Two Approaches to Key Control at Your Business
Prevent lost or duplicated keys from compromising your security with two proven key control strategies.
If you conduct any portion of your business online—even if it’s just storing sensitive documents—you’re probably pretty vigilant about your cyber security. But when was the last time you really thought deeply about your physical security?
If you’re like many business owners, your security may be at the mercy of one very low-tech device: the humble mechanical key.
Just think about how many important doors could be opened at your business if the wrong person got a hold of a key: the outer door, the doors to inventory or supply rooms, the doors to executive offices where important files are stored, perhaps even the door to your server room where all your vital—and expensive—computer equipment resides.
Fortunately, you can take steps to update your key control policies and protect your business against unauthorized access. There are two main strategies, and at RBM Lock & Key we can help you implement either one at your business.
Mechanical Key Control
The first strategy is to make sure you have a system in place to track and control all your key copies and ensure no one can duplicate them without your knowledge. This will require taking the following steps:
Choosing a patented keying system: Most keys can be copied by anyone with the right tools, such as an employee at your local hardware store. However, with a patented keying system, the key copy blanks are only available to locksmiths who have contracts with the lockset manufacturers. Because locksmiths will not copy keys (especially keys marked Do Not Duplicate) without proper authorization, this virtually eliminates the risk of an unscrupulous employee copying their keys without permission.
Developing a master key system: Depending on your needs, it may be desirable to set up your locks so that a few people have master keys that can unlock all your doors, while most employees have keys that will open the front door but not other more sensitive areas of the business.
Rekeying your locks: Assuming you already have quality locks in place on all your doors, you will probably be able to upgrade to your new key system simply by changing out the cores of the locks, rather than replacing all the locks entirely.
Tracking all key copies: Once you have your new system set up to your satisfaction, you won’t have to worry about duplicated keys, but you may still be at risk from lost or stolen keys. This is why you will need to keep careful track of who has been issued a key. You may also want to make employees sign key holder agreements to help ensure they return their keys promptly if their employment ends.
Electronic Access Control
If you don’t like the idea of worrying about key copies, electronic access control systems offer an excellent alternative. With these systems, employees are issued PIN codes or keycards rather than metal keys. You can adjust the settings to make sure employees can only open the doors you authorize them to. The codes or cards can easily be canceled if lost or otherwise compromised, or if an employee leaves the company. Installing an electronic access control system does require a larger upfront investment since you will need to upgrade to electronic locks.
Ready to Improve Your Key Control?
If you would like advice about key control or assistance selecting and installing new locks, please call your friendly neighborhood commercial locksmiths at RBM Lock & Key now.