Keeping offices secure is nothing new. Security has always been a priority in the workplace, whether it’s giving each employee a set of keys, or hiring a security guard at the front door. However, advancements in access control technology are enabling businesses move beyond the outdated lock-and-key methods. In the scope of modern commercial building security, most offices now feature electronic door locks, which allow businesses to upgrade to keyless entry systems. Electronic door entry systems that use keyless locks are a great investment for small and enterprise businesses. There are many benefits to going keyless, including improved security, increased ROI, and a better experience for employees, staff, and visitors.
Commercial keyless door lock technology has been around for a few decades now, so it’s no surprise that most businesses already have a keyless entry system in their offices. However, the advent of IoT-connected devices and rise in cyber crime means a growing list of security threats, and some keyless entry systems could already be inadequate for commercial security. Use this guide as a resource for understanding how keyless entry systems work to safeguard the office, and how the latest technology developments are changing the way businesses approach security.
How keyless entry systems work
In short, keyless access control locks let authorized users unlock a door without needing a physical key. Also known as remote central locking, keyless entry systems use an electronic device to control entry into a building. Instead of a traditional metal key, this type of electronic access control requires users to have a credential that communicates with the keyless access control locks via proximity. Users need to be within a certain distance of the reader to trigger an unlock.
The typical keyless door entry system requires electronic or magnetic door locking mechanisms, a proximity card reader or sensor, and each user needs an authorized credential to authenticate their identity. When somebody wants to unlock the door, rather than digging around for the right key and fumbling with a cumbersome lock, all they have to do is present their keyless credential near the reader. The access control system verifies the credential, and triggers a door unlock once approved.
Installing a keyless entry system depends on the current state of the building. If upgrading from traditional locks, an access control installer will need to wire the office for electronic door locks. If there’s already an electronic door entry system in place, the installer can likely use the existing wiring to upgrade the system. It’s best to choose an access control system like Openpath that uses standard wiring, as it’s backwards compatible with most keyless door locking hardware.
Types of proximity keyless entry for businesses
Because of the growing need for high-quality office building security, there are a lot of keyless entry systems to choose from. The best type of keyless commercial entry system will depend on the size of an organization, the budget for security, and the desired system capabilities. The most common types of commercial keyless access control are proximity key cards, key fobs, mobile credentials, biometrics, or some combination of these.
Proximity key cards — A common type of commercial keyless entry system that uses a key card or key fob in place of a traditional key. Proximity cards, also known as prox cards, are a popular choice for many organizations, and can double as an ID badge. These credit card-sized credentials are easy to use and fairly inexpensive. However, as one of the first types of keyless credential created, they aren’t always the most secure. Businesses that want to use key cards for their commercial building should use encrypted smart cards for the best possible security.
Key fobs — Similar to key cards, office keyless door locks can use RFID key fobs to unlock the door. Key fobs are convenient because they can be added to a keychain to make them easily accessible for users, and they are usually small. Unlike a key card, a fob won’t have personal information or an ID photo on it, so they have a more generic look.
Mobile access control — With this type of keyless entry, your smartphone is your key. App-based access control is quickly increasing in popularity, as it’s more convenient and often more secure than other keyless door entry for businesses. People are less likely to forget or lose their smartphone compared to a key card, and it also means less up-front cost for businesses. Openpath, a leading provider of mobile access control, uses Triple Unlock technology to ensure a secure, reliable unlocking experience. Another benefit of app-based keyless door entry systems is the ability to customize the features and functions to cater to specific security needs.
Biometrics — Some businesses choose to use more advanced credentials to identify authorized users. Biometrics can include fingerprint scans, facial recognition, and iris scans. In terms of access control, biometric credentials are often used in addition to a more traditional credential, such as a key card or ID badge, as a form of two-factor authentication. With mobile access control, organizations can leverage the biometrics built into the phone to increase security. For example, users on the Openpath access control system can be required to complete a FaceID scan on their smartphone before unlocking the door via the mobile app.
Hybrid keyless door entry systems — Mobile-based access control is great, but some companies still need a keyless door entry system that can also support encrypted key cards, too. In this case, an access control system with flexible credential options like Openpath is a smart choice. Openpath Smart Readers support both the app-based mobile credentials, as well as secure key card and key fob access, all on the same system. Openpath’s hybrid access control model is also backwards-compatible with legacy RFID key cards.
Benefits of commercial keyless entry systems
Keyless entry systems for businesses offer many advantages over physical keys beyond the simple convenience of not having to deal with a key to open the door. Consider the following advantages to keyless access control when comparing commercial building security solutions.
Better security — Metal keys are easy to lose, easy to copy, and simply outdated when it comes to protecting a business. Keyless door entry systems require each user to have a unique credential, so it’s harder for somebody to copy. In addition, many electronic door entry systems use end-to-end encryption to protect user data. The best keyless access control locks don’t store any data at the local level, making it harder for hackers and intruders to obtain the information they’re looking for.
Easier to manage — With traditional office locks, every time an employee leaves the company, new keys need to be cut and issued, and every door lock needs to be retooled. This could get expensive quickly for businesses with high turnover. An electronic keyless door lock system can be reconfigured without a full replacement. Proximity key cards still require some management, and people will still need to meet in person to receive new credentials or return old ones. However, with mobile-based keyless entry for offices, it’s much easier to issue new credentials, especially with a cloud-based access control system. With management available online, adding new users (and revoking credentials) is instant and can be done from anywhere, at any time. Plus, you won’t need to order replacement key cards ever again, as employees use their smartphone to unlock the door.
Remote access — A cloud-managed keyless entry system also gives you the benefit of remote access. This feature is especially useful for multi-site organizations that need to manage different locations. With remote access on a keyless entry system, an administrator can unlock any door from anywhere; whether to let in an employee after-hours, handle a delivery, or even allow first responders into the building during an emergency. Remote access to the system also allows admins to make adjustments to schedules, permissions, and system users on the fly, without having to set foot on-site.
More data insights — With a traditional key, you can’t tell who opened the door or when. It’s a nightmare for compliance, and nearly impossible to audit. Because keyless entry systems use encrypted communication to authenticate unique credentials, there’s more data at your disposal. Advanced access control systems like Openpath track all entry activity in real-time, and provide detailed reporting. This is great for auditing the system on a regular basis, as well as responding to emergencies or security threats. Access activity data also empowers businesses with behavioral learning insights to improve space management and inform decisions over time.
Future-proofing — Keyless entry for businesses is more than just a security feature. Mobile, cloud-based systems are more adaptable, giving organizations greater flexibility to meet ever-changing business needs. Electronic door entry systems are easier to update with the latest security technology and software, and are easier to scale up or back than traditional office door locks. With better technology, commercial entry systems help future-proof the workplace.
How keyless door locks make businesses safer
Keyless entry systems are an important investment for any industry, regardless of how small or how big the enterprise is. Smart access control systems do more than just keep unauthorized people out; they also can improve the overall safety of the entire building.
Keyless access control locks enable a touchless entry experience in commercial spaces. Being able to unlock the door without having to touch anything eliminates one possible way for germs to spread. With contactless features like Openpath’s Wave to Unlock, users simply wave their hand or phone in front of the reader for keyless entry into the office. Connect Openpath’s electronic door entry system with automatic door opener hardware to create 100% touchless office entry, and make the workplace ADA compliant.
With more workplaces moving to decreased occupancy and “work from anywhere” models to accommodate social distancing, remote management is an essential tool in keeping the office safe. Keyless entry systems that are managed in the cloud help businesses keep office occupancy below capacity. Flexible scheduling and staggered work shifts can be adjusted on the fly in a remotely accessed dashboard. With Openpath, businesses can track the number of people credentialing in through the keyless access control system and automatically enforce social distancing.
Upgrade your office door entry system with Openpath access control
When choosing the best keyless entry system for your space, look for providers that combine the convenience of going keyless with the highest levels of security available. Openpath’s cloud-based, mobile access control system offers a flexible, scalable security solution that’s customizable for any organization. Easy-to-install keyless door locks for office spaces support mobile credentials, key cards, fobs, and Cloud Key credentials, and are backwards compatible with legacy access control systems. The Openpath system can be configured for office door locks, parking garages, turnstiles, and elevators.
The open platform also gives businesses the ability to connect limitless integrations for a powerful, holistic security posture. By integrating keyless entry systems with tools like identity management, video surveillance and alarm systems, organizations can improve safety and efficiency across all their locations.
Ready to upgrade your commercial door locks? Talk to an access control specialist about your needs, and to see how Openpath keyless entry systems can work for you.