In order to guarantee a higher level of security for commercial properties and businesses, it is important to invest in a high-tech system that builds confidence and peace of mind. Advances in the security technology sector have been impressive in recent years, presenting different types of locks, characterized by their wide variety of functions and advanced protection. Having secure locks and limiting who can enter the premises is a key component of commercial access control best practices, so it’s no surprise that locks are evolving to solve for the latest threats and needs.
Although we are used to robust locks with keys, deadbolts, or a huge padlock, it is a reality that criminals have become masters in violating these conventional security systems.
It is important, therefore, to know and explore other lock options to secure your business. Among the new types of security technology, a standout has arrived: smart locks. In this article we will address all the details you need to know before investing in smart locks for your business.
What is a smart lock?
Losing your keys will no longer be a problem. Smart locks are composed of a high-security mechanism that can be installed on just about any type of door, and guarantees that it can only be opened by the person authorized to do so.
Unlike conventional locks, these locks are equipped with alarms, digital panels, or sensors, which work through different verification methods to unlock the door. They are ideal for bolstering your space’s physical security, as smart locks tend to be more robust and more efficient than traditional locking mechanisms.
The smart lock system works through Wi-Fi signals, Bluetooth, voice assistants or biometric devices, which turns the user’s mobile device, fingerprint or registered voice into the key that opens the door.
How do smart locks work?
Commonly, the smart lock mechanism integrates various technologies to grant access only to authorized individuals. For example, some smart locks use proximity keys, while others require an app installed on a mobile device.
Once configured and installed, when the smart locks detect an authorized smartphone or smartwatch, they authenticate the credential to allow access by reading encrypted data or tags. The smart lock then triggers a mechanism to release the locking hardware. There are also models that work through PIN codes, either entered on an integrated keyboard or via voice detection by a smart reader. Some smart lock devices provide access only through a biometric verification, such as a fingerprint or facial scan.
It is important to note that, for the most part, smart locks are powered by long-lasting batteries with alerts that indicate when the battery must be recharged or replaced. Thanks to this, the system can guarantee a long continuity in security, avoiding any interruption caused by the electrical system of the house. For commercial buildings, there are wired smart locks available for a more consistent power source.
Smart lock manufacturers are continuously improving their security systems. Although criminals are always finding new ways to penetrate security systems, this type of adaptable smart technology keeps you one step ahead.
Are smart locks really secure?
It depends on the situation you are in. If someone manages to steal your smartphone and access it, the smart lock is not really safe. Smartphones have extra security features, such as passcodes and facial recognition built-in to prevent this type of security breach. However, most smart locks also have a spare key and a special option to lock down access in case you can’t find your smartphone.
Another problem lies in the firmware. There are several cases where smart lock manufacturers have received complaints from customers regarding firmware defects. Damage to the firmware can leave you vulnerable to a break-in. It’s important to always source smart locks from a reputable manufacturer, and perform regular vulnerability testing to ensure your locks remain secure.
At a convention for hackers held in 2016, practitioners found that 75% of the smart locks on the market (at the time) could be hacked. Vulnerabilities usually lie in factors such as simple passwords, device spoofing, and decompiled APK files. Following best practices such as multi-factor authentication for passwords and only connecting to secured Wi-Fi networks will help protect your smart locks.
Of course, no security system is 100% fail safe. However, updating to smart locks and keyless entry systems can help improve security over traditional systems, and provide a greater peace of mind for businesses and individuals.