Some governing bodies of the most heavily regulated industries, like legal cannabis, fail to include proactive key management as part of the comprehensive facility security requirements, leaving it up to business owners themselves to make key control part of their culture to keep assets secure and business profitable.
Controlling keys in a way that supports profitability is usually unheard of. Locks and keys just keep things secure, and that’s it. If this aligns with what you think locks and keys can do, think again. Here’s eight tips to help you maximize security and profitability using key control.
1. Use Restricted Keys
Restricted keys can’t be copied. The best security plans include these keys because when they are returned by separating key holders, an extra key won’t exist, eliminating a possible security breach.
2. Key Receipts
Maintain key holder compliance by requiring a signature for acknowledgement of each key issued. As an increased security measure, consider penalizing key holders in some way, for losing keys.
3. Use Rekeyable Locks
When keys can’t be reclaimed from separating key holders, avoid waiting for a locksmith and rekey locks yourself immediately. This can be done with user-rekeyable cylinders that require no tools or hardware removal to rekey - a step change key is all that is needed.
4. Keep a Backup Rekey Kit
After conducting a rekey, make sure a new rekey kit is ordered to keep on-site, in a secure location. This will make it easy to conduct the next rekey and distribute new keys without delay.
5. Get a Database to Keep Records
You’ll want to keep track of relationships between keys, key holders & locks, using unique identifiers on keys, or serial numbers. This should be done in a centralized, secure database to give visibility to administrators for auditing purposes.
6. Audit Keys and Key Holders
To keep the integrity of a key system, it should be audited at least once a quarter. Diligent security programs should conduct these audits monthly to ensure that issued keys stay with the intended key holders.
7. Try a Master Key System
Using a master (grandmaster or a great grandmaster) key system can help to keep a hierarchy of access & fewer keys in circulation to keep track of.
8. Find a Partner
Of course, you’ll want to find a physical security expert to help you develop a customized plan for each commercial-grade lock, what type of hardware should be used & where it should be used appropriately. Any hardware expert can advise on how or why to do something for security, but a partner will make it a mission to take care of a project as if it were their own.
Locks and keys can be more than just brass that keeps your facility secure. They can be a real source of cost-savings and improved operational efficiency. So, go above and beyond required security regulations. You’ll save a ton of time and money in the process – and keep your cannabis business growing.