While many things are shifting to digital solutions, physical keys are still widely used and relevant in many industries. While the keys may stay physical, through technology we can manage them efficiently.
The quick provisioning and de-provisioning of large systems were made possible by the rise of digital access control. A digital ID card, for instance, may be configured to unlock only the doors to which an employee is given access. If the status of the worker changes, this ID card can be conveniently re-provisioned. But with this ease is the increased susceptibility of these locking and access control systems to hacking.
Hacking into an IP device allows connections to and every device on a whole network. Now anybody who has access to your IP network can open and lock any system door. It is now possible for them to easily walk in and out of university labs, hospital's medicine room, and server rooms in data centres to steal valuable items.
Since physical keys can't be hacked, they provide a distinct advantage in a society where digital locks have become the norm. Hackers will not have a chance to remotely get access to your network and unlock your doors.
What are Key Management Systems?
In the past years, key control and management systems have evolved dramatically and for a good purpose, considering the improved safety, information, productivity, and cost-efficient benefits that they provide to businesses.
Key management is the method of managing which locations and properties can be accessed within an organization, deciding who can get access to them and when. The system can also document various details on how keys are being used, which depends on the specific risks or legal needs of an organization.
There are several techniques on how key management systems can be implemented. Some companies use a basic pegboard and a logbook to handle their keys. Others use digital key management systems to acquire more control or intelligence.
So what are key control systems, and how exactly do they function?
Essentially, they are devices that help protect and monitor the usage of card keys, mechanical keys, as well as other essential things such as mobile phones or important documents.
A basic key control system consists of an electronic key cabinet, a key locking device, and a monitoring system. In more sophisticated key management systems, every keyring has a fob connected to it which enables the electronic key cabinet to monitor if a key has been extracted or restored.
The tamper-proof systems are built in a way that only approved users may access keys or properties, using pre-programmed PIN codes, access cards, or biometrics, while on-board sophisticated technology instantly records each access operation.
Based on this structure, it is possible to incorporate multiple choices and modifications in design to customize the system and help protect assets as the requirements change. Management tools can also be integrated into the framework for networked implementations. Permit conditions for each individual user can be set, and data can be tracked from any device connected to the system.
When interconnected, modifications like additions or removals are coordinated for quicker, more efficient control across the organization. In addition, the program can also run activity records, sorting based on various views and parameters, and print these reports as well.
Important records, money, user access cards, hard drives, or even small electronic equipment can also be monitored and protected using electronic lockers or modules built into a key management system. The systems are consistent in design for protecting both keys and assets. Users may access objects only from the lockers or modules to which they were pre-authorized. Any action is automatically reported in an audit trail, which includes retrieving or restoring objects or accessing lockers or modules.
The complexity of the key control and asset management systems nowadays indicates they offer a wide range of advantages. These systems are now a greater-level management resource designed to efficiently manage the security and protection of the occupants in a building as well as for effective asset protection. Having knowledge about the identity of approved key holders, what keys they carry, and have access to, and when they use these keys are all important bits of information that could help in keeping the environment secure and safe.
Moreover, technical advances and accessible protocols have allowed the integration of key management with access control as well as other security systems as a component of the networked security system of a facility. Unless the key is restored, a user who has removed a particular key will be refused exit from the building. Designated administrators can also be notified by SMS text or email once a key hasn't been given back on time.
There are many benefits to using a key management system, which includes controlling risks, optimizing processes, reducing costs, and preventing losses. No wonder these systems have become an operational necessity in all kinds of applications that manage keys or other important properties.
The systems are used by businesses and organizations, ranging from hospitals to educational facilities, car dealerships, casinos, property management, and correctional institutions. Key control also has a vital role in managing security in corporate buildings, conference centres, government departments, automotive businesses, and control rooms.
Due to the tangible benefits of improved safety and convenience, key management systems may be used in businesses of any size. It does more than just keeping keys secure. It can also improve the overall workflow of the organization or facility.