Ward Security has further improved the security of its key holding operations by installing a state-of-the-art electronic key management system.
The bespoke security provider is using TRAKA, an intelligent system that is simple to use but effective, providing a full audit trail on conventional key transactions.
These ‘transactions’ are made available for quick display via the software reporting function displayed on a conventional PC, that shows which and how many keys are out at any one time. The system records all key movements and provides daily (and monthly reports).
“It is essentially a fully-automated electronic key safe,” says Martin Burnett, Operations Manager (Response), Ward Security. “It provides a full audit trail for taking out and returning keys, and can be customised to provide access to certain people and certain keys. It is a much more secure and trackable option that doesn’t rely on people signing keys in and out.”
So how does it actually work? Traka’s solution is simple. Keys, or keysets, are permanently attached using a tamper proof security seal to a metal iFob. The iFob is an extremely strong nickel plated brass cylinder, which contains an electronic chip, giving it a unique identity. Thus, the keys are effectively electronically tagged. The iFob, with keys attached, locks into a receptor strip within the key cabinet until released by an authorised user.
Once the appropriate user profiles and key details have been entered into the software, Traka ensures that only authorised staff are allowed access to the key cabinet – and only then, to designated keys. The system automatically records when a key is used and by whom on a central database.
Employees request access to the key cabinet by using a PIN code, magnetic ID card, proximity token or by biometrics fingerprint recognition. If the request is valid, the cabinet door will open, and the keys permitted for use by that user will be illuminated. By pressing the release button next to a permitted key, it will be released and the transaction written to system memory – who, which key and, at what time.
To return the key, the holder must again secure admission to the cabinet and then replace the iFob in its designated position. If this is not done, the system will prompt the user to move the iFob to its correct position. All information is again logged – and if any key is returned by a user who is different to the person who took it, it is immediately flagged-up as a warning.
“This cabinet is our first major step into electronic key management and is an excellent demonstration to our customers that we are using the latest technology for the storing and monitoring of the use of their keys,” said Martin Burnett, Operations Manager (Response), Ward Security. “The cabinet and associated software also provides us with a full audit trail of key usage which in turn will reduce the amount of admin for all involved.”