A smart lock is a connected device that accepts signals from wireless devices, usually smartphones, to control access to the door that the lock secures. For the lock to operate, any signals must be sent from authorized devices. Smart locks can also monitor access and provide reports on any unusual activity.
Smart locks are considered to be part of the internet of things (IoT.) These products take standard items found in businesses and homes and add additional functionality by making them internet-enabled. Some smart locks use Bluetooth rather than WiFi.
Should you invest in smart locks for your business? Before you decide, there are several things to consider.
Smart Locks and Fire Safety
Security and fire safety experts both have the safety of your building occupants in mind. Unfortunately, sometimes building security can conflict with fire safety. The last thing you want to do is install door locks that could create a fire safety violation.
If there is a fire or other emergency in your building, the general rule is that anyone should be able to move through the building to an exit without using keys or devices to manipulate locked doors. Before you consider installing smart locks in your building, learn how they respond to your building's fire alarms.
Smart Lock Security Concerns
Just like any other internet-connected device, hackers could hack a smart lock. This type of hack has happened in the past. A hacker might exploit a vulnerability in the firmware that helps to operate the smart lock system.
Additionally, they can exploit weaknesses on the smartphones that have the smart lock app installed.
Smartphones create another vulnerability. If an employee's phone is lost or stolen, anyone who has it could potentially access the app that controls the smart locks.
There are steps you can take and policies you can implement to prevent some of these security breaches. Start by requiring anyone with access to smart locks to change their passwords frequently. Next, download firmware updates often, as these may have security patches.
Finally, set guidelines for any employee who is given access to smart locks. These should include using only authorized apps, updating their phone as required, and ensuring that their device is always physically secured.
Consider that there may be some physical vulnerabilities as well. It may be possible for a thief to use a pry bar or flat-head screwdriver to simply break or remove the smart lock.
Do Smart Locks Offer Insurance Benefits?
The chances are that you’ve noticed your insurance premiums going up over the years. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to help with that.
If your smart locks are a part of a comprehensive business security system, you may see your premiums reduced. However, that’s not always the case. Sometimes, the reduction you do see is fairly small.
Don’t invest in smart locks assuming that you will save a significant amount of money. Instead, speak with your insurance agent. They may have guidelines for you to follow regarding which kinds of smart locks you should use and other compliance measures you must take.
Then, balance the cost of the smart locks plus installation against any savings you will receive.
Is a Smart Lock More Convenient?
With smart locks, you can control who can have access to various spaces in your facility. Simply add or revoke access using the app, or change the required passcode. This flexibility means no more collecting and redistributing keys or changing deadbolt locks.
On the other hand, there’s more to consider than key control. Since most smart locks use your company’s access to the internet, they are no longer just a matter of building security. They often become something new for your IT team to manage. After all, who else will manage the firmware updates or security patches?
Don’t forget to consider the cost of installing smart lock devices on your doors. Remember that you can not fit all mechanical locks with a smart lock upgrade. You may need to replace entire doors.
Finally, if you decide to upgrade to smart locks, think about where you can maximize your benefit and minimize any frustrations. For example, restrooms or interior doors generally open to public access probably don’t need smart locks. However, installing smart locks on server room doors and at other secure access points could be beneficial.
Security Starts with a Secure Door from CDF Distributors
Whether you decide smart locks are a good idea for your business or not, it’s important to start with a well-made and secure door. CDF Distributors offers business owners their choice in commercial doors, locksets, and other hardware. We can help you choose the perfect doors and locks to secure your business.