Access control is often discussed in terms of large facilities, offices, plants, and warehouses. Yet scaled down, access control is still crucial to a retail store or small office. Every business has valuables in some form, whether it’s private financial information, cash stores, or valuable product.
Locks & Keys
Good, old fashioned metal keys and locks are the most basic form of access control, but they don’t exactly secure against someone determined to get in. These are simply guards against opportunistic crime. Make sure if you just use a lock and key that you keep a record of who has keys that can gain access. Anyone you give a back office or drop vault key to, make sure that you’ve checked references and done a background check on them. Many employers hire and down the line trust someone for whom they still haven’t done these basic checks. Also make sure that “Do Not Duplicate” is stamped on every copy of the key, so professional locksmiths will refuse to copy them.
Coded Access Control
Stepping up in security, you can use a code system for back office access. The advantage to this is that you can personalize each code. You have yours and every manager or employee with access has their own unique code. If the office is ever breached or something is stolen, you can check back for the record of codes used. This will indicate who accessed the office or gave their code to someone else to access the office.
Keycard Access Control
Finally, you can opt for a keycard or key fob system. This is exceptionally useful for large facilities, but can still be useful for smaller stores or individual offices. They’re particularly useful for regional franchises with multiple locations, where someone might need access at each location.
Another advantage both codes and keycards offer are the ability to control hours of accessibility. Your own code or keycard could be 24-7, but a manager’s might only be useful during hours of operation, or during certain shift hours. If an emergency comes up and they can’t access the location, you can even use software to remotely grant back office access for the five minutes that they might need. This offers you both security and flexibility that go far beyond the access control a simple lock and key can offer.