2020 is a year that will go down in history for business owners. So many entrepreneurs have had to make quick pivots to keep their heads above water, and many more are facing an uncertain future as we prepare for 2021.
When you’re living in a world where crime seems to be going up and safety is less of a guarantee, it’s important to think about what you can do to protect your business. A lot of business owners are focused on marketing plans and product offerings. However, if they wanted to truly focus on safety, they’d be more concerned about access control.
There are countless offices filled with expensive equipment and important documents that have been vacant for months. It’s also safe to assume that some employers that scrambled to give employees remote access to important data and programs may not have had security on their minds when they set things up.
The truth is that business security is more important than ever, and the best way to keep your business and employees safe is through access control. Keep reading to learn more about access control and why it can help your business.
What Is Access Control?
Simply put, access control is a security practice that limits the access certain individuals have to company resources, data, and areas. Access control can be as involved as coming up with encryption for data that are viewed outside of the company intranet or as simple as putting important files behind a locked door.
Typically, access control plans involve a combination of physical access control and digital access control.
Physical access control is centered around restricting access to a physical space that’s associated with a business or organization. This is done to help keep certain assets secure and ensure that only the right people have access to them.
An example of physical access control would be choosing to install key code locks on doors or fob access gates in an office. Other people may choose to use alarms and lockdown features to alert people if there’s ever unauthorized access.
Digital access control can be seen as a form of information security. When you focus on digital asset control, your main priority is protecting important data, software, and digital assets. Password protected files, biometric security features, and authorizations can all fall under digital asset control.
Why Access Control Matters: 8 Ways Access Control Helps Businesses
If you’re new to the world of security you may wonder why access control is such a hot topic. After all, if you’re already using some form of passwords and keycodes your business is already practicing access control, right?
There’s a world of difference between having a true access control plan and using a few passwords and codes throughout the day. Investing in access control can do a lot to benefit your business and your employees.
Are you on the fence about how important access control is for your business? After you see all of the ways you could benefit from it you’ll wonder why you haven’t focused on access control sooner.
1. Improve Security Across Different Locations
Does your business have multiple locations? Do you have employees that have to frequently travel between locations, or may even pick up shifts at different stores?
Managing access across multiple locations can be tricky. Keeping a running tally on who is supposed to be where and what they should have access to can be difficult. Having a solid access control system across multiple locations makes security much easier.
Instead of leaving everything up to individual managers, you can have a solid access control plan you can roll out to each location. You can easily develop a system that lets managers control access with ease and allows people higher up in the company to have a true understanding of who is able to access what.
2. Protect Your Employees
Access control systems aren’t just meant to protect company assets. The right system can also help employees stay safe when they’re trying to do their jobs.
The workplace should be a safe space for every single employee you have. People should be able to come to work with the peace of mind that they’re in a safe environment and that their employers are doing their best to look out for their health and safety.
How easy would it be for a criminal to gain access to your offices right now? A lock could be picked, but a fob system or door codes are much harder to breakthrough. If a criminal were to break in, a high-tech video surveillance system could capture their face and make it easier for police to track them down. Alarms could let people know that there’s an intruder.
It’s important to note that the workplace shouldn’t just be protected from potential criminals. Sometimes people’s personal problems can quite literally follow them to work.
An abusive spouse may want to continue their morning argument by going to their spouse’s workplace and demanding to speak with them. An old boyfriend or girlfriend may be unable to take no for answer and could try to corner their ex at work.
Knowing that their workplace can be a safe space even during times of personal turmoil can be a huge benefit for employees. Instead of having to worry about taking time off or possibly even switching jobs, they’ll know that they’ll always be safe at work.
3. Simplify Employee Management
A key person in management gave their two weeks and will be moving on to a new company. How can you ensure that important information about your business and clients doesn’t leave when they do?
If businesses aren’t careful, all an employee would need to take sensitive information over to competitors would be a flash drive and lots of free time. A solid access system can help ensure that your most important information stays safe.
A comprehensive access system can make changing permissions simple. Instead of having to go through and manually change things to ensure that former employees can’t reach certain information, you can remove them from certain systems with ease whenever you need to.
4. Reduce Theft
When some people think of business theft they may imagine masked robbers taking registers or shadowy hackers accessing important data. Very few people think that the greatest threat to their business can be their own employees.
In a perfect world, every manager would be able to fully trust their employees. The truth is that employee theft is estimated to cost businesses a whopping $50 billion each year.
You can’t expect managers or other employees to be able to successfully do their jobs and also keep one eye open for potential theft. Instead of feeling like you have to constantly monitor your employees, let your access control system do the monitoring for you.
Access control is one of the best ways for you to protect your assets and ensure that employees are on the up and up. Giving employees unique passwords or access codes doesn’t just ensure that the right people have access to things. It can also make it easy to track potential thieves when funds or important information goes missing.
5. Create a Traceable Trail
Do you want a way to ensure that all of your employees are clocking in on time? Are you trying to find a way to prove that certain employees are where they’re supposed to be? Instead of making managers micromanage their employees, let your access control system handle the work for you.
One of the best benefits of having an access control system is that it naturally creates a running log of events. You’ll be able to know whenever someone uses a keyfob to enter a room or swipes their keycard to clock in.
This can be very helpful during employee reviews. Instead of having to assume that people have been showing up on time, managers can simply check swipe logs to confirm the exact date and time someone came into work.
Having all of this access data in one place can come in handy in case a problem ever arises at work.
Did someone access sensitive data at 1 am? Instead of wondering who could have done it, all you have to do is check your access to logs. Was there an incident at work where employees don’t feel comfortable talking about what happened? Bring up your access logs to see who was around at the time and try to talk to them one on one.
6. Make Customized Schedules
Sometimes you may not want employees to have access to your building 24/7. You may have contractors that only need access to certain areas at certain times. It’s possible that you may just want an easier way of seeing how people are coming and going.
Regardless of what your reasoning is, access control can make it easier for you to limit access to certain parts of your building. Instead of simply giving people a key and hoping they’ll do the right thing, you can ensure that only the right people have access to the most important parts of your business.
This can be especially helpful for businesses that have overnight and weekend shifts. You won’t have to worry about having someone around to let them in. All they’ll need to do is swipe their fob or card or enter in a code to work.
7. Protect Customer Data
One of the biggest security mistakes business owners can make is to assume that they’re too small for criminals to target.
The truth is that every business owner should be concerned about security. You could easily argue that small business owners are more vulnerable to these problems since they may not have a system set up to handle it.
This may come as a surprise, but 28% of data breaches that occurred this year happened to small business owners. Do you do credit card transactions, store customer data, or have important paperwork with people’s personal information on them? If so, you’re the perfect target for a criminal.
Pay close attention to the next big robbery or data breach story you hear about a big brand. These criminals aren’t looking for company ideas or passwords to their bank accounts. They’re busy searching for the data these businesses collect from their customers and clients.
Criminals getting access to important customer information isn’t just bad for your business. If the damage is big enough, some people may choose to take legal action against you for failing to protect them. Do yourself a favor and protect your customers and your business now by implementing a solid access control plan.
8. Attain True Remote Management
It’s Monday morning and you’re getting a frantic call from an employee. It turns out that the opening manager had to take a sick day. Since they’re the only ones with a key, nobody can get inside the office.
In the past, someone with keys would have to rush over to the office to let employees in. Luckily, the right security access measures can make solving this problem incredibly simple.
You could read a temporary access code to an employee that gives them access to the building and expires once the day is done. Depending on the system you choose, you could even have the power to unlock doors and let people in 100% remotely.
Access management can really help managers improve their remote management game. Knowing that you can control employee access from anywhere gives you peace of mind and helps you prepare for any situation.
Start Improving Your Business Security Today
Access management isn’t a buzzword that’s used by information security experts. It’s an incredibly helpful security method that can help ensure that your business, employees, and most sensitive information stays safe.
Coming up with a truly comprehensive security access plan on your own can difficult. Luckily, we’re here to help!
Do you want to improve your current access plan? Do you need help coming up with a unique access system for your business? Use our request services form to tell us what you need (and don’t forget to take advantage of our coupons).