What Happens If An Access Card Is Lost Or Stolen?
Contact the access control experts at Jay360 to explore your options for modern, more secure ways of managing access at your business or facility. We are a leading installer of access control and security surveillance systems on businesses, homes, and facilities of different kinds across Southern Ontario.
A stolen or lost keycard in a physical access control system can compromise access and put the security of assets and the safety of workers at risk. In the case of access card theft, an unauthorized person can gain access, almost always with the intention to harm your business in some way.
To prevent security breaches arising from unauthorized access, it is critical that an authorized access cardholder immediately notify the administrator of the access control system. This way the lost access card can be disabled in the management system before access is compromised.
How do access cards work?
Access control minimizes the opportunity for the theft and (or) damage of data or physical assets and equipment. Keycard entry systems are one of the earliest and most common forms of access control systems.
Keycard entry systems typically consist of the access control software, electric door locks, card readers, and access cards. The card readers are installed on the door.
To gain access, the cardholder will use their card to tap, swipe, or insert on the card reader, which will read the embedded access credential on the card. Permission is only granted if the card recognizes the access credential/unique code on the access card.
Access cards have digitally embedded information, typically through a unique identifying number, that identifies who the card belongs to and what level of access they have.
Access level is determined by job title/role or pay grade. It designates which doors one can enter, what times of the day, and which days of the week they have access.
The downside of using keycard access control systems
Keycard entry systems have many advantages. They are easy to assign and manage. They are also easy to carry as they fit snugly into standard wallets. You can also deactivate your employees’ access cards remotely.
The biggest weakness of keycards, however, is they can be used by whoever is carrying them. The card reader cannot tell if the person using the card is the authorized user or if they’re an imposter.
Unfortunately, access control cards can also be hacked, sometimes using inexpensive devices. To prevent theft, loss, or hacking of access cards, it is essential that all cardholders securely store their keycards at all times.
Set clear rules on how employees handle access cards
Lost or stolen access cards can compromise security for an entire building. You can lose equipment, stock, and even important documents and data. Not to mention putting the safety of your employees at risk.
It is crucial that all employees understand that access cards come with special responsibilities. Just as they won’t leave their home keys lying around where they can be stolen, they must handle their access cards in a secure manner.
Your access card policy must state in unambiguous terms that access cards are not to be shared with anyone, including co-workers, even for reasons that seem legitimate.
Access cardholders must also never allow access to unauthorized people. Where this happens, it must be clear what disciplinary measures such misconduct attracts. If the punishment is dismissal, the access card usage policy must clearly state so.
Despite their best efforts, some employees may lose their keycards. There must be a clearly laid-out procedure for what to do in such an event.
While that could be no fault of their own, the employee must know they have a responsibility to notify their supervisor or chief security officer so the card may be deactivated before it can be used by an unauthorized person. The card will also need to be replaced.
With all the disadvantages of keycard entry systems, including their susceptibility to hacking, if you have a large building or high-value assets to secure, you should consider more secure types of access control.
Time to upgrade to a mobile access control system
Smartphones and other mobile devices have literally taken over our lives and are shaping the future in some very disruptive ways. They enable innovations that improve how we work and connect with each other, among many other exciting benefits.
In terms of access control, smartphones have enabled an important innovation - mobile access control. Mobile access control enables your smart devices, including your phone and wearables, to function as an access credential, just as an access card does.
Mobile access control systems use Bluetooth to connect the mobile device with the readers installed on your electronically locked doors. This removes the need for access cards and for expensive biometric readers where the system uses biometric authentication.
All users need is an application on their smart device. Among other advantages, mobile access control systems:
Save costs on access cards as employees already own smart devices
Are more secure as access codes are encrypted and sent digitally
Are scalable as you won’t need new cards to add new employees
Simplify the process of updating and revoking credentials, which can be done remotely.