Whether safeguarding a stockroom with costly goods and equipment or ensuring the security of intellectual property or propriety technology, a wide range of advanced locking systems are available that are designed to meet the needs of any industry, regardless of scale.
Ranging from those that are battery operated and sound an alarm to those that tie in with your security system and alert monitoring staff to unauthorized access, most solutions are completely scalable and can operate independently or as part of a network. Popular upgrades include:
Similar to standard locking devices, an electronic lock adds the additional convenience of remote control and has become widely popular in hotels and other facilities that have a high turnover of temporary or short-term users. Typically operated through a central security system, you have the option of key control and management, adding access without rekeying lock cylinders, as well as access logs that monitor activity to controlled areas.
Electronic locks are also available as standalone devices. These models contain an electronic control assembly mounted directly to the lock and operate through internal batteries that have a life expectancy of about three years before they need to be replaced. In doing so, these self-contained upgrades enable the use of electronic locks in areas where it's physically or financially unfeasible to run electrical wiring.
Sometimes resembling a credit card, sometimes looking like a small remote control that fits neatly on any standard keychain, electronic keys are magnetically charged or broadcast a wireless signal that communicates authorization to an electronic lock.
Working in tandem with an electronic locking system, electronic keys enable a centralized management system to quickly add, change, or delete user access with the simple push of a button. As a result, this has made electronic keys one of the most preferred choices among businesses of every size and within just about every industry – saving on the cost of equipment while greatly reducing the labor required to replace lock cylinders and rekey a room. Though a wired system takes a little forethought to plan out and configure, self-contained battery-operated electronic locks can be installed in place of your existing locks, and often with just a single screwdriver, in about 30 minutes.
This is where things get serious. Often found in labs and other high-tech facilities, biometric locks use one or a combination of different authentication techniques that include iris recognition, voice recognition, and fingerprint recognition. Nearly impossible to fake, this type of locking system is considered far more reliable and secure than a key (which can be stolen) or a PIN code or password (which can easily be forgotten). In fact, it's been reported that almost 40 percent of all calls to a help desk are related to forgotten passwords or PIN numbers.
Biometric locks eliminate both the potential for theft as well as issues related to memory loss. That's because biometrically-secure systems are geared to respond to who a person actually is, effectively eliminating the risks that accompany key cards, physical keys, and similar less-advanced locking mechanisms.
Among the most popular modern systems, iris recognition is considered to be one of the most accurate but is also extremely costly to implement. Plus, cataloging and scanning the human eye currently has a stigma many people are uncomfortable with. Voice recognition is far less costly but can also prove somewhat unreliable in the event of illness, hoarseness, or other throat problems that alter the tone of voice, thereby resulting in a 'no-match' when compared to the voice sample on file. By far the most practical, fingerprint recognition provides a dynamic combination of reliability, privacy and cost-effectiveness.
Additional though far less common biometric security methods include:
- Facial Recognition
- Finger Geometry
- Hand Recognition
- Palm Geometry
- Retina Scans
- Signature Identification