Thursday, September 26, 2013

Electronic Key Management Systems: Common Misconceptions — Part 4

So far in this series, we’ve addressed three common misconceptions people have about electronic key control systems:

In this last installment, we’ll address one of the most common misconceptions people have.

Misconception #4: The Cost Isn't Justifiable


Man with Empty Wallet
For many businesses, the initial investment of a key control system can be off-putting. But, as they say, you get what you pay for. When it comes to key and asset management, it’s important to keep the big picture in mind.

Before deciding against an electronic key control system for budgetary reasons alone, weigh the price of the key control system itself against the potential cost of lost or stolen keys and assets and even lawsuits.

Consider these real-life accounts of key control gone wrong:

  • An apartment complex was found liable in the death of a former tenant after the handyman used a master key to enter the tenant’s apartment and murder her.
  • Total Cost: $10.8 million
  • An adjunct instructor at a community college was charged with using a master key to steal textbooks from faculty members’ offices.
    Total Cost: $20,000
  • A former Tiffany & Co. executive was arrested for stealing and reselling a stash of jewelry.
    Total Cost: $1 million

In each of the above cases, the price of an electronic key control system would have been a fraction of the cost of the security breaches affecting the assets, keys and people the keys were intended to protect. When you have adequate key control measures in place, you reduce your chances of people gaining unauthorized access to keys and assets. For those who do have access to keys, you are able to automatically create an audit trail that can aid in tracking down stolen keys.

It’s true that there are less expensive alternatives to electronic key control systems. What you save in the initial investment, however, leaves you vulnerable to security breaches that could cost you far more than the price of a key control system in terms of lost or stolen assets, re-keying costs or lawsuits. As Lawrence J. Fennelly states in his "Handbook of Loss Prevention and Crime Prevention," "Key control is an extremely important inclusion in a crime prevention or security survey."

Can you think of any other objections to purchasing an electronic key control system? Let us know in the comments!

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