With technological advances, key card entry systems continue to change the way business owners keep their businesses safe. For decades, lock-and-key systems have been the prevailing method of securing doors, warehouses, and other businesses. However, thanks to modern technology, key card entry systems have gained considerable popularity among businesses due to their many benefits.
Below, we’ll take a closer look at what a key card entry system is and the many advantages they can provide your organization, especially during the holiday season.
What is a Key Card System and How Does it Work?
Whether it’s been a plastic card, an ID badge, or some other electronic key card, there’s a good chance that you've either seen or used an electronic key card system before. Key card access control systems have been used for many decades and continue to become a very popular security mechanism for companies around the world.
A key card system is a security token that allows someone to access a room, building, or facility via electrically driven doors. These systems require specifically configured readers and can be accessed either by tapping your card on the device itself, by swiping it, or by insertion.
With a key card system, individuals no longer need to insert a conventional key into a tumbler lock to gain access. Instead, there is an embedded access credential on the key card, which is detected by the readers any time an individual tries to use it.
When card readers recognizes the access credential, the reader interacts with the door lock. If the card's unique is then recognized by the key reader, permission is granted. In reality, the whole process can take less than a second.
Types of Key Cards
There are many different types of key cards available today. Although they all perform a similar purpose, it is important to know the difference between the available options when it comes to choosing the best key card access control system for your building. Here are some of the most popular forms of key card and key fob entry systems.
Wiegand Key Cards
Wiegand key cards and key fobs are some of the most popular options. These cards store specific binary data that cannot be erased or reprogrammed by magnetic fields and are one of the most widely used systems. These types of cards do not use a microchip or other breakable components and are the more durable option.
These are your classic credit card-style options. Swipe cards (stripe cards) and fobs feature a magnetic stripe along one edge that contains the data. If an individual wants to gain access to a particular entryway, the user simply has to swipe their pass through a magnetic reader.
Lastly, proximity key cards (smart cards) use Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) to transmit data stored on the card or key fob to the reader. With proximity security access cards and key fobs, the item typically must be very close to the reader, though it can work at various ranges. Proximity key cards usually have more storage space than other types of key cards and have added security encryption.
Benefits of Key Card Access Systems
One of the main advantages that these systems provide is that they are better than physical keys. If someone loses their pass, resigns, or is terminated, it's incredibly easy to deactivate or reactivate a single pass rather than having to reset all of the locks in your building.
Additionally, access control systems can be easily modified or reconfigured for individual credentials. Each person may be given his or her own type of access credential, which offers better protection than the traditional key that everybody has a duplicate of.
These access cards are also incredibly compact and fit comfortably into a wallet or pocket, which is more convenient for workers who are constantly on the move. Access control systems also require little maintenance compared to other alternatives.
Lastly, this type of access is highly trackable and can provide an audit trail depending on the type of system installed, so you can see how people are moving across various entry points throughout the day.
Additional Advantages of an Access Control System
- Can easily be used for a multi-door access control system
- Can restrict access on certain occasions and security access levels
- Provides remote control access disabling
Disadvantages of a Key Card Security System
Although these security systems are cheaper than many other alternatives, they can be expensive over time. Any time an employee loses his or her card, managers will need to reissue a new one or provide them with a temporary guest pass until they are issued new credentials. Either method will cost money to produce.
Additionally, the activation and deactivation of the key can be a time-consuming process. Managers have a lot on their hands, particularly during periods of increased hiring or lay-offs. If you are an administrator dealing with employees who are constantly losing or forgetting their passes, you may find yourself spending an unnecessary amount of time reissuing access.
Lastly, there are potential issues regarding scalability when it comes to this kind of security system. Each building or entryway requires its own on-site server. Users with adequate credentials or permissions to multiple locations will need to bring multiple passes, which could result in more lost key cards over time.
- Key cards cannot be used as a remote to provide mobile access control, so physical tokens are still required
- Losing an access card still compromises your ability to move around
- Hiring new workers will require purchasing additional passes
Choose Action 1st Loss Prevention for Your Office Key Card System
Secure access control is critical to the safety and security of your business and employees. With a secure key card system, you can ensure that your business is protected at all times and that only authorized individuals have access.
If you’re looking for a secure access system for your business, contact Action 1st Loss Prevention today for all of your commercial locksmith needs. From basic key card systems to a more sophisticated cloud-based access control security solution, we offer comprehensive physical control systems that will best suit all of your commercial business needs.
Contact Action 1st Loss Prevention today to learn more.