Security has always been a priority in businesses. The traditional lock and key are great, but they are no longer a deterrent to determined thieves. That is why many companies are transitioning to more sophisticated locking mechanisms, such as keyless access control systems.
If you haven't already installed one, you should. Adapting to technological advancements can help secure your company's future growth. So let's learn more about the different keyless entry systems and how each one works to help you find the right access control solution for your company.
What Is Keyless Access Control?
Although the name itself is self-explanatory, there is more to keyless entry systems than meets the eye. This is especially true with the continuously expanding technological environment. There are many different ways keyless access can be used. In fact, you may have already been using one in your day-to-day life, such as when entering your car or home.
In a commercial setting, keyless systems are used for securing buildings. They allow authorized people to enter a building or restricted area without using a physical key. Aside from eliminating the need for traditional keys, they also provide a more efficient way of managing and tracking employee access and attendance. This data will come in handy for payroll purposes.
How Do They Work?
A keyless entry system is a way to open a door or enter a building without using a physical key. Instead, you use a code, a key fob, a card, or even your own fingerprints to unlock the door. It is like using a digital key instead of a physical one.
Some keyless entry systems also record the entry in a log, which can be used to track employee attendance and identify potential security breaches. If somebody enters an incorrect code or tries to fake biometric data, the system will not grant access and may also trigger an alarm or alert security personnel.
These systems are typically more secure than traditional key-based systems as they are more challenging to replicate. Access can easily be revoked if they get lost or stolen. Plus, keyless entry systems are easy to use and maintain. They can also be integrated with other security systems to provide a comprehensive security solution.
The Importance of Keyless Access Control Systems to Businesses
Employee theft is a common problem among businesses of all sizes. It can significantly impact a company's bottom line. A University of Florida study revealed that 75% of employees admitted to stealing from their employer at least once. Most of these thefts were committed by employees who have been with the company for at least a year.
Burglaries are another problem in businesses, especially in areas with high crime rates. But businesses of all types and sizes can be vulnerable to burglaries, regardless of their location. In fact, 34% of all burglaries that occur in a year affect small businesses.
Using a keyless entry system can help prevent such things from happening. For starters, it would be extremely hard for intruders to break in when there is such a sophisticated lock in place. You can also limit access to sensitive areas to specific personnel only. This makes it more difficult for employees to steal company assets.
Key cards have unique identifiers with the user's credentials, so you know who accessed which room and at what time. You could also integrate your access control with other security systems, such as your alarm and CCTV. This can help enhance security by providing real-time monitoring and alerts of unauthorized access attempts.
Five Types of Keyless Entry Systems
There are many different kinds of electronic door entry systems. Not all of them will integrate well with your workflow, so you need to find the right access control solution for your company. The first step is understanding how each one works.
Keypads require users to enter a unique PIN code into the keypad to gain entry. The codes can be assigned to individuals, groups, or departments and can be changed or revoked as needed. The system also allows businesses to set different access levels for different users. This way, some individuals may have access to all areas of the building, while others may only have access to specific ones.
Some businesses prefer this type of entry system as it is easy to use and maintain. It doesn't require any special training to operate. Although it is an affordable and user-friendly option, it comes with a few drawbacks.
For starters, it doesn't provide audit trails. With a whole department using the same PIN, there is no way of knowing who entered which room. Plus, the codes can easily be shared with anyone, even unauthorized personnel.
Codes also need to be changed regularly, especially if someone resigns. This might confuse the employees. It is already hard enough to remember one PIN code. What more if it keeps changing?
2. Key Fob
A key fob is a small device typically used to control access to a vehicle, but commercial spaces can also use them to secure the premises. They are so small that they can easily be fitted into a keychain and carried in a wallet or purse.
A key fob typically contains a microchip or a small radio transmitter that sends a unique signal to a reader or a receiver. All the user has to do is bring it within range of the reader to gain access.
Installation and implementation are pretty straightforward. The key fobs themselves are also very easy to program. But they need to be managed individually, which could take a lot of time if you have a lot of employees.
Another drawback is that key fobs can easily be stolen or borrowed. So even if they are programmed with a unique identification number, it is still hard to tell if the owner of the key fob was the one who actually used it. The whole system isn't very expensive compared to more sophisticated systems. But replacement expenses can add up real quick when they are not returned or lost.
3. Key Cards
Key cards are the most commonly used traditional keyless entry system. Each card is assigned a unique identification number. Because of that, they can also double as employee badges. The system will record who entered the building when a user logs in. This makes it a great way to track employee attendance.
A single key card can also be programmed to access multiple rooms. So, there is no need to give your employees a bunch of keys for each door they have to go through, making it a more efficient and convenient security option.
But, like key fobs, they can also get stolen or borrowed. It is also not uncommon for guests or employees to forget to return them when they leave. Plus, they can easily get damaged if bent, scratched, or exposed to water or heat.
The two most common types of this system are proximity cards and smart cards. They work pretty much the same way, but they have some key differences. Proximity cards are an inexpensive option but offer basic access control features.
On the other hand, smart cards use more sophisticated technology and offer additional features and security. But they are also more expensive.
A biometrics access control system uses unique biological characteristics, such as fingerprints, facial recognition, or an iris scan to grant access to a building. This type of system is highly secure and almost impossible to replicate. This makes it a great option for businesses that need to protect sensitive information or valuable assets, such as federal buildings, data centers, and financial institutions.
This is usually used together with a PIN code or key card to add another layer of security to an existing keyless security system. But biometric systems are very expensive. They are also extremely complicated to set up and manage. That is why not a lot of businesses use them.
5. Mobile Access Control
Mobile users are increasing year after year. It is even estimated that there will be 7.6 billion smartphone users globally in 2027. With so many people owning phones, it was only a matter of time before they became access control devices themselves.
With mobile access control, you no longer need to provide your employees with keys or cards. Their phone is the key. So it is a more cost-effecting entry system solution. It is also very easy to use. Users only need to log into an app and tap their phones on the door reader. The system will then check the user's encrypted key in the cloud and either deny or grant access in real-time.
Mobile systems use different technologies, such as Bluetooth, NFC, and QR codes to secure access. These technologies allow secure, contactless communication between the mobile device and the access point, reducing the risk of unauthorized access.
Aside from the technology behind the system, mobile phones have their own security features, such as a facial ID or a fingerprint scanner. This gives the system an extra layer of security. Employees are also less likely to lend their phones to someone as they would with a key card.
Another unique advantage is you don't have to be present to share access. You can share access remotely. You can just send the right digital code straight to someone's phone. But it isn't just for physical access. You can also use it to safeguard sensitive digital data.
Six Signs Your Keyless Entry System Needs Updating
Is your keyless entry system still providing you with your security needs? These six signs will tell you when it is time to upgrade yours.
1. You Experience Never-Ending Technical Issues
If the system is constantly malfunctioning or not working properly, it can cause delays and inconveniences for employees and customers. It can also cause security vulnerabilities, leaving your business at risk for unauthorized access. Additionally, constant repairs and maintenance on a faulty system can be costly in the long run. Investing in a reliable access control system may be more cost-effective, even if the initial investment is high.
2. Your System Lacks Certain Security Features
Not all electronic door access systems offer features such as audit trails, real-time monitoring, or integration with other security systems. But these are essential for ensuring office security. Being able to assess security issues in real-time is a sign of a good keyless entry system, as it helps keep your office safer and more secure. So if yours doesn't provide these features, it may be time to update your system to a new one.
3. Your system Uses Outdated Technology
Keyless access control technology is constantly evolving. Older systems may be unable to keep up with the latest advancements in security. An outdated system may also not be able to integrate with new technologies or devices. It may leave your system vulnerable to hacking or other security breaches.
Upgrading to a newer keyless entry system can provide better security features such as encryption, biometric authentication, and remote management capabilities.
4. Your System Lacks Scalability
As a business grows, the number of employees, customers, and visitors accessing the building also increases. Your entry system should be able to accommodate the increase in users without compromising security. If you can't easily add or remove uses and access points as needed, you may need to upgrade your system. Make sure to choose a future-proof system that can adapt to changes at any time.
5. Your Staff Is Spending Too Much Time on Your System
One of the most common complaints about commercial electronic door access systems is the constant need to replace lost key cards. Instead of doing more productive tasks, your staff ends up spending hours issuing new badges and setting up new permissions. Upgrading to a mobile access system can help streamline the process, eliminating these problems.
6. You Are Managing Keyless Access to Different Buildings Separately
Many keyless entry systems require onsite maintenance, so if your business is located in different buildings, you will need tech people stationed at each location or a team who can travel between facilities to manage the system.
For organizations with multiple locations, upgrading to a cloud-based keyless entry system is a more practical solution. This way, your staff can manage access control and maintenance remotely. This will save everyone a lot of time and effort.
Keyless entry systems are a valuable investment for any business looking to improve security and streamline access control in the workplace. With a range of options available, from biometric technology to mobile-based solutions, there is an option that can meet the needs of any organization.
These systems provide a secure and efficient way to manage access to your business. Investing in a keyless access control system can help keep your business safe and your employees productive.