Mechanical Keys: An Anachronism in 2021?

In 2021, your mobile device is likely the hardest-working item you own. If you left your house with only your mobile device in your pocket, would that stop you from having a productive day? Need to check your bank balance? Use the banking app. Buying a latte? Your mobile wallet can take care of that. Have to show your proof of vaccination? Your proof of insurance? Trade stocks? Turn up the heat in your house? Check to see who’s at your front door? You can do all that, from your phone.  
 
We have placed so much trust in the devices we carry around in our pockets, and the cloud software that secures them. We often don’t think twice about adding a password to Apple Keychain, or storing the most personal details of our lives on our phones. But for some reason, many are reluctant to place that kind of trust in their mobile device when it comes to keyless access control. 

Traditional keys are an anachronism in today’s digital world. An artifact from the past, we find some kind of comfort in having a metal key in our possession, to protect what’s important to us. As long as we have “the key”, no one else does, and we derive a great amount of security from that knowledge. 

Ring with many keys before keyless access control

In our homes, this might make sense. Most of us can say, with a high degree of confidence, that we know exactly how many keys to our front door exist, and who has them. However, most organizations are experiencing key sprawl, and they don’t even know how widespread it might be. It’s impossible to know how many times keys have been copied, who has them, who’s using them, and why. Organizations traditionally deal with a misplaced key by rekeying locks, at significant expense and inconvenience. It’s easier, people think, to give a key to anyone who needs it, and deal with the consequences of a key getting into the wrong hands, than it is to design an access control system with digital keys and identity management in mind from the beginning. 

Organizations are sacrificing security for convenience every day, with both cyber/information assets, and critical infrastructure. While a lot of effort is put into creating the illusion of compliance protocols, not enough is being put into actually securing assets. We believe that it’s not enough to lock up an asset; organizations must understand who is accessing what, when, and why.  

Access control is about more than securing assets; it’s also about implementing a defensible solution to assure regulatory compliance. Cloud-enabled access control solutions allow organizations to proactively improve operations, generate reliable audit trails, enforce safety protocols, control regulated materials, and defend litigation.  

Before you issue another mechanical key, or rekey a set of locks after an asset has been compromised, stop and think about the real value of that piece of metal. We’re confident that it’s not as valuable as the security and insights to be gained from a robust keyless access control solution. To learn more about our cloud-enabled access control platform, Teleporte, and the supporting locks and controllers, visit us here or connect with us. We’d be happy to explore these ideas with you. 

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