In order to protect your branch locations, it is imperative that you secure access points at each location. While paramount to securing any location is an access control system, it is crucial to be sure to keep this system functioning at its best. That’s because an access control system allows you to limit who has access to certain areas and when they have access, thereby reducing the risk of a security incident occurring.
The trouble is, even if you have a system in place, it needs to be updated regularly. Since these updates are ever-changing, an older system may not be able to protect your location any longer, potentially leaving you vulnerable and at risk of a serious security breach.
There are many solutions to explore, however, for modernizing your access control system with the latest advancements in technology. But how do you know if your system needs to be updated? How should you update it? To get a better understanding of these answers, first we need to understand what an Access Control System is and how it works.
What Is an Access Control System
An access control system is any system used to control who can or cannot access a space. Access control is an affordable security solution and a powerful preventative measure against security threats.
Access control systems have been around for centuries. However, unlike the most basic one (a lock), modern-day systems are more complicated, covering much larger areas, and sometimes multiple buildings.
If your access control system has not been updated for years, your location may be at risk for a security breach. If you are not sure when the last time your system was updated, it is time for a refresh, or for an optimization.
For more information on optimizing your existing access control system, download our free Access Control E-Guide.
Modernizing Your Access Control System
Is it time to modernize your access control system and give it an upgrade? There is no set indicator for when to upgrade your system. However, if your system has not been evaluated in a while, or if you wonder if there are upgrades available, here are 4 steps to help guide financial institutions through an initial evaluation.
Assess Your Current Solution
The first step is to assess your current access control system and identify any issues or weaknesses that could be improved.
If you are not sure what could be improved, ask yourself the following questions:
- What locations or specific areas of a location need access control?
- How secure is the current system?
- What security issues have occurred recently?
- Can the system be managed remotely?
Consider how user-friendly your current system is. If it is too difficult or cumbersome to use, an employee may be tempted to circumvent it, compromising security.
Be sure to consult with an expert and look at what technology solutions are available to you. Your current key fob or key card system may be working fine for now, but key fobs and key cards can be lost, damaged, or handed off to another user. Perhaps it is time to look at more advanced solutions, such as biometrics, and contactless solutions, such as mobile authentication. These solutions are much more secure, fast, and hygienic due to the lack of physical contact.
Integrate with Other Solutions
The second step to take is to explore how to integrate your access control system with other security solutions, such as video surveillance, for even greater security. Since access control is only one part of a comprehensive security solution, it may make sense to add an additional security tool.
Modern day video surveillance shies away from bulky, wired CCTV (closed-circuit television) cameras. Instead, IP (internet protocol) cameras are used and can be connected wirelessly to a local network. Video can be monitored in real time by a team of security experts. Video footage can also be captured and stored for later review via an NVR or network video recorder.
How can this be helpful in access control? A surveillance camera near your card reader can show you every employee who swipes their card, and when. While this may not sound too different from checking the access logs of and seeing which employees accessed a location and when, there are distinct benefits.
Surveillance cameras can show you when an employee swipes his or her card, which will also help identify anyone else who is with them, or near to them. Tailgating, or piggybacking, is a physical security breach in which an unauthorized person follows an authorized individual into a controlled access entry point. It is a serious and frequent vulnerability for any enterprise. By pairing a video surveillance solution with a modern access control system, you can catch any tailgaters or piggybackers who may be entering your facility. If necessary, you will also have video evidence for any legal proceedings.
Consider Using Artificial Intelligence
The third step in modernizing your access control system, is to explore implementing A.I. A.I. has the capability to recognize patterns and detect threats around the clock, every hour of every day. It can verify if a potential threat is legitimate or not, and it can do this without requiring a human to verify if a threat is real or a false flag.
Since A.I. is in its infancy, there is much misinformation about A.I. However, using A.I. with an access control system has the potential for great results. For more information, check out our previous blog post about how A.I. and access control can work together.
Modernize Your Access Control System With Expert Help
The final step in modernizing your access control system is getting advice from security professionals to be sure you’ve addressed all areas. At Wittenbach, we understand what it takes to keep your branch locations secure. Our experts stand at the ready to review your systems, plans, and make recommendations as needed.
For nearly five decades, we have been helping financial institutions with their security needs. We have hundreds of clients throughout the Midwest and East Coast. If your access control system is outdated and needs to be modernized, or if you want to examine how to optimize your system and improve upon it, we can help. Our physical and electronic security solutions are the answer to your financial institution’s security needs.