Understanding What A Locksmith Does

3 Types of Physical Access Systems for Your Sensitive Data

by Maëly Richard

Does your business store sensitive data that could be dangerous if it fell into the wrong hands? Is it financial or medical data, or perhaps highly secretive business intelligence? Regardless of whether the information is stored digitally or on paper, your security plan should start in the physical realm. There's a lot of attention placed on hacking and digital security breaches. However, even in the digital age, it's still very possible for someone to access your data through physical intrusion. That's especially true if you don't have a strong physical access control system in place. Here are three types of physical access control systems and how they might benefit your business:

Locks and keys. The simple deadbolt and key can still be a very effective form physical security. High-quality deadbolts are nearly impossible to pick or break and can stand up to even the strongest levels of force. They're also fairly affordable and can be very cost effective if your information is in one centralized location.

However, relying on deadlocks may become unwieldy if you need to secure multiple locations or if you have many people who need access to the secure areas. All of those people will need physical keys. The more keys you have, the greater the chance that a key can fall into the wrong hands. As your security needs expand, you may find that you need a more robust physical access system.

Key cards. Key cards may be more costly to install than simple lock-and-key deadbolts, but they offer more security features. With a key card, the dead bolt is unlocked when a person swipes an authorized card over a scanner or card reader. If the card is not authorized, the lock won't open.

Key cards have several benefits. First, you can control access. If a person leaves the company, you don't have to worry about collecting their key. You can simply disconnect or deactivate their key card. Also, many key card systems store data, so you can see who is entering the secure space and when they're doing it. If data is breached, you can see who's card was used to get into the room. That should help kick-start the investigation. 

Biometric key cards. Of course, one of the disadvantages of a key card system is that you can't always know that the person using the key card is actually the person who should have the key card. It's easy for a key card to be passed off to someone who shouldn't have it. You can eliminate that risk by using a biometric system in which a person would have to submit to a fingerprint or retina scan after swiping a key card. That scan will confirm that they are the correct user.

Biometric systems can be costly to install. However, they may be less expensive than the cost of losing your sensitive data. If you want to be absolutely sure that only authorized users are in the room, no matter the cost, then a biometric system may be the solution for you.

For more information, talk to a commercial locksmith like Irvine Lock & Key. They can inspect your facility and recommend the system that may be best for your needs and budget.