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Consider Cabinet Locks When Evaluating Access Control Needs

Nov. 7, 2019

When evaluating access control for small spaces in your facility, consider cabinet locks with different capabilities to meet the needs of your building and occupants. Learn about different solutions and determine what’s right for your needs.

In today’s increasingly convenience-centric, digitized world, we move at an on-demand pace that’s changing how we live, work and access the spaces around us. As a result, a traditional lock and key to control access to the entrance and exit of a facility simply isn’t enough anymore.

More flexible solutions for staffing arrangements of shift workers or contractors, shared workspaces and lean budgets impact the way facilities are used in industries, like a corporate office, healthcare and education space.

The ubiquity of eCommerce fueling the Buy Online Pickup In Store and package delivery trends gives new dimensions to the importance of securing shipments.

More than ever, unmanned infrastructure is being tasked with protecting assets and network access points from physical and cyberattacks. Integrated electronic access control solutions are adapting to meet all of these changing needs.

Security vs. Convenience in Healthcare

Access to small interior spaces demands creative new solutions that are cost-effective and easy to use. In many facilities, cabinet locks are used to secure materials that multiple shifts of employees must access. This makes mechanical keys cumbersome for facilities to manage – more so when managing mechanical locks and keys for multiple sites.

Healthcare facilities are focused on patient care but need the ability to secure valuable supplies and controlled narcotics. These materials must be available at a moment’s notice, while teams of people often change throughout the day. Resulting in the increased likelihood of lost keys, missing equipment or medications, stressing the importance of security and convenience.

Locking solutions can provide reliable, ease to use electronic access to cabinet doors and drawers — there are no physical keys that can be lost or stolen, providing real-time management as staff changes. Products can connect and extend existing access control systems to secure more spaces without the need to manage multiple keys or credentials.

At Dixie Regional Medical Center in Utah, electronic access control technology was used to secure 19 operating room cabinets that employees can access with their existing badges. It also provided staff with audit data on who accessed those sensitive materials.

This solved multiple problems by ensuring medical staff could access what they needed quickly without having to manage multiple sets of keys, while also maintaining the security of controlled medications and efficiency around shift changes in operating rooms.

Safekeeping in Package Delivery

Each day, Amazon ships 1.6 million packages. Securing those deliveries is important. Amazon acknowledged this increasing importance with its recently announced plans to expand their remote-delivery lockers nationwide.

Lockers are an effective way to secure packages, rather than leaving them in a communal hallway or on a doorstep, and universities or large companies are embracing this solution for their populations. With new smart locker technology, students or office workers can pick up packages when it’s convenient for them, and mailroom staff can avoid excess work for pickups.

For example, smart lockers today include features like a touchscreen interface and keyless access, differently sized compartments to accommodate various package sizes and outbound shipping. This means the locker can help accommodate sending and receiving.

First Step in Cybersecurity is Physical Security

So much of what is changing our world today involves protecting digital information and the points we access them from both physical and cyber threats. Access control continues to play a pivotal role in cybersecurity by providing physical barriers that keep servers, routers and other digital infrastructure safe from tampering.

Like shared workspaces, colocation data centers house private suites within the larger facility where numerous organizations house their equipment. Better management of these areas calls for solutions like a server cabinet lock that integrates with access control systems.

At the Forsythe Data Center in Illinois, for example, a host of companies have data suites with different cabinet configurations for their infrastructure across the 200,000-square-foot facility. A server cabinet lock keeps their client’s equipment protected from unauthorized access while providing an audit trail of who accessed the cabinet and when.

The site managers value the real-time feedback and monitoring while making it convenient to access to their data.

Edge data physical security improves the overall cybersecurity of unmanned infrastructure, making it more convenient and secure to manage and maintain large digital infrastructures within a building.

Securing Small Spaces Will Grow

Package delivery and data security aren’t going away any time soon, and the need to secure supplies and equipment in shared facilities will continue to grow. That’s why facilities in a range of industries should explore the latest access control options for small spaces, which can improve efficiency, reduce costs and improve convenience for the people who use them.

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About the Author: Benjamin Williams is the director of product management for ASSA ABLOY Electromechanical Solutions in Phoenix. With more than 10 years of experience in the door hardware and electronic access control industry, he has contributed to the ANSI/BICSI Electronic Safety and Security (ESS) System Design and Implementation Best Practices, and has participated in multiple security advisory boards.

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