Morse Watchmans Blog

How Unmanaged Keys Can Hurt Your Business

Fernando Pires December 5, 2016
Fernando Pires

Managing a business, whether a small, family-owned company, a franchise operation or a branch office can be challenging—and it often is. Licensing regulations, paying too much for rent, labor or materials and poorly designed websites are just some of the issues that can adversely affect the business’s success. While there are no silver bullets to resolve these issues, management can minimize many of the problems through open communication, defined tasks and responsibilities, effective data collection/analysis and so on.

Another action that can help minimize potential problems is risk management. Common sense dictates that organizations of any size maintain an appropriate physical security environment for the protection of staff, assets and facilities—and the company bottom line. While an everyday activity like securing keys can be easily overlooked, lost or unmanaged keys can risk security vulnerability and financial upset. Not knowing who has been or is using office keys can quickly become a liability.

If a key is lost or can’t be accounted for, an entire area (or building) can become compromised and may require the replacement of all locks. This exercise is not only disruptive, but potentially quite expensive depending on the number of doors that must be re-fitted and the types of locks required. Management may decide to delay this step and first attempt to locate the missing key or keys. But without any accurate records of who had access to the key(s) or who last used the key, that too can easily turn into a difficult, time consuming and expensive exercise, and may end up unsuccessful.

Company policies regarding key control and usage are great in theory but are too often ignored in practice. Keys can be passed around and/or duplicated, and manual logging of key use can be cumbersome and unreliable. And unfortunately, a lack of understanding of the importance of good key management can end up undermining the business’ security across the board. For this reason, companies may try to switch away from physical keys to biometric or card readers, or to a key management system that can handle both physical keys and other access credentials. No matter the solution, companies can benefit by considering security features alongside convenience, price, tracking and scalability, and access-control integration as needed—after all, the solution should never become a greater burden than the original problem.

Curious how key management systems can support your business? Contact one of our experts today to learn more.