5 Ways Businesses Can Implement an Effective Key Control Strategy
In a business, the potential for keys to fall into the wrong hands can bring potential costly and damaging consequences, especially if sensitive information, valuable assets or company records are stolen. That's why restricting access should be a priority, and for most businesses this begins with taking appropriate key control measures. Below are some important tips for businesses so they can reduce potential theft and prevent keys becoming unaccounted for – a major security risk in it's own right.
1. Keep A Key Register
A key register can be used to track which key was signed out, at what time, and by whom. Should a key become unaccounted for, a key register provides the first point of information about who was last in possession of that key. It's important to remember that a register is only effective if it's filled out religiously so its important management enforce the use of the key register to keep employees accountable for keys and communicate consequences for failing to do so.
2. Only Give Access to Certain Staff
Only give staff access to areas needed to do their job. For example a frontline staff member shouldn't need access to back of house areas, and a cleaner only should be given a key to the supply room, not the entire back of house area. Senior management or a manager on duty should be the only person who holds a master key. As a general rule, limit the number of staff and contractors who have key holding privileges to as few as possible.
3. Keep Keys Organised and in a Secure Place
It goes without saying that keys should be stored securely but often there is plenty of potential for companies to improvement the way they store and organise their keys. If your business handles a lot of keys i.e. a motel or property management agency, a key cabinet or key safe can be a sensible way to store keys on numbered hooks to prevent to ensure the wrong keys are not given out unintentionally and keys aren't mixed up.
4. Use a Restricted/Patented Key System
If restricted are used, potentially dishonest employees or contractors can't copy them when they are signed out. If there are missing keys that have been unaccounted for, after a certain time it's worth having locks changed and this is a good opportunity to use restricted keys, especially in areas of the business where the may be in the hands of former employees.
Business should take measures to reduce the number of copies of keys they keep. The more keys, the more potential for them to go missing or fall into the wrong hands.
5. Ensure staff are aware of their responsibilities
A properly communicated policy around key control including rules around use of keys (e.g keys are not to be taken off premises), will ensure there is no confusion about expectations when it comes to keys. Make sure all staff that have access to keys sign a document to be accountable for keys when in possession and employees are periodically given a refresher of these policies.
Remember, proper key control is an essential measure of maintaining the security of any business. If it's been a while since you last looked at your key control policy, the sooner you start, the sooner you can boost the security of your business.For more information, check out companies such as AXCESS LOCKSMITHS.