to be performed, known as the Role-Based Access Control.
How to Host your Control Access System
There are many options to host your control access system which will determine how the control system is managed and operated.
- Using a computer on the premise of the business, the control access system can be locally hosted and managed on-site through that workstation
- For more accessibility, a cloud-based system can also be utilized to manage the control access system from anywhere in or out of the building
- The control access system can be managed through an app on a smartphone
- The IoT (internet of things) system, which connects interrelated computer systems by way of unique identifiers to transfer data over a network without the need for an administrator to interact with the system
Keeping Your Business as Safe as Possible
Be aware that certain card access systems can be vulnerable to hackers. As revealed at a Black Hat Conference, a worldwide information security event focused on information security research, development, and trends in the security community, hackers have found an inexpensive and easy way to copy key card configurations to access businesses.
It was stated that key card access systems using the Wiegand protocol were deemed defenseless against hackers. As a business owner, it is highly recommended to do complete research on keycard access systems that have the most security. Also, stay up to date on the latest “hacker advances” and security protocols to prevent them from happening in your business.
Ways to Protect Your Security Protocols
There are methods to ensure the continued safety and security of your business by staying proactive with the control access system.
One method is known as the anti-passback control. This configuration in the control system will disable a key card from accessing the same area more than once.
In other words, the card can’t get “passed back” to other persons to gain access. This is limited by not allowing the same card to be used more than once within a certain time frame, by requiring a detected exit before re-entry, and the badge must be used in a consecutive entry and exit manner (entering and exiting in the same building).
Be informed of what is going on in your building, review all security systems for evidence of tampering, and check reports to see if anything unusual is detected. Staying informed with the security technology and protocols that are in place, and its effectiveness will keep you ahead of gaps that could allow for security breaches.
Maintain control over the control unit of the security systems. To prevent easy access for tampering, have all control units installed in secure locations.
There is always the option to hire a security consultant and perform yearly checks on the system. Your business is always changing, your security needs will change as well. The consultant can help along the way and advise best practices for the security you need.
Knowledge is power. Employee orientation with security protocols and systems will let them know that you mean business for the safety of the company, its assets, and the employees.
There are many benefits to installing a keycard access control system in your business, and of course, no system is perfect and will require education, updating or upgrading, and monitoring to maintain the level of security that is desired.
Your Local Security and Protection Team at Your Service
B&W Fire Security Systems is in the business of keeping people and their possessions safe from destruction. Providing security measures for businesses is an important area that takes them seriously and works diligently to implement the best safety and security methods for individual needs.
B&W Fire & Security Systems offer many services to residential and commercial sites, with immense knowledge on fire protection, alarm installation, hidden camera systems, medical alert and safety monitoring companies, and more. Your protection is their priority!