American businesses today are susceptible to some of the scariest security breaches and threats imaginable. Mainly because they often do not have the knowledge or resources to secure their property properly. With advancements in technology and industries forming to combat these problems, you do have options for defense, but they can come at a hefty price. Many businesses can make their facilities more secure by fixing some errors (for free) that often go unnoticed. Today lets focus on one commonly overlooked security risk here in America, which is “access control/key management.”
Different industries require different levels of access management, but in any industry, keeping people out of unauthorized locations should be a top priority. Technology advancements such as “D.A.C.S (Door Access Control Systems)” make securing sensitive locations easy, but these are often unaffordable for the average business owner. If your facility is using traditional keys to gain access to secure locations, you can still easily manage access to these restricted areas.
Creating a key log is the best way to do this. Within the log include the employee's name and title. Then assign keys only to areas that this employee will need access to. Label the keys to these designated areas and issue them to the employee. By doing this you avoid the potential of presenting a employee with unecessary opportunities to violate company policies and/or the law. Businesses could potentially avoid problems by not using the “one key is easiest” mentality. I have been in large facilities that have only required 2 keys to gain access to virtually everything within the building. This offers incredible potential for crime to occur.
Next, regularly update this list. This list should be updated every time an employee changes positions, resigns/fired, or quits. This prevents an employee or ex-employee from gaining access into areas that they shouldn’t be in. Along with this point, do not allow employees to take keys home. Request that they sign their keys out at the beginning of their shift and sign them back in at the end of their shift. This prevents the keys from getting lost, stolen, key duplicates being made, and after hour breaches.
The last way to secure your building using proper access control techniques is to ponder what could happen if a “bad guy” enters your facility. Discuss with your leadership team what might happen if someone gets through the front door and by the front desk personnel. Where are they going to go? Could they easily gain access to the rest of the facility? These questions will allow you to create a safer environment for your clients, employees, and yourself.
A flawless access control plan is impossible to create, but noticing problems and making changes is a great first step. Businesses are often reactive when it comes to securing their facility. Proactive readiness will allow you to be a step ahead of those who attempt to do harm. The gains are priceless when it comes down to the safety of the lives that you serve and employee.
Next week we will discuss employee safety dangers.