The lock and key systems found in many businesses today were originally designedin the mid-1800s, with only a few modifications over the last century and a half. Advancements in technology, have made these methods of security nearly obsolete. 

Financial service companies face increased risk of a security breach because of the sensitive information and cash handled on a daily basis. In fact, companies within the financial industry experience security breaches 300 times more frequently than companies in other industries. As financial companies spend billions of dollars in security each year, thieves look for areas of weakness which often include physical security, third-party vendors, and unsecured communication channels.

Fortunately, lock technology has greatly improved, giving businesses a better way to secure private and sensitive information beyond a physical key, inserted into a tumbler. However, companies must justify the cost of converting to keyless technologies.

Here are the key areas to consider when evaluating the true cost of converting to keyless technologies:

The Problem with Mechanical Locking Systems

Besides using century-old technology, mechanical locking systems have many disadvantages that have become even more prevalent in the face of modern innovation. Here are the top challenges with physical keys:

  1. Keys are Easily Lost or Misplaced. Employees could take home keys that they should store in the office. They can forget to lock or relock a secure drawer or cabinet, leaving it exposed to unauthorized individuals. It can fall off a key ring, or the person responsible for the key can forget where they put it. 
  2. Stolen Keys. It is easy to steal a physical key to gain entry to a secure area. Whether someone finds a lost key or intentionally steals a key, having keys of unknown whereabouts can put secure information at risk.
  3. Ease of Key Duplication. An employee can make extra copies of keys, or someone can steal a key (or key image) and make an unauthorized copy. Today’s technology also allows key duplication from an image taken up to 200 feet away. Even keys stamped “Do Not Duplicate” can be replicated through online vendors or kiosks. 
  4. Availability of Lock Picking Devices: Lock picking tools, widely available on websites like Amazon, allow virtually anyone to break into areas secured by a traditional lock and key. 

The Cost of Poor Key Management

Company policies and practices around key management determine the level of security you obtain within an office. For instance, when an employee leaves, does the management rekey all secure areas or simply receive the keys held by the employee and then re-issue them to the replacement? 

Take a look at some common practices within financial offices that increase security risks:

  1. Replacing Lost Keys. The lowest cost of key management is duplicating an existing key. It can cost a few dollars, and you can complete the task in a few minutes. The problem becomes when you do not know who can gain access to a secure area. For financial institutions, which can face steep penalties for a breach of confidential data, duplicating a lost key may not be an option. 
  2. Re-keying or Replacing Locks. While the cost of replacing a single key is only a few dollars, rekeying, or replacing a lock can cost up to $250 or more per lock for interior doors. Depending on how many locks must support the same key, replacement costs can add up to thousands of dollars. The process is neither cost effective or efficient.
  3. Unauthorized Copies of Keys. It is impossible to know if an employee creates unauthorized key duplication of any key in their possession. Both current and former employees could steal keys or provide them to unauthorized personnel, creating a systematic vulnerability. 
  4. No Entry History. Traditional keys do not allow you to keep a record of who enters a secure area. When you don’t know who has access to confidential information, it is more difficult to track and identify internal theft. The National Retail Federation estimates that employee theft accounts for nearly 44% of the total losses a company experiences each year.    
  5. Public Relations. Financial companies face greater scrutiny and tighter regulations than most industries because of the nature of their business. Loss of sensitive data can lead to identity theft and major financial losses to the individual or business who entrusted the financial institution with their information. A data breach or loss of personal data can quickly become a major news story, costing the company in goodwill and the trust of customers and the community. 
  6. Loss of Time and Resources. The time and cost associated with rekeying locks divert resources of both time and money. Key mismanagement reduces productivity and can have a direct impact on the bottom line. 

Modernized Key Management

New technologies now allow companies to convert traditional keys to keyless electronic locking systems. In most cases, you can retrofit Senseon’stechnology into your existing system. The RFID technology allows users to tap their badge, card, tag, or other programmed device to gain access to secured doors and drawers. Management can deactivate and reactivate a card within minutes, saving both time and money associated with rekeying. 

Senseon’s innovative technology allows companies to choose features such as time-stamped entry and exit, auto relocking, auto open, touch release, or easy close options. With Senseon’selectronic access control system, there is never a need to hunt down lost keys or wait for a locksmith to rekey secured door and drawers. 

To learn more about upgrading your traditional keys to modern keyless technologies, visit our website at