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.

Deterrence 


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.

Documentation 


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

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

If you're in the public 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?