The challenge of securing public buildings, which are particularly vulnerable to terrorism or vandalism and where access is required by a variety of people, has arguably never been greater than it is today, asserts Nick Dooley. Businesses need their property, assets, staff, service providers and customers to operate in a safe and secure environment, all backed up by a robust and traceable access control solution.
On that basis, the next generation of security devices must therefore reach ever-higher standards of system intelligence, flexibility and security, while also delivering value for money. Having software at the heart of the solution in order to provide the highest possible levels of security and efficiency is extremely important.
Based on unique technology, key-centric access management is built with the end user in mind. It’s based around three elements: a smart key, electronic cylinders and a unique software suite providing robust and traceable access control. Each smart key is unique, impossible to duplicate and re-programmable, enabling it to open one or all access points and, in the event of loss or theft, such keys can be swiftly disabled.
An electronic access control solution holds authorisation information for any number of sites, including approval based on time, date and location.
The most surprising thing about this solution is that no cables are needed, giving it unrivalled reliability. The lock (also known as the cylinder) doesn’t require electrical power or batteries, much less a connection to send information, which means that it can be installed on any door (as you would a mechanical lock) without maintenance requirements. The secret is in the key, with permissions stored within it. If you have authorisation for that lock, it will open. If you don’t, you will not be allowed to enter and all of the activity carried out by the key will be recorded.
Why is traceability important?
With high volumes of people entering and exiting different areas of a public building, it’s important to be able to trace who has been where, when and for how long. Advanced software suites can provide access to all operations performed by end users, including a complete audit trail. This information is often used by business owners or managers for audits, improvements or compliance.
Security managers can update permissions from a computer or, even more conveniently, using an app on a mobile phone at the time of access, which will update a key’s permissions via Bluetooth. This delivers increased flexibility and higher levels of security.
Access rights can be set at any time and on any day, and can allow access on just one specific occasion. The rules for granting permissions are infinite and easily customisable, and the system is very efficient when they are applied. As a result, the system is highly flexible and adapted to suit any number of different business models and infrastructures, not just those resident within public spaces.
What makes this solution really smart is what’s behind all of this: the software that manages access. It can be used from a powerful, but simple web-based access manager or through personalised software that’s integrated within a company’s existing software solution to automatically include information.
In some businesses, the access management system will help to further improve service levels by integrating it with the customer information system, allowing linkage, for instance, with alarm or intrusion management systems.
Nick Dooley is Managing Director of LOCKEN UK