Part of today’s office IT manager’s role is to be responsible for managing a broad range of risks, including unauthorized access, key cloning, physical or digital theft, and data breaches, as well as ensuring employee privacy and security.
But without the right systems in place, this can be a difficult task — with many opportunities for things to go wrong. We’ve looked at some of the key door security challenges faced by office IT managers and how smart access control systems can help to mitigate them.
Loss or theft of smart cards
One of the most obvious risks to office security is the loss, theft, or copying of smart cards used to access different areas of the premises. Office managers are required to keep track of which cards are in circulation at a given time but need to rely on staff to report, hopefully ASAP, any lost or stolen cards — which may not always happen. Managers generally don’t have a real-time view of who is using smart cards and when they are used — instead, they have to pull log files after the fact to identify unusual access patterns. And it’s difficult to quickly revoke specific card access.
With a smart access control system such as those offered by Lockly, IT managers have much more visibility and granular control over smart card use. They can view which smart cards are in use at any given time and which doors, areas, or zones those cards have access to — all from a central online dashboard, accessible either on-site or remotely. Within a few clicks, they can disable or revoke access for specific cards, allowing them to respond quickly to any security issues.
Many companies and offices have valuable assets, such as equipment, files and confidential materials, that need to be secured against unauthorized access and/or theft. Controlling who has access to specific areas can be difficult using traditional key or keycard entry systems — there’s always the risk of keys or cards going missing or being copied.
Smart access control systems allow office IT managers to adopt a zonal system that tags certain areas (such as equipment storerooms) as high-security zones so that any entry or exit to those areas produces an alert, allowing security staff to review and investigate if needed. Access can be limited by role so that, for example, only management-level employees can gain entry to particularly sensitive areas, and access permissions can be cycled and reissued on a periodic basis.
A common security issue that office IT managers need to control is the presence on site of temporary visitors. Throughout a normal working day, offices may receive multiple visits from delivery people, cleaning staff, maintenance workers, etc. Traditionally it has been difficult to balance the need for security with the access requirements of these temporary visitors. Visitors either need to be monitored by security or an employee the whole time they are on-site or have strict key handover procedures on entry and exit — and both scenarios are time-consuming and expensive, especially for smaller companies.
Smart access control systems like Lockly’s Total Access solution make managing temporary visitors much easier, allowing office managers to grant visitors unsupervised access while maintaining a secure environment. They can grant access using a revokable e-badge which the visitor receives on a smartphone app, giving them access to only the areas they need in order to do their work, and only for a set period of time.
As with physical assets, the protection of virtual assets — i.e., sensitive or personal data is a key part of the office IT manager’s remit and vital for the company’s compliance with data protection legislation. That means having a comprehensive overview and full control of exactly who has access to servers or computer equipment where this data is stored, which has traditionally proven challenging in busy organizations.
Smart access control systems make this much easier to achieve, with managers able to use zonal controls, access alerts, and at-a-glance views of which individuals are entering sensitive areas to ensure that only those employees with the correct authorization can gain entry to server or data storage facilities. Furthermore, historical logs can be pulled at any time for traceability and reporting.
Update your software, not your lock
With traditional keycard entry systems, individual locks may have to be updated manually, which means a technician has to physically visit each lock to change access controls or settings. This makes it difficult to respond quickly in the event of a security breach or alert and means that any significant update to the system as a whole involves a substantial time and cost investment.
Smart access control systems like those designed by Lockly receive over-the-air (OTA) updates, which can be reviewed in the central web-based control panel by an office IT manager and then rolled out immediately to the network of Internet-connected locks, card readers, or biometric scanners which make up the system. That means that system updates can be completed within seconds rather than days.
It’s hard to ignore the benefit
Smart access control systems offer a number of specific advantages to office IT managers in securing their premises against theft, unauthorized access, and security breaches. Put simply, they can be grouped into three main benefits:
- They save significant amounts of time, both for the manager and by reducing the need for manual work from technicians.
- They give managers more control — with a central dashboard offering the ability to configure zones, permissions, and alerts within a few clicks.
- They save money – both by reducing the amount of work involved in meeting today’s security challenges and preventing losses to the company from theft or other criminal activity.