Access Intelligence

Simple Security Systems: What Happens in the Event of a Natural Disaster

Posted by InstaKey on Jul 11, 2017 8:00:00 AM in Access Intelligence | 0 Comments

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Severe weather and natural disasters are becoming more prevalent throughout the year.  Weather reports on tornadoes, hurricanes, flooding, wildfires, and the like, can lead to anxiety with your safety and security.  Evacuations and resulting disasters can also cause considerable damage to businesses.  Once these events happen, who can access your business afterward? Let’s look at some not-so-obvious ways businesses and their stakeholders can be prepared to better safeguard assets against the risks associated with such events.

Natural Disasters and Key Control

In the event of a natural disaster, do you have a disaster recovery plan? Do you know who to call and how they can help?  When things beyond your control happen, you can’t prevent them from having a serious impact on your business, however, it is possible to minimize the risks and react quickly.

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At InstaKey, we have worked with many clients throughout the country to prepare them and their businesses in case of a disaster.  By tracking keys to key holders, we know who can access your business during an outage or evacuation.  In worst case scenarios, evacuations relocate your authorized personnel who have keys, so how to do you get in?  Would you burglarize your own business to gain access?  These critical security issues are not just safety concerns; but they're also financial risks.

It’s best to be prepared and that includes evaluating your key control program.   Simple restricted key programs controlling the number of keys available can offer peace of mind concerning the security of your property and assets in times of crisis. Determine who needs keys and how they can get them in the event you or your personnel are displaced. 

Card Reader Systems' Failsafe Solutions

Access Control Systems that utilize card readers are efficient and effective means for managing access, but many must utilize key override solutions during natural disasters evacuations, and outages. Many of these systems’ failsafe solutions open doors to allow personnel to evacuate, securing behind them.  In the event of a power outage, generators and backup batteries are used, but each can expire over the duration of the event, so how can access be managed and controlled if the power backup plan fails?

As extended outages continue, door access controls can become unusable, resulting in the use of basic brass key overrides.  Do you know who has these override keys to your facilities? 

A better solution to this concern is to track your mechanical keyed access like you do your Card Reader systems.  InstaKey provides a restricted, serialized key to better control and track keys to the authorized individuals.  Also, in the event that one of these keys is lost or unaccounted for, a simple rekeying avenue can be utilized to change locks at the fraction of the cost of other programs.  Wouldn’t you want your key override system to be as secure as your other security measures?

Cloud-Based Key Management Makes It Efficient

Evacuations before Hurricane Katrina was one instance where managed key access provided the simplest security solution to safety concerns for companies throughout the Gulf.

“After the hurricane and floods hit, we needed to gain access to our stores so they could be surveyed to determine damage,” said Hank Roberts, who manages the facilities' help desk for Sprint, Overland Park, Kansas, which operates 1,700 stores under the Sprint and Sprint Connect banners. “But the majority of people that worked in the stores had left the city, many had left the state and we didn’t have keys.” Roberts reported how he was able to solve the problem and gain access to stores by utilizing InstaKey: “Without this system, we would have needed a locksmith to go to all the locations, change the locks and so on,” Roberts said. “It would have been time-consuming and very expensive. Also, locksmiths were not very available at that time.” Information on all locations and keys is stored in a secure, cloud-based software, so tracking and managing keys can be done efficiently from anywhere.

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By using InstaKey’s KeyControl® Program, Roberts and his team were able to keep track in real-time of every key, key holder and location. And after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, they worked closely with InstaKey, utilizing the cloud-based program to reproduce the needed keys, rekey their locks, and regain access quickly.  By opening stores immediately upon the return to the area, Sprint was able to promptly provide the cellular products and solutions needed for many residents and business owners.

Simplified KeyControl® Program Solutions

A managed KeyControl® Program could help you be prepared for future crises and natural disasters. The cloud-based key control software can allow you to get real time answers during an emergency from anywhere.

For those who want to know more about key control software, and why it’s something to consider for longer-term security and effectiveness, we recommend reading 5 Reasons Why Key Control Software Is Important.

Remember, spend time now to prepare for a natural disaster and use systems that guard your assets through different layers of technology.

But it’s not enough to just talk about needing to take steps towards better security. The real progress is made when you actually implement the program that works for you, the way you need it to.

Are you considering protecting your facility against the event of a natural disaster? Contact us to learn more today, or just ask questions and get a consultation!

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Restricted Keys & Why It Is Important To Get Your Keys Back

Posted by InstaKey on Jun 15, 2017 8:00:00 AM in Access Intelligence | 0 Comments

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Sometimes the most effective security protocols are the simplest and most straightforward. And while many of them might seem like common sense in hindsight, they can often be overlooked or forgotten in the midst of a busy, demanding workplace that pushes and pulls managers in countless directions throughout the day. Still, something as obvious as remembering to collect keys when an employee leaves the organization can keep your facilities and workforce safe and secure, eliminating the need for time-consuming and costly rekeying – as long as you’re using a serialized, restricted key system. At InstaKey, we specialize in providing you such solutions for lasting security and cost efficiency.

The Importance of Getting Keys Back

While management may or may not devote much time and effort into a basic concept like keys, the different types of keying systems can actually have a significant impact on security, budget and overall company efficiency. If an organization utilizes a traditional mechanical key system for the entry points within their facility, they will continually be exposed to security risks, whether or not they collect keys from an employee exiting the company. Since these types of keying systems use relatively generic key blank, they can easily be reproduced by a locksmith or even a hardware store. As most managers are already aware, the simple act of stamping anti-reproduction verbiage on a set of keys has little, if any, effect on an individual’s ability to make copies.

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Obviously, using such a system creates and maintains a constant risk exposure for businesses because they have no ability to prevent copies of keys being made. In such a system, even when keys are collected from the exiting employee, management still must rekey the facilities in case other unauthorized copies exist. If they do not, all workers, equipment and potentially sensitive materials are at risk. Also, given the typically exorbitant cost associated with rekeying facility doors, this can represent a significant ongoing cost to the employer, especially if the business experiences significant turnover in their workforce.

Using a serialized restricted key system avoids these costs and a risk exposure but eliminates an employee’s ability to make copies of their keys. Locksmiths and hardware stores do not have access to the key blanks used with these proprietary systems. Furthermore, since a serialized key system assigns a unique serial number to every key in use throughout the workforce, simply matching those serial numbers to those on the keys returned by an exiting employee can ensure continued company security.

Create Ground Rules

Once again, a few simple and straightforward key procedures can make management’s life much easier while minimizing excessive costs and risk exposure. For instance, employees might not put much importance on their issued work keys, but management can integrate policies that create that needed importance. If a fine is levied upon an exiting employee when they fail to return their issued set of keys, they will value those keys significantly more than they would have otherwise. If the employees are contractually obligated to return their keys, the thought of being legally bound to care for and promptly return them upon exiting the company will create a sense of urgency around those keys.

Furthermore, maintaining a thorough receipt log for all issued keys will ensure the system is current, efficient and well-organized, making it easy for management to continually track which employees have particular keys. When an employee leaves the organization, the receipt log provides immediate information regarding the specific keys the worker is responsible for returning to the company. Utilizing a cloud-based receipt system maximizes the efficiency, immediacy and availability of such information, further enhancing a company’s overall security and productivity. A cloud-based system is also extraordinarily useful in providing insight into the overall health of your key control program and can readily identify any possible systemic issues that need to be resolved.

What It Means for the Bottom Line

Aside from security, one of the biggest impacts a key control program has is on the budget. When a company uses a traditional mechanical key system, it not only continues to expose its workforce and facilities to risk, it also creates a significant ongoing cost. Rekeying even a portion of a facility can be extremely expensive and draining on a budget, possibly affecting overall company productivity.

However, when an organization uses InstaKey’s KeyControl® Program, these excessive ongoing costs are eliminated by removing an employee’s ability to reproduce keys. Simply put, solutions from InstaKey can be a tremendous cost-cutter to an organization’s budget while also significantly enhancing overall safety and security for all employees and facilities.

Working With InstaKey

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When working with InstaKey, you have a partner in KeyControl® that will help you manage keys and key holders, ensuring security for facilities and savings for you. With our innovative restricted key solutions, we remove those costly risk exposures to lost or stolen keys that can possibly be reproduced. Not only are these solutions significantly more budget-friendly than rekeying facilities but, more importantly, they provide lasting safety and security for the entire organization.

We take our partnerships seriously. With a decades-long track record of providing an unparalleled level of professionalism and expertise in KeyControl® for hundreds of organizations, we can help you find a solution that suits your company’s specific needs. Between restricted key programs, cloud-based management solutions and exemplary customer service, InstaKey is a partner to trust when integrating a key control program into your business.

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6 Key Control Program Best Practices

Posted by InstaKey on May 30, 2017 8:00:00 AM in Access Intelligence | 0 Comments

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Every facility utilizes some level of key control to ensure the utmost in safety for employees and asset security. Choosing a key control solution for your environment is only the first step. What happens after that determines how effective and costly your program will be. Implementing these top key control best practices can make or break your program (and your budget).

But First, What Is a Key Control Program?

There is key control and then there’s KeyControl®. In general industry terms, a key control program is a formally documented system of locks, keys and who has those keys.

KeyControl® is more than a documented system of locks and keys. It’s an organized, formally documented and administered methodology that a facility uses to exert control over locks, keys that have access to those locks, and who has access to those keys. It controls the distribution of keys, protects against unauthorized duplication, and delivers visibility for management in a cloud-based platform.

Best Practices of an Effective Key Control Program

By following these simple recommendations, you can create a truly comprehensive program that will maximize the safety and security of your facilities:

  1. Use restricted, uniquely marked keys to eliminate the possibility of unauthorized and undocumented duplicates. Each key used in the facility should always be identifiable and easily tracked. If a traditional mechanical key system uses keys that can be duplicated, the entire system is jeopardized. Controlling how keys are made and who has them is essential to providing even modest security to a facility.
  2. Formally define when locks in the facility should be changed. This type of defined protocol can significantly reduce long-term costs. Consider only changing locks if a key is lost, stolen or is not returned by a terminated employee. Of course, this is only recommended if you are practicing best practice #1 in this article. Otherwise, you should rekey each time an employee leaves.
  3. Develop an efficientway to change your locks. The time and effort needed when lock changes are deemed necessary can be significantly reduced with user-rekeyable locks. Traditional mechanical key systems that require locksmith labor to rekey have some inherent deficiencies that don’t make them the best choice in maximizing efficiency and reducing costs for your facility because the need for a locksmith is generally expensive. And, the need for a locksmith almost never comes during normal business hours. If it is not cost effective to rekey a facility at appropriate times, you might elect to delay rekeying to a point in the future when it might fit better within your budget. This, of course, is another serious flaw with traditional mechanical locks. Rekeying is an integral part of maintaining security. To mitigate this possibility, you should choose a system that is not only secure, but will also be cost effective in the future.
  4. Embrace technology. The right technology can dramatically improve the efficiency and effectiveness of a key control program. A cloud-based records management system should be utilized to manage all key control data and that data should be immediately accessible from any smart device. Such functionality would provide multiple users secured access to data from anywhere and be administered according to differing levels of authorization. This way, you, and other various levels of management, can get the answers right when you need them. By using better tools and technology, better solutions become accessible in real time.
  5. Audit keys and keyholders regularly. Checking in on your key holders to ensure that your facility is in compliance and that keys are all accounted for is a great way to be proactive with your program. This can also help to keep the importance of your facility’s overall safety and security in focus for everyone. If a key is lost, stolen or not returned by a key holder, you’ll need to refer to best practice #2 in this list.
  6. Utilize ongoing, facility-wide training and education. A dedicated program administrator should oversee this training and establish set policies and procedures that are clear, concise and readily available to all employees and staff. Through the sharing of this knowledge, you help key holders to regularly improve their personal accountability for their keys.

Management and employees alike must know what protocols to follow amidst a crisis. By establishing a defined protocol for use during a crisis, you provide the needed safety and security to avoid panic, confusion, and misinformation in the moment. Instilling some basic measures is certainly worth the continued safety and security of your entire organization.

Mechanical key systems, when coupled with these proven key control best practices and effective underlying policies, can provide your facility the highest possible levels of security, protection, and peace of mind, effectively taking your program from key control to KeyControl®.

With decades of key control experience, InstaKey Security Systems is the only solution provider that has developed industry-leading best practices that are used to create the most efficient and effective solutions on the market. If you have questions and would like to speak to one of our experts, contact InstaKey today.

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Fuel Dispenser Security: Why key control is important at the pump

Posted by InstaKey on May 18, 2017 9:54:37 AM in Access Intelligence | 0 Comments

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Security of fuel dispensers is becoming more and more critical to protect. Credit card skimming is on the rise all over the country because criminals realize how easy it is to install credit card skimming devices, leaving your station and your customers’ credit card information more vulnerable to theft.

Gas station security can be enhanced with a simple solution: making sure to regulate who has keys. Typically, thieves gain access to fuel dispenser locks because the keys to those locks are common and easy to duplicate. Thieves can simply have a key made to open a fuel dispenser and install a credit card skimming device. Gas station owners and management are unlikely to notice the unlawful entry or that duplicate keys are being used. As a result, sooner or later, hundreds of customers get their personal information stolen leading to unauthorized charges and identify theft.

While many gas stations now use pump tamper evident labels, they don’t solve the access problem. These labels can be easily purchased online by anyone and can be used to disguise fuel pumps as secure, when a credit card skimmer has actually been installed. The best way for owners to improve fuel dispenser security is by ensuring that keys can’t be copied.

How InstaKey’s Fuel Dispenser Lock Program Works

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InstaKey’s Fuel Dispenser Lock Program is a viable solution to fuel dispenser access control because it’s based on fundamental components of industry best practice key control solutions, which have been trusted and used for over 30 years. As gas stations across the country fall victim to this rising threat at the pump, InstaKey’s KeyControl® Program reduces owners’ concerns through high security lock technology and methodology developed to prevent fuel dispensers from being compromised in the first place.

How is it done? By employing the following four security cornerstones: Restricted, Serialized Keys, User-Rekeyable Locks, Cloud-based Key Tracking Software, and special tailor-made Program Administration Services.

Let’s take a look at each of these security cornerstones in more detail:

1. Restricted, Serialized Keys

You’ve seen keys that say “DO NOT DUPLICATE” but, even these keys can be easily found at your local hardware store or locksmith to have a copy made, with no questions asked. That’s not the case with InstaKey’s restricted keyways, as they are not available to the open market or locksmiths, meaning that they won’t have the key blanks to produce an unauthorized copy. As an added measure of security, each key is stamped with a unique serial number to track to each key holder. That way, when you get keys back from key holders, you’ll know which serial numbered key they had and that the key hasn’t been duplicated. This cornerstone alone eliminates the possibility of thieves accessing fuel dispensers without your knowledge.

2. User-Rekeyable Locks

But, what if a key goes missing? Are you prepared for when a key is lost, stolen or not returned by a terminated employee? In these situations, you’ll need to change the lock(s) and InstaKey provides a time and money saving solution for that! InstaKey’s user-rekeyable locks mean that gas station owners can instantly rekey the affected lock(s) with just the turn of a key – no locksmith or changing of lock hardware required. For more information, read our blog on Rekeying Locks vs. Rekeyable Locks: Which is better?

3. Cloud-Based Key Tracking Software

By utilizing InstaKey’s cloud-based key tracking software, you can track who has been assigned each key and what fuel dispensers those keys open. TheKeyControl® information is protected through secure login and the functionality is designed to make key tracking easy and efficient. Whether you want to track it yourself, allow your managers to maintain it, or have InstaKey manage your program, you’ll have the information right when you need it from any smart device.

4. Program Administration Services

InstaKey offers a dedicated point of contact for your customized program, ready to help with best practices, program management techniques, and sustaining overall compliance to help you save time and money on your locks and keys. Any time you have questions or need help resolving a situation, InstaKey personnel are here to help. With the tools we provide, you can easily manage the size and scope, no matter how complex or how large your keyed environment becomes. 

These cornerstones have been developed into best practices by our clients to ensure that you not only save money on keyed entry, but that the program you implement is a secure and cost effective deterrent against credit card skimming.

Interested in getting your gas station better secured through a KeyControl® Program? Learn more by contacting InstaKey today!

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5 Reasons Why Key Control Software Is Important

Posted by InstaKey on May 8, 2017 8:00:00 AM in Access Intelligence | 0 Comments

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Have you ever wondered if there is a better way to keep track of the keys to your business?

Well, there is, its Key Control software designed to manage it for you.

This simple-to-use software solution is a must for any corporate building with employees, vendors, or customers who gain access using brass keys. It’s not a paper system or spreadsheet, it’s a unique combination of tools to better manage your accesses.

Here are five significant advantages, which come from using a key control software designed for your business. This software can help you no matter if you run a corporate office, commercial office space, or any other type of business with key holders constantly flowing in and out.

1. Easy to Control and Manage

Whether you have 10 or 100 key holders, it is possible to maintain and monitor where they can access in the building.

Getting started with InstaKey’s cloud-based Key Control Software is easy. The software makes it simple for building managers to organize, name, and track all levels of their accesses by door, building, or campus environment. It stores which doors are accessible, which keys have been produced and given to key holders, and what those keys can access.

2. Ability to Track Key Control Remotely

Security breaches cost businesses millions of dollars every year and normally key control is the “first line of defense”. Are you prepared?

Businesses that run the cloud-based key control software, offered by InstaKey, are better equipped to handle a key holder losing his or her key. The software quickly shows the administrator what locks were accessible by that key, and thus what needs to be rekeyed or changed, allowing you to react more quickly.

The software is designed to link all of the below together and provide a history of:

  • Key Holders
  • Locations
  • Doors
  • Cylinders in those Doors
  • Each and every Key

3. Saves You Time and Money

Like a well-oiled machine, simplified administration procedures such as tracking who you gave that key to, can save you time and money. The Key Control software makes it simple to reassign keys via your smart device, uses your terminology, displays it in easy-to-read format, and gives you the answers right when you need them.

4. Improve Security With Shared Responsibility

In addition to being secure, the Key Control software can be arranged to provide multiple individuals access to their specific areas of responsibility. Assign administrative roles and functions to those who should be responsible, sharing the management. This decentralization of responsibility provides improved efficiency and cost controls.

5. Crisis Management Preparedness

Business managers can be contacted at any time to react to a crisis in their building or facility. Having access to a cloud-based key control software though your smart device, allows you to react to these time sensitive situations in real time and provide the answers that many investigatory agencies require. Like, do you know who had a key?

Wouldn’t you want to have these answers and more at your fingertips?

Learn more about the importance of key control software today by contacting us!

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4 Things You Didn’t Know about Master Key System Security

Posted by InstaKey on Apr 12, 2017 8:00:00 AM in Access Intelligence | 0 Comments

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There are many benefits to keying systems that include the ability to use master keys. From superior control over your system to extreme convenience, master key systems can offer effective security to many businesses. To illustrate the benefits of this kind of security system, let’s take a look at InstaKey’s Master Key System capabilities.

1. Master Key Control Programs Are Created on a Restricted Keyway

restrictedkeys.pngIf a criminal manages to copy a key for your locking system, the security implications for your business could be catastrophic. Employees who copy keys for their own convenience can also open up serious security holes for your business. Thankfully, all InstaKey master key control programs are created on a restricted keyway, which prevents unauthorized copying.

When key control programs are created on a restricted keyway, key blanks are not available on the open market. That means they cannot be copied without your authorization.

2. Master Keys Have Key Serialization

All key in a restricted keyway key control program carry a unique serial number, so you can always identify individual keys for your locking system. This includes the master keys. Each unique serial number can be used to track keys to their individual holders, as well as provide information about the key and the parts of your system that it can access. This information is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week through cloud-based key tracking software. The birth-to-death tracking provided by master key serialization helps to ensure that you always know exactly how many keys exist, who holds them, and what level of access each key provides.

3. Master Keys Work With Rekeyable Lock Technology

Master keys allow administrators to not need to carry around a bunch of keys because one key can give you access to multiple doors. Rekeyable locks allow administrators to avoid calling a locksmith. This benefit can make their jobs easier and improve efficiency in your organization.

Rekeyable lock technology offers a number of security advantages for your business. When a security breach occurs, rekeyable locks allow you to immediately re-secure the system at the level of the breach. For example, if a master key has been lost, rekeyable locks allow you to rekey locks at the master level only. After the rekey, replace master keys for key holders only. User level keys won’t be affected and thus won’t need to be replaced. This solution provides significant cost savings, as it ensures you only replace the parts of the system that have been compromised.

4. Master Keys Can Be Managed and Tracked Through Key Control Software

key control software.jpgKey control software allows you to keep track of all keys issued for your system, including master keys. InstaKey’s key control software is a secure cloud-based platform that provides 24/7 access to information about your security system. The software can be accessed through SecurityRecords.com and allows you to track who has your keys and which locks each key is able to open. This information is updated in real time to give a comprehensive overview of your current security situation.

Being able to track keys through a single centralized platform is a major benefit of electronic key control systems for many businesses. Understanding what is going on in your business is an essential part of any security strategy, so it’s important to be able to log onto a secure cloud platform and immediately get an overview of all keys and master keys.

Protecting Your Business With Master Key Systems

There are many situations in which the right master key lock from Instakey protects your business from disaster. For example, if you fire one of your employees, you can be absolutely sure they do not have any copies of the keys he was given, so the security system remains intact if he returns the key. Serialized master keys that are created on a restricted keyway mean that even if you fire a senior employee, who held the master key for your security system, you can be sure that no copies of that key exist.

Master key systems are also invaluable in an emergency or disaster. In this situation, it’s important to be able to respond quickly to critical concerns. Cloud-based tracking systems allow you to remotely find out who has access to various areas of your business premises, which means you can come up with a strategy to keep your business safe.

Finally, key tracking is useful in cases of theft. In this situation, the documented record-keeping process provided by master key lock systems can reduce investigation time and help to narrow down the list of suspects.

To learn more about master keys and how they can help improve security in your business, contact InstaKey today. The security experts at InstaKey can help you decide which security system is right for your company, allowing you to keep your physical premises secure at all times. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with questions about master keys or any other aspect of physical security.

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5 Key Benefits of High Security Door Lock Systems

Posted by InstaKey on Apr 7, 2017 8:00:00 AM in Access Intelligence | 0 Comments

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If you are concerned about security in your organization, but also want to keep costs under control, a high security door lock system could be the right choice for your business. This kind of electronic system has many advantages over other types of door locks. Let’s take a look at five benefits that the most secure door locks can bring to your business.

1. High Security Door Lock System Benefits Reduce Costs in the Long Run

The major benefit of high security locks (also known as HSEC) is that they are nearly impossible to pick. That’s because they utilize two levels of biaxial key cutting, which produce angled cuts inside the lock that are very difficult to force open by picking the lock. As a result, your business can avoid costs associated with theft, which can be financially crippling.

Of course, a pick-resistant lock is no use if a determined intruder can simply drill the lock out of its housing. That’s why all the most secure door locks come with drill resistant housings, which prevent the locks from being removed from the doors. Not only does this feature reduce theft, but it also means you won’t face the expense of replacing damaged locks with new ones to re-secure the property after an attempted break-in.

For many businesses, most of the costs associated with door locks arise from the need to replace locks when keys go missing or are copied without authorization. However, Instakey’s key blanks are not available on the open market and therefore cannot be duplicated without authorization. As a result, you may find that your organization’s need to replace locks to ensure security decreases.

2. High Security Door Lock Systems Can Be Customized to Meet Your Needs

If you have particular requirements for your door lock system, that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of the most secure door locks on the market. Instakey provides a highly customizable HSEC system that can be tailored to meet your business’ needs. If you need to secure multiple locations, you can even customize each system to meet the particular demands of the individual working environment.

3. Rekeyable Locks Allow You To Immediately Reset Locks

cabinet_lock_for_constant_contact.jpgHow many times have you had to replace a lock because an employee has lost a key, or because a key has been stolen? With a high security door lock system, replacing locks can be a thing of the past. Rekeyable locks can be securely reset when a key is lost or stolen, which means that anyone who tries to use the lost or stolen key will be denied access. Meanwhile, the other keys can be updated so your employees continue to enjoy uninterrupted access to the facility.

All types of keys in a HESC system can be reset, including master keys, grand master keys, and even great grand master key systems. This ensures that security is guaranteed on every level of your organization.

Instakey HESC systems use high security cylinders to ensure the security of your rekeyable system. These cylinders can be retrofit into a range of housings from most major door lock manufacturers. They offer the ability to reset locks without compromising the security of the overall system.

4. Track Serialized Keys With Cloud-based Key Tracking Software

One of the most useful features of electronic door lock systems is the ability to track serialized keys. Instakey provides a cloud-based key control software solution that allows administrators to keep track of all keys that have been issued. Using this software, admins can identify the key holder, track the location of the key, and quickly check which doors each key provides access to. Serialized keys also eliminate key duplication, which can be a major security risk in some organizations.

5. High Security Door Lock Systems Ensure Security

Mobile_Key_Control.jpgAll the features of high security door lock systems work together to ensure the security of your business’s physical premises. In addition to the physical features offered by the locks, Instakey also offers dedicated programs that can help every member of the organization act in a way that promotes security. These programs include ongoing education, training, and support to help administrators establish organization-wide policies that ensure the security and effectiveness of your system. When every member of every team in your organization works together to ensure security, you can rest assured that the risk of a security breach is being kept as low as possible.

If you need to balance the need for better security in your organization with the desire to keep costs low, a high security door lock system could be the best choice. As you have seen, there are many benefits to installing this kind of system in your organization, including low maintenance costs, greater convenience, and enhanced security. For more information about the benefits that high security door lock systems can bring to your business, get in touch with Instakey today. We can answer any questions you have about HESC and other types of electronic door lock systems, which could help you find the system that is right for your needs.

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How To Save Money When You're Dealing With A High Restaurant Turnover Rate

Posted by Shelly Vollmer, M.A. on Mar 14, 2017 10:20:14 AM in Access Intelligence | 0 Comments

Securing restaurant facilities takes up a huge chunk of time, money and human resources. So
much so that if you are in charge of restaurant operations you’re constantly looking for a way to focus more on making sure guests have a fantastic experience and less on who’s got access to a restaurant location and its vulnerable assets. In order to achieve this in the most efficient and cost effective way, take a cue from the boy scouts: be prepared.


High Restaurant Turnover Rate.pngThe turnover rate in the hospitality segment of the economy was 72.1 percent in 2015, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Think about that. Nearly three out of four employees hired in one year will no longer be employed at the same restaurant in the next year. Acknowledging this prompts a rethinking of the common protocol for securing restaurant facilities.

Those in charge of restaurant operations are surely aware of the costs associated with a high turnover rate. Not only are there significant costs associated with continuously hiring and training new employees, but there are peripheral costs that aren’t often recognized and discussed in the popular discourse on the topic. High turnover rates directly affect the cost of keeping restaurant facilities secure. But, knowing this is not reflected in the typical process of securing a facility after an employee’s departure.

The process for ensuring security at most restaurant facilities looks like this:

  1. Employee is separated.
  2. The facility’s security is evaluated by asking the question, “What did this employee have access to?”
  3. Once the employee’s access level is known, keys are asked to be returned.
  4. Locks are changed in the event that employee does not return keys.
  5. Access codes are changed.

This process is reactive rather than proactive. Being reactive is a result of being unprepared. Being prepared for employee separation will allow restaurant ops leaders to combat the high cost of securing facilities. These high costs often lie in the result of steps three and four in the process outlined above. There are three changes that can be made should be made to prepare facilities for such situations and reduce costs. 

  1. Establishing an employee retention program can make a big impact to reduce the turnover rate before it becomes a serious strain on your budget.
  2. During the employee onboarding process, consider creating a key log that documents the keys that a new employee is issued and what those keys access. Keys can be easily documented if they can be imprinted with a tracking number. This can help ensure that when keys are returned they have not been duplicated. But, lots of people can procure engravers. What is also important to do is to use keys that don’t have key blanks used widely in the open market, also known as restricted keys. This offers a double layer of security for keyed entries. If restaurant leaders can ensure that keys have not been duplicated, locks don’t need to be changed each time an employee is separated, which will save substantial dollars each year.
  3. To fully ensure that a location’s keyed entry points have not been compromised, locks should be repinned or lock cylinders should be replaced for each employee separation event. This best practice typically comes at a premium cost, but it is absolutely worth it when you consider what could be at stake. Unfortunately, this cost is prohibitive for many smaller restaurant chains and franchise locations. The good news is that in the long run, this cost can be reduced with rekeyable locks. With these locks, restaurant management can change the locks themselves, which would make a big impact on the cost of locksmith callouts and hardware. This would also eliminate the time it takes for a technician to get to a location, thereby closing the risk window between employee separation and securing the location.

The bottom line is, employees are going to leave; about three quarters of them. What are you doing to prepare your locations for this to happen? Lock and key systems are often overlooked in the conversation on the costs of a high employee turnover rate – forgotten until a security event brings the importance of these considerations to the forefront in the form of a loss. But, that won’t happen to you, as long as you’re prepared.

 

We offer free consultations on how to save money with rekeyable lock technology. Click below to get started!

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Lock Change or Rekey: Which One Should You Choose?

Posted by InstaKey on Mar 8, 2017 8:00:00 AM in Access Intelligence | 0 Comments

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When a key is lost or stolen, you need to take action right away to keep your building secure. Rekeying and changing your locks are two similar options that you can use to secure your building in this situation and ensure that all employees can access the areas they need to go to in the course of their everyday work. As you are about to find out in this post, rekeyable door lock systems have many advantages, allowing you to avoid replacing hardware unless it is very worn out or you decide to switch to a different vendor. Let's take a look at the best practices for lock changes and rekeying to help you decide what is the best option for your business.

Rekey Locks Under These Circumstances

rekeyablelocks.jpgThe number one situation that causes business owners to consider rekeying their locks is when they lose control of who has access to their business premises. For example, if there has been a change in staffing in your organization, you may worry that ex-employees still have copies of keys, which could be the original keys you provided or copies the employees have made for themselves. If any former employee holds a grudge against your business, they could potentially use their keys to gain access to the building, steal goods, or cause criminal damage, which could then lead to significant costs for your organization. You may find it difficult to file an insurance claim in this situation, as you gave the key to the employee who caused the damage. Rekeying your locks when a staff member leaves the organization can remove the risk of this situation arising and therefore give you peace of mind.

Lost keys are also a major concern for businesses that need to keep their physical premises secure, and they can also be a very common occurrence when you have multiple employees who all hold keys for your business premises. You never know whose hands a lost set of keys could end up in, so you need to act fast to rekey locks in this situation to ensure the security of your business.

Some locks allow you to rekey them yourself, simply by inserting a step change key and turning it 180 degrees to change the lock configuration. This very quick and easy procedure makes all previous keys unusable. If you already have these kinds of  installed, rekeying is almost always a better option than replacing your locks, as it avoids the cost of calling out a locksmith and can usually be completed very quickly, therefore minimizing the time during which your business faces a security risk from lost or stolen keys. In most situations, you should use this convenient solution rather than changing your locks.

Change Locks Under These Circumstances

Despite the advantages of rekeying rather than replacing locks in most circumstances, there are certain situations when you will need to change your locks instead of simply rekeying them. For most businesses, the two situations that would cause them to change their locking system hardware include replacing worn out hardware and changing to a different security system or security vendor. In all other commercial and retail situations, there is simply no need to replace hardware.

A good reason to change your locks is worn out hardware. If the components of your lock are simply too worn to be rekeyed, you may need to replace your locks instead of rekeying them. When you replace your locks, consider installing units that have small format interchangeable cores (SFIC) to cut down on hardware replacement costs in the future. Using this kind of core allows you to change only the core of the lock, not the whole unit, when the locking mechanism begins to wear out.

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Another good reason to change your locks is because you want to upgrade to a better security system. For example, you may want to upgrade from basic locks to a door lock system. This locking system provides features that allow business owners to conveniently manage all locks and keys. For example, InstaKey’s door lock system can include cloud-based software. When a key is lost or stolen, this kind of system makes it easy to rekey locks and reset keys held by employees, therefore ensuring the security of the property without business owners having to worry about disturbing the day to day running of the organization.

If you need more help in deciding whether to rekey or replace your locks, get in touch with InstaKey for more information. We can help you learn more about rekeyable lock technology and give you detailed advice about upgrading your business’s security with a better lock system. Explain your situation and find out whether you need to simply rekey your system or whether it is time to replace your hardware. Contact us today to find out how we can help.

 

 

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Rekeying Locks vs. Rekeyable Locks: Which is better?

Posted by InstaKey on Feb 20, 2017 8:00:00 AM in | 0 Comments

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Here's an alarming statistic: A burglary takes place every 18 seconds in the United States. That may have you worried about your business or organization's security. 

Obviously, a perfect world without theft is impossible. But what's the key to reducing the amount of break-ins? It's better keys (and locks).

Whether you're handling loss prevention at a retail store, managing physical assets at public buildings or trying to cut operational costs at a factory, you need the most secured key systems on the market. It's how you can protect your assets, reduce shrink and theft, and lower security costs.

If you've already done some research, you may be deciding between rekeying locks and rekeyable locks. Discussed here is all you need to know to decide which one is better for your business.

The Truth About Rekeying Locks

lock_and_key.jpgThere are many reasons to upgrade your lock system. A recent break-in certainly necessitates improving security (and improving lock systems). Losing a set of the master keys does, too. If you've just opened up a new storefront or want greater security at a production plant, then you should be thinking about changing the locks. Whatever the reason is, you always should be making sure the place is as secure as possible.

One option you may consider is rekeying locks. To rekey locks, you or a handyman professional would have to remove the locks and replace them with lock patterns that match the new keys.

This sounds simple but actually is time-consuming and can get costly, as you have to pay for labor and buy new equipment. If you are managing a big facility where there are lots of doors to secure, this can be even more costly.

There is no greater cautionary example than perhaps what happened at the College of William and Mary. When a set of master keys was lost, the college had to rekey locks in all 80 campus residential buildings. The cost of this was almost $400,000 (yes, you read that number right). Overall, the school had to remove and replace 3,000 lock cores — and that's incredibly expensive.

Rekeyable Locks

While rekeying locks certainly makes a facility secure, it takes a long time and is expensive. Many businesses, organizations and municipalities simply can't afford it. Thankfully, there is a cheaper and more efficient way to change a lock system: rekeyable locks.

The way rekeyable locks work is ingenious. These locks are designed to be changed with just one turn of a key. Through what is called a "step change" method, locks can be changed without removing or replacing any hardware.

Here's a step-by-step guide of what you have to do. A professional isn't even needed, which saves you even more money:

  1. Insert a notched step key into the cylinder. Turn it 180 degrees, which displaces the wafer and renders previous keys useless.
  2. Turn the key to disengage and capture wafers. This is how the rekeying process is implemented.
  3. Return the key to its original position to create a modified pin. By removing wafers from different stacks in different chambers, you can change the lock at any level. This essentially gives you the ability to have a seemingly endless amount of ways to construct a key, which makes copying impossible.
  4. Set the key and let the cylinder reload a new and totally different lock combination.
  5. Extract the key. You are finished. 

After the rekey, the original master key will not be able to enter the building. It is useless to the thief or whoever finds it. Yes, it's as simple and effective as it sounds.

The benefits of such innovative technology are amazing, as no new hardware is required and you don't have to hire a handyman, which can be pricey. You can improve and update your lock systems very quickly and at a fraction of the cost (in comparison to rekeying locks). Whether you're trying to reduce loss at a clothing store or stop robberies at a school, rekeyable lock can come in handy.

rekeyablelocks.jpgOn top of all that, with many rekeyable locks, you can be sent new keys very quickly. For instance, if you get your locks and keys from InstaKey, you just have to notify the company when your keys are lost or stolen. InstaKey will expedite shipping of new keys to you so that security at your facility doesn't miss a beat.

If you're choosing between rekeying locks and rekeyable locks, the answer should be clear. In the long run, it is much more beneficiary to have rekeyable locks. It gives you the flexibility and cost efficiency you need. 

When it comes down to it, you don't have to be a victim of theft, because we have the services and new technology available to help you. Our leading rekeyable lock technology gives you peace of mind, ensuring your business or organization is secure 24/7. Contact us to learn more about utilizing rekeyable locks today.

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