The key. Essential. Unique. Universal. A centuries-old symbol for access and status. It is our access to the physical places in our personal and professional lives. We quite literally never leave home without it. Every day we open and close locks with different keys, key cards and fobs. We use locks as a device to allow and deny access to selected persons to certain areas, vaults or objects. Yet, if one looks closer, the outdatedness and limitations of the key industrial-complex become quickly evident.

Although we use keys on a daily basis to protect our most precious information, objects and spaces, we do not question whether keys are secure in the first place. We have become too accustomed to question the security aspect of this ancient system.

Companies in particular need to consider whether their access key management meets their security requirements or whether an update is needed. Here are 6 reasons why your traditional key system is the next system in dire need of an upgrade – because it is potentially a threat to you and your company.

1. An analog solution for a digital world: The Lost key

Let’s face it. We have all had that embarrassing moment where we have misplaced a key. We have traveled down to the office management office located in some obscure part of the basement of your office building and embarrassingly gone through the process of getting a new one. “I lost my key.” Dreaded words. In 2020, it is very easy to lose or misplace keys. That is not only annoying, but can be very costly for the company and a hit to productivity for the employee.

2. The Invisible Security Threat: The Weaponized Key 

If a lost key is discovered too late, serious problems may already have occurred. Theft, unauthorized entry or a duplication of the key. If keys are lost, the insurance is not liable. Therefore, any damage incurred must be paid for by yourself. Moreover, lost keys are often not displayed and reported out of shame, which poses a high security risk especially for companies.

3. Identity Theft: The Duplicated Key

The duplication of keys poses a very high security risk and is one of the greatest weakness for most access control systems. Especially as it is very simple to duplicate keys. Even if keys are returned, one cannot assume that no copy was made. Companies must always fear that former employees still have access to office spaces. But not only traditional keys are at stake, key cards and key fobs can also be duplicated. With detailed instruction on the internet, various apps for mobile phones, anyone can try their luck to copy and duplicate key cards and fobs.

4. Systems without Scale: The Limited Key

The locking plan for a key based access management is created manually, for example in an excel spreadsheet, and must be adjusted whenever changes are made. Changes are not implemented in real time. Access systems based on keys are very uncontrollable and are a poor representation of real-time.

5. Cost and Time: The Expensive Key 

As security requirements increase, so does the cost of conventional key systems. New locks and keys need to be installed, exchanged, duplicated or withdrawn. Furthermore, access authorizations must be redefined and adapted. This can be very time consuming, expensive and exhausting.

6. The Convenience Factor: The Key as Experience 

Keys are annoying and inconvenient. In the age of digitization, one can ask why this outdated system has not yet been revised. It should be possible to use modern technology to create more secure and simplified experiences.

To sum up old metal key systems are outdated, a security risk and need a serious make-over. Fortunately, new digital solutions offer a more secure and convenient experience. Locks and keys can be integrated or exchanged with mobile solutions. Both companies and individuals can benefit from this.

Mobile access offers a simple, comprehensive control management with real-time visualization of current logins and authorizations. With digital solutions it is possible to create a more secure and transparent environment. Companies benefit from keeping the workplace safe from unauthorized access. As a result, office equipment and employee’s property are more secure which ensures smooth business operations.