How Secure is Your Access Control System?June 8, 2020 No Comments
Featured article by Taha Malik, Independent Technology Author
Ensuring employee protection and safety is an increasing concern for companies and businesses across the U.S. Due to Covid-19, safety and security requirements, including recommended CDC guidelines, are changing all the time. As many companies prepare to return to work, it’s more critical than ever to create secure and safe spaces and that begins with access control. From mitigating burglary and theft to ensuring hygienic protocols are in place, company owners are realizing the growing need for a safe and secure access control system.
Secure access control systems help eliminate the risk that someone will have unauthorized access to a building or workplace, which is an increasing concern as many offices sit empty and employees work from home. The primary purpose of an access control system is to allow entry to authorized users and deny entry to those who aren’t permitted to enter. But do you know that breaching an access control system involves a product that costs less than $20? That product can easily and quickly clone keycards.
So, just how secure is your current access control system? In this article, we will help you identify where you can improve the safety and security measures in place to ensure every asset is protected.
Existing Problems With Access Control Systems
Key cards, PIN pads, and biometric fingerprint scanners are perfect sanctuaries for germs and viruses to hide and spread. But that’s not the only problem legacy systems have. They are also insecure and cumbersome to use and manage.
Key cards can be lost, stolen, or cloned. PINs can be shared or forgotten. With these systems, it is difficult and wasteful to reset PINs, enroll and remove users, manage different levels of access, and extend the system to multiple locations. The more recent mobile-based access control systems solve the problems of scalability and multisite single dashboard management, however, they don’t have a built-in facial recognition feature, which might be a big handicap in the post-pandemic world.
The lack of facial recognition makes it difficult to manage employee attendance and implement meaningful two-factor authentication at sensitive entry points. There’s always a risk of tailgating, people signing in on behalf of others, or someone illegally entering the office using a stolen card or phone.
Adjusting Security to the New Normal
Security and facilities teams are tasked with the critical job of reevaluating what safety and security looks like in the workplace moving forward — and what the plan will be. Cushman and Wakefield’s “Recovery Readiness: A How-to Guide for Reopening your Workplace,” outlines some of the best thinking and practices that more than 53,000 professionals have compiled across the globe. The guide details the “Safe Six” Checklist, a handful of operational guiding principles to help navigate the return to the workplace.
1. Prepare the Building
2. Prepare the Workforce
3. Control Access
4. Create a Social Distancing Plan
5. Reduce Touchpoints & Increase Cleaning
6. Communication for Confidence
When considering security’s role in implementing safety in the workplace, access control is a top priority. The following checklist details critical points to consider when evaluating what will increase safety in offices moving forward.
- Security staff may need to help create social distancing, perhaps by marking floors early on and policing for improper activity
- Technology, like Swiftlane Health Check, offers tools to return to work safely by implementing employee temperature checks, capacity planning for social distancing, and staggered work schedules
- Consider installing or at least trialing touchless access control, typically via biometrics; assess the various biometrics such as face recognition, voice, iris, retina, gait, etc.
- Weigh the cost vs benefit of removing doors within access controlled areas to decrease objects that staff must touch vs maintaining barriers to enhance social distance between staff members
- Ensure that the IT infrastructure is robust, secure, and scalable; now might be a good time to invest in improvements