Electronic key management

Electronic key management

Electronic Key Management

Electronic management of keys is an area of access control within the broader category of security. Typically, physical mechanical keys are managed electronically by a system which controls key access and also creates reports and generates alarms. Many times these systems are networkable, web based, and IP addressable.

Why manage keys electronically?

The justification for electronic key management is often based on the idea that security directors and managers, as well as facility professionals, want to control and manage the entry and use of rooms and assets within a facility, or institution. Today's modern access control systems rely to a large extent upon access card (mag stripes, proximity cards, smart cards, etc.) but they often do not cover a certain number of assets, doors, and rooms, which are still accessed by traditional keys. These tradition mechanical keys must be controlled and managed in order to assure a safe and secure system.

Sometimes access control companies will provide an alternative to the standard "arm every door with card readers" approach by suggesting that the client use a single key management system to protect a large number of seldom used doors, as a value added alternative.

Cost Considerations

An additional basis for utilizing a good key management system if the cost consideration. Lost keys cost organizations, institutions, and government more than $35 billion per year according to some studies. The cost of lost or misplaced keys results from time pent searching for keys and/or their holders, as well as the costs of replacing locks, cylinders, and keys, not to mention staff time and management time resolving lost key issues.

Who uses electronic key management?

Users of good electronic key management systems include property management companies, government, auto dealerships, prisons and institutions, colleges/universities, assisted living centers, casinos, and any place where access control is a consideration.

Modern electronic key management systems use a variety of technologies including Microchip and RFID for ease of identifying keys.

See Also

Key (lock)

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