by dormakaba

LPRC’s recent COVID-19 Benchmarking Report asked retailers how they were protecting their stores from burglaries and other retail crime in the COVID era. Nine security protocols were cited by respondents. The top three responses ranged from CCTVs and PVMs (100 percent) to motion detection (87 percent) and audible alarms (80 percent).

A tenth – replacing traditional mechanical locks with electronic locks (also known as electronic access control or EAC) – wasn’t called out on the list. However, this step offers an additional layer of protection by increasing accountability in retail, commercial, healthcare, and financial applications. Among other benefits, EAC guards against employee theft by creating an audit trail, which serves as a digital record of who is accessing safes, doors, storage cabinets, and display cases. A real-time audit trail report can detect misuse or suspicious in-house activity.

EAC allows managers to add/delete or enable/disable users without the hassles of collecting keys or re-keying locks. In addition, it eliminates the need to monitor every user with a traditional lock combination without sacrificing the customer experience. EAC is highly customizable, making it a good option for anyone looking to bolster a building’s security, and give access to authorized individuals.

EAC System Types

There are two basic types of EAC systems: networked and standalone.

Networked Systems

The doors, credentials, readers, control panels, and other components in a networked system are connected via the internet by management software. Since one device controls multiple doors or openings, networked systems enable emergency lockdowns and even controlling doors at remote locations.

Standalone Systems

This system has its own processor, control panel, and reader, requiring programming at the door. Standalone systems are convenient to install and cost less than networked systems, making them a budget-friendly option for applications.

When to Consider EAC

For Compliance

Electronic access control systems can help meet required standards for certain sectors. For instance, any business that accepts, processes, transmits, or stores credit card user data, regardless of that business’ size or the number of transactions, is subject to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).

Similarly, hospitals, insurance companies, doctors’ offices, and other businesses that store health records must comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations. EAC systems not only provide enhanced security for these types of data, they have the capability to generate the reports needed for compliance as well.

To Secure Sensitive Data

An EAC system is a good option for enterprises that store sensitive data or intellectual property, since it’s possible to customize the doors to only allow access to certain areas and individuals.

To Increase Overall Security

If a lost, stolen, or copied key would be a security threat to the building, an EAC system can eliminate that risk. Users can efficiently remove, add, and replace credentials. EAC allows the use of two-factor authentication, boosting security dramatically. For instance, an employee may need to use both a smartphone or key card and a PIN code to enter. An EAC system also makes it more difficult for criminals to get in; it sends an alert when an intruder forces a door.

For Audit Trails

EAC management software can provide audit trails, which give the time and date of every opening or attempted opening of each door. This might be helpful in supply closets, server rooms, ATM/Currency Exchange, pharmacy, commercial legal, law enforcement, military, vault storage, cash recycler and other locations housing valuable items. Audit trails can also be used along with employee time systems to verify hours worked.

To Customize Access Times

Whether it’s limiting access to certain doors to specific times and dates or limiting certain employees to specific times and dates, EAC is fully customizable for each door and each employee or visitor.