Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Preventing Insider Theft: How to Keep Your Cars From Being Stolen Straight off Your Lot

A man in a mask breaking into a carSeveral car dealerships at an auto mall in Daytona Beach, FL are re-evaluating their security and staff accountability safeguards due to the weekly disappearance of cars from their lots.

During the investigation, police found that the problem resided in poor key control practices. They determined that the thieves most likely had easy access to keys (which pointed to an inside job).

With 500 employees working at the auto mall, the dealership realized that nailing down the culprits wouldn't be an easy task.

Keeping track of employees' access to keys at your dealership — especially when insider theft is becoming an issue — can be a daunting task if you don't have an automatic, verifiable system in place to help you.

By storing keys on a traditional pegboard or inside a desk drawer, you're giving personnel unlimited and unmonitored access to every car on your lot and therefore can't hold your staff accountable. However, with an electronic key control system, you can easily and quickly identify (and deter) dishonest employees.

Automatic key control systems only allow personnel with valid passcodes, proximity cards or fingerprints to check out keys, creating a verifiable record that you can use to track employees' key activity. You'll know when an individual took a key and returned it, making employees more accountable and less likely to use keys for criminal purposes.

To prevent key control related theft at your dealership, learn more about the benefits of electronic key control.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Four Layers of Physical Security

Icons representing various types of security
Businesses are constantly at risk of theft, particularly when their physical assets aren't fully secure.

The best way to keep thieves at bay is to break down security into four layers: deterrence, access control, detection and identification.

To help you protect your property and prevent theft, here are four ways an electronic key control system can enforce all four of these security objectives. 


By placing your keys in a secure key control system made of heavy-duty materials like steel, you can help prevent criminals from gaining access to high-security rooms or assets. 

An electronic key control system that requires employees to log in by entering a unique password, swiping a proximity card or scanning their fingerprint will also make it more difficult for employees to commit internal theft. Some systems will even automatically record the times employees take and return keys, creating a real-time verifiable audit trail.

Access Control

Chances are you enforce some level of access control for your facility, but if you’re not monitoring who can access your keys and high-value assets, you could be missing a vital layer of security. By implementing a key control system to manage your business’s keys, you can limit which keys are available to users based on job function, time of day and even days of the week so you can prevent employees from accessing restricted areas and items after hours.


If you're currently using manual key control, such as a pegboard or lockbox, you have no way of detecting the exact moment a key has been requested by an unauthorized user or has exceeded its time limit. By implementing an electronic key control system, you can choose triggers to sound an alarm or send a text or email to the system administrator. Such triggers include unauthorized users attempting to access the system, overdue keys or a system drawer being left open for too long. By alerting you of any suspicious activity, your system is keeping you and your assets protected the instant they may be compromised.


Employee accountability only goes so far. By using a key control system with a video camera and biometric fingerprint reader, you can eliminate the risk of password sharing and identify who accesses the system.

Adding a motion-activated video camera to your key control system will allow you record any person who approaches the system, even if the person doesn't attempt to log on.

While a video camera can help you recognize faces, a fingerprint reader will distinguish individuals on a biometric level. The system will only unlock for a registered fingerprint from an authorized user and since no two fingerprints are alike, you’ll know exactly who’s accessing your system.

With an electronic key control system you can meet these four security goals, know where your keys are and make sure your business is protected. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Two Men Easily Rob a Luxury Car Dealership

Hand reaching for key in car door
A car dealership in Dublin, OH was left stunned and $150,000 poorer last month when two men boldly walked in early one morning and drove out with two stolen vehicles.

The men entered the car dealership through the already open service department before the sales area was open.

They strolled through the hallways with confidence, even saying "good morning" to employees. When asked why they were there, the thieves said their Bentley was being serviced.

"That's why it didn't really throw up any red flags at that point," said Jeff Thitoff, an employee with the dealership. "We figured they were just customers, as they sometimes do just walk through the building."

When the two men walked onto the sales floor, they broke into the main sales office. They stole five sets of keys from a key box, matched two sets of keys to a couple of Range Rovers and drove off.

The men's confidence got them in the building, but it was the dealership's key control practices that allowed the thieves to easily leave with the two high-end SUVs.

To prevent just anyone from accessing the keys in your dealership, consider implementing an electronic key control system that requires employees to log in by entering a passcode, swiping a proximity card or using a biometric fingerprint scanner.

Still not convinced that electronic key control is necessary for your dealership? Read how many cars were stolen from a California dealership in one week.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Keep Your Dealership's Key Control Efficient and Secure on July Fourth

Car dealerships always celebrate July Fourth with big deals to draw in big crowds. This influx of customers can make for a pretty hectic Independence Day. With so many people in your dealership, you need strict key control processes to ensure that your staff handle your vehicle keys efficiently and securely.

To help ease your anxiety about serving such a huge crowd, follow these three key control tips on July Fourth.

Track Key Activity

Bowl of keys
When you have hundreds of customers in a single day, you need to make sure you have efficient key control processes in place to keep track of the activity in your dealership. If an employee misplaces keys, you'll have to spend time trying to find the key or its duplicate when you could be attending to customers.

Consider using an electronic key control system to mitigate these mishaps. The system will automatically record the name of the employee who accessed the key, the time they took it and a reason for the key checkout. If a key is misplaced and can't be found, you can check the records and talk to the employee who last had the key to quickly correct the situation.

Set Alerts for Overdue Keys

When your dealership is packed with people looking at the same lot of cars, there are bound to be several people interested in the same model. Placing a time limit on keys will help you ensure that no keys are with one salesperson for too long. However, with inefficient key control processes, how can you enforce a time limit on keys?

With an electronic key control system, you can set a time limit on specific keys. If you have a new model and expect a high number of test drives, you can choose to be notified when a key hasn't been returned within its time limit. You can receive text and email messages that will notify you of the overdue key and what time it was checked out so you can make sure that more than one person can demo a certain car.

Keep Keys out of Sight

There's truth to the old adage "Out of sight, out of mind." If a thief is canvassing your dealership and sees the key cabinet in the front lobby, they know exactly where to go to steal car keys. 

No matter what type of key control system you have, keep it confined to one area of your dealership that's not visible to customers. If thieves don't know where to find keys, they're less likely to break in, because they're looking for quick and easy targets

Do you have any other tips for efficient key control? Let us know in the comments!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Do You Know Where Your Keys Are?

Discarded keys
If you walked over to your key cabinet, lock box or pegboard right now, could you account for every key you manage?

As a business owner or manager, you have to make sure you keys are accounted for at all times to keep your assets safe. Without proper key control, you could be liable for theft, break-ins or worse.

Any of the following scenarios could potentially disrupt your business. Here are three ways these scenarios can be mitigated by using an electronic key management system.

Your Keys Have Been Stolen

Pegboards are still a common way for some businesses to store their keys. Unfortunately, this method offers little protection from potential thieves. If a burglar were to break into a business that kept keys on a pegboard, it would be extremely easy for them to steal keys and gain access to the assets those keys unlock.

On the other hand, an electronic key management system that stores keys in a tamper-proof steel drawer provides the necessary security to prevent keys from falling into the wrong hands. Users can only access keys by entering a password, scanning a fingerprint or swiping a proximity card.

Your Keys Haven't Been Returned

With less secure key storage methods, there's no accurate way to determine how long someone has had a key. Sometimes employees check out a key and forget to return it. Other times keys turn up missing and there's no documentation on who checked them out.

An electronic management system that provides overdue key alerts via text or email eliminates the need to hunt down keys that haven't been returned. Anytime a key has been checked out for too long, system administrators are alerted as to which keys need to be returned and who checked them out.

Your Keys Have Been Taken by Unauthorized Users

A lockbox or pegboard offers no way to prevent employees from accessing keys to which they do not have access. If certain assets or areas in your business should only be accessed by managers or high-level employees, your key control method should provide a way for only those employees to have access to those high-security keys.

An electronic management system that offers the option of a total lockdown drawer, such as the IntelLock drawer from KeyTrak, locks down any keys not in a user's access level. This means that when a user requests a key to which they have access, only the selected key will be unlocked for removal.

To read about more ways an electronic key management system can help your business, check out our post "What Are the Benefits of Electronic Key Control?"

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Three Ways to Keep Summer Employees From Robbing You Blind

Sunglasses and keys on a tableThis summer, your business might take on some seasonal staff members. While these extra workers can lighten your load, they can also cut into your profits.

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 75 percent of employees have stolen from their employers, and many do so repeatedly.

The best way to improve accountability for any employee, temporary or permanent, is to utilize an electronic key control system to deter theft and detect and document key activity. Here are three key elements of preventing theft this summer.


If you don't properly secure your keys, they can easily end up in the wrong hands. Some companies use a manual key control method such as storing keys in a drawer or hanging them on a pegboard. However, the problem with this method is that there's no way to automatically verify if an employee has authorization to check out certain keys.

An electronic system, on the other hand, can help you deter criminal behavior. You can assign different access levels for your permanent and summer employees. If an employee takes a key they are not authorized to check out, an audible alarm will go off and/or you will be sent an email and text alert, notifying you of the action.

Early Detection

Response time is crucial when it comes to theft. In addition to deterring employees from checking out keys outside of their access level, email and text alerts can also notify you of missing or overdue keys before a prohibited activity is performed by your staff. The message will let you know which key is missing and which employee last checked it out so you can promptly address the security breach.


Proper documentation is key to preventing internal theft. If you rely on a manually updated log book and insecure key storage methods, your key control practices are vulnerable to manipulation. For example, a summer employee could remove a key from a pegboard without signing it out and return it before anyone notices it's missing.

With an electronic key control system, you'll be able to easily keep a real-time verifiable audit trail of which users checked out or returned keys and the date, time and reason they did so. Users cannot forge or alter data, so you'll automatically have tighter and more accurate key security than if you were using a manual process.

Want to read some true stories about employee theft? Check out what happened to the University of Arkansas and Tiffany & Co

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Private Sector Key Control: Benefits of Built-in Security Cameras

If you're in the private sector — whether you're a law enforcement agency, higher education institution or military facility — your keys have to be tightly secured. The liabilities associated with lost or stolen keys are severe, so it's crucial to keep your keys in a tamper-proof key control system.

A system with a motion-activated video camera, such as the KeyTrak Guardian, will take your security a step further and drastically increase the chance of identifying a suspect's involvement in case of a breach. Here are a couple benefits of using motion-activated video cameras in conjunction with your key security system.

They Enhance Security

Motion-activated camera lens and video still
Security cameras on key control systems provide indisputable evidence of a security breach. As soon as someone attempts to access the system, the camera starts to record, so no relevant activity will go unnoticed.

For additional benefits, consider a system camera with a fish-eye lens to provide a wider field of vision. Fish-eye lenses can capture someone accessing the system even if they're not directly in front of the camera.

They Provide Accurate Records

Look for a system that retains all video footage in addition to transaction records. If you notice any suspicious key activity, you can review the key transactions and compare them to the video logs to identify any discrepancies.

Whether an employee maliciously uses keys or a thief coerces an employee to access keys to commit a crime, the video camera will capture it. The transaction records show the date, time and employee who accessed the key, but video footage will provide greater detail as to what actually occurred.

Have you experienced other benefits of key control systems with motion-activated cameras?