Loss prevention is an important part of maintaining physical security for retailers and other companies with a number of products, locations, and people to keep secure. Fortunately, improving physical security and loss prevention go hand in hand. By enhancing key control measures, organizations of all sizes can more effectively keep products and people safe without compromising on productivity or the bottom line. One of the key control measures that can be impactful for large multi-site organizations is master keys. Here’s how master key system best practices can help improve loss prevention.
Limiting Key Holders
The most crucial physical security best practice to implement and enforce in order to improve loss prevention efforts is limiting key holders. Every organization has employees and stakeholders who need key access to facilities, storerooms, and other protected locations, but not every single employee needs access. This is equally true for master key holders. While there are employees within an organization who need the high-level access a master key provides, not every key holder needs to be a master key holder.
By limiting the number of key holders, particularly at the master key level, maintaining a closed security system is easier to manage. Every employee who is given a key, whether a user key or a master key, adds risk to an organization. Strong key control and loss prevention focuses on minimizing risk while maintaining necessary access.
One of the benefits of implementing a master key system is the ability to designate different levels of master key access. Master key systems are built on a hierarchy, with levels including master keys, grand master keys, and great grand master keys. In the same way that a master key can open numerous doors within a facility while a user key can only open a single door, the hierarchy in a master key system is meant to designate access. Employees and stakeholders who need access to a single location can use a master key to do so, while someone who needs access to all doors within multiple facilities can use a great grand master key.
By utilizing master keys and designating access according to the exact needs and responsibilities of a key holder, companies can prevent over-distribution of base level keys and avoid giving more access than necessary with a hierarchical master key system.
If a company isn’t accurately tracking all keys distributed throughout the organization, it opens up an expensive and dangerous opportunity for unnoticed loss and security breaches. When every key handed out to an employee or stakeholder is not being tracked, your company may be left in the dark when a key is lost, misplaced, or stolen. Additionally, having untracked keys with access to your company out in the world can contribute to occurrences of organized retail crime if an unaccounted-for key falls into the wrong hands.
An added benefit of incorporating a master key system into your key control is that master keys can be created on restricted keyways, which cannot be duplicated without your knowledge and can also be stamped with a unique serial code to make tracking simple.
Key tracking eliminates these concerns with accurate and up-to-date information about every lock, key, and key holder in your organization. Key tracking is easiest to do when tracked with key tracking software designed to support the fields of data needed for physical security. InstaKey’s key tracking software program, SecurityRecords, was designed and built for efficient and effective key tracking.