electronic access control

Three Security Trends for 2022 – Blurring of Cyber and Physical Security

By Gina Stuelke, CEO of Kenton Brothers

The lines are blurring between cyber and physical security. Here are three important trends we are seeing in the commercial security space for 2022.

1) Organizations will invest in new commercial access control systems and video analytics solutions that are more integrated.

CyPhy Part 1During the pandemic, many businesses had to get creative in managing new health and safety mandates. Controlling social distancing was critical. To adhere to health mandates, retailers, corporate offices, and others needed to know how many people were in their facilities at any given point. This has generated huge demand for occupancy management solutions.

While most are using this technology to count people entering and exiting a building, organizations will continue expanding this technology across all areas of their facilities.

These spatial analytics are helping businesses unlock insights about how people use their facilities. Long after the pandemic is over, they can extract data to learn:

  • How many people are waiting in the lobby
  • How many people are in the cafeteria
  • How specific spaces are being used over time

This data then becomes the catalyst for building improvements that enhance the visitor, employee, or tenant experience.

Implementing video analytics within camera systems can further strengthen site security and delivers more insights. From people counting and directional flow to object left behind and crossline detection, analytics are giving security teams a clearer picture of what’s happening in their environments. Analytics also allowed remote teams to stay on top of threats while securing near-empty facilities during the pandemic. Beyond safety objectives, organizations are using analytics data to reduce wait times, optimize staff scheduling and enhance business operations.

Corporate offices are also finding ways to best optimize their workplaces as they give employees the flexibility to split up their work time between the office and home. This space utilization intelligence helps them better track employee office attendance, monitor meeting room demands and make more informed floor plan changes such as adding more desk-sharing options.

All of this leads to higher operational efficiencies, effective resource management and cost savings.

2) Cybercrime will continue to grow and inspire new strategies.

CyPhy Part 2In today’s world, while we can harden and tighten the physical security of a facility, a truly secure IT perimeter no longer exists. Physical security professionals are collaborating with cyber security teams to put measures in place to deter hackers and protect their businesses.  Choosing trusted vendors and deploying physical security solutions that come with layers of cyber defenses are critical. It’s a layered and collaborative approach.

A report by Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that global crime costs will reach $10.5 trillion annually by 2025. With a growth rate of 15% per year, this is said to represent the greatest transfer of economic wealth in history.

As we continue to see more devices come online (at the rate of 17 per hour) and data processing becomes central to operations, businesses will need to remain agile and responsive to the evolving threat landscape. Businesses will also need to offer greater transparency to meet customer expectations of keeping their data private and secure. All of this will bring in a new model for physical and cybersecurity that relies on continuous verification rather than just hardening networks and systems.

3) More organizations will make the move to the Cloud and embrace a hybrid model.

CyPhy Part 3The pandemic is largely responsible for the surging demand for the Cloud. As online usage and remote work spiked, there’s been a global shift to accelerate digital transformation.

According to a report titled Predictions 2021 by Forrester, global public cloud infrastructure was predicted to grow 35% to a market value of $120 billion in 2021. To thrive in the long run, physical security professionals will need to determine how to best leverage cloud technology and offerings in the years ahead. More chief security officers will let go of the division between cloud and on-premises physical security systems and embrace a hybrid deployment model. This allows them to implement specific systems or applications in the cloud while keeping existing on-premises systems.

This hybrid approach can also be the simplest answer when deciding how to enhance scalability, redundancy, and availability to meet changing needs. Beyond that, cloud offerings provide tons of added value. Physical security teams can quickly migrate to newer technologies, minimize hardware footprint, boost cybersecurity and reduce costs.

It’s an exciting time in the security industry!

Innovation and continuous improvement are happening every day in the commercial security industry, both core values of KB! Let us be your commercial security partner and we will help you navigate these changes!

Project Spotlight: Commercial Security Consolidation for a Local Manufacturer with Dozens of Buildings

By Neal Bellamy, IT Director at Kenton Brothers

Kenton Brothers + GallagherA local manufacturing business approached us over a year ago to talk about their existing system security. They have several dozen buildings in 2 states. Their system had been managed by multiple people over the decades, and while functional, it would not fit their commercial security needs moving forward. They had four different access control software platforms, one IP video surveillance platform, and two analog video platforms. In this situation, multiple platforms made managing the system difficult and, in some cases, impossible.

This manufacturer also had some unique security requirements, which meant not every access control platform available today could provide the single pane of glass that KB likes to deliver. (Our goal is to provide our customers with the ability to monitor and control their integrated commercial security system from a single device.)

Unloading Dangerous Materials

Traka Secured CabinetsOne of the unique requirements we had to accommodate was an area where material unloading happens. Some of the ingredients that they use can be dangerous if mixed. There are strict requirements about which people are allowed to unload the material and where it can be stored. They have an existing Traka cabinet where the keys are stored to the padlock to unlock the unloading ports. To further enforce the security of the unloading area, they want to ensure only one of the five gates could be open at a time.

Visitor Management

Another desire for the access control system were Bluetooth credentials and visitor management. This customer had pain related to the current credentials. They had multiple card formats and multiple facility codes making the credentials hard to track. While talking to the customer about a new path for access control, the topic of mass notification came up. It was then that we knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that Gallagher was the perfect solution.


Gallagher LogoGallagher allows us to take over/interface with existing access control panels. Their products can communicate over ethernet or RS-485, so no existing wiring needed to be replaced between panels or between the panels and readers. (This was a big win for our client from a project cost perspective.) Gallagher also handles Bluetooth credentials, visitor management and mass notification.

The solution at the material unloading area was made easier with Gallagher. Traka cabinets can already ensure that only certain people have access to certain physical keys. It can also enforce 2-factor or 2-man authentication, for even more security. To manage who has access to the Traka cabinet, we leaned on the existing integration between Traka and Gallagher. Adding a Gallagher cardholder to a specific access group gives the cardholder access to the Traka cabinet.


Ensuring only one gate at the material unloading area was open at a time was as simple as setting up an interlock. Interlocks ensure that only one door opens at a time. Typically, you see interlocks set up at a high-security facility. When someone enters from the outside, the door unlocks and then closes so that the person is locked in a vestibule. Then a credential is presented to the interior door. As long as the exterior door is closed, the interior door unlocks. Conversely, while the interior door is open, the exterior door is prevented from being unlocked.

This principle was applied across the five gates. While one gate is opened, none of the other gates can be unlocked. To gain access to an unloading port, a truck driver must only have one gate open, have a code to get to the physical key, and be escorted by someone who has access to the Traka cabinet. This was an elegant solution to a complicated set of security requirements.

Single Pane of Glass… check.

Today, this manufacturer has a single pane of glass to manage all of their access control across their entire footprint of dozens of physical locations. Credentials will be consolidated and secured as old credentials are retired. Their unloading area is safe from an accidental mixing of materials. Visitor management is running to track visitors at one of their facilities. Bluetooth credentials and mass notification are in testing to further increase security.

If your company faces challenges with dated access control security systems, we can help you too. Just give us a call.

What is a “Master Key System” and why should I care?

Master Key Systems

By Courtney Emra, Lead Customer Service/Sales Assistant and Ryan Kaullen, Field Services Manager at Kenton Brothers

A master key system is made up of a group of locks, and the keys that operate them. They’re related in a hierarchy with one key at the ‘top’, which will fit into many locks; and many keys at the ‘bottom’ which may only fit into one lock. The fewer master key levels, the more secure the system.

A master key system allows you to know which employees have physical access to which portions of your building(s) or secured areas. These systems are designed to prevent unauthorized duplication of keys. As part of a master key plan, you designate which employees have the administrative capability to request a duplicate key or rekeying.

Whether your business is large or small, a master key system is a great addition to an existing credential-based access control solution for protecting your people, property, and possessions.

Master Key System Process

The process of setting up a master key system involves a series of critical steps to make sure your company is secure.

First, Kenton Brothers will come out and do an evaluation of your facility. This will help determine if your existing door hardware will work with a master key system and how you currently secure the facility or room in question. Next, we go over the master key plan together. This allows us to understand the hierarchy of your staff and the appropriate access for each. This authorization list tells Kenton Brothers who can request a key to be made, report a key that is lost or stolen, request technician service, etc.

Finally, once this information is gathered, we present the new key plan as well as a map that is marked to show which keys go to which access points. From there, we order the necessary parts and products for installation and schedule an installation date.

Door Hardware Additions

A common question we hear is, “How do you tie restricted cylinders with adequate hardware to match securing my facility?” Kenton Brothers has options!

Grade-1 or Grade-2 hardware are the best options from the top manufacturers in the industry. Grade-1 not only is the top for commercial installations, but it also increases security from vandalism and heavy usage. (Like exterior doors with a higher traffic flow in and out.) Grade-2 meets light commercial and is more than enough for residential scenarios. (Like interior doors, such as storage closets, HR offices, and lower traffic flow areas.)

Master Key System Maintenance

Tri-FlowThe most critical thing to know when it comes to maintaining a master key system, is to never use WD-40 in the locking mechanism! There’s a specific graphite spray, called Tri-Flow, made for cleaning out master key locks. Kenton Brothers can come on site to take care of that with a maintenance program, or we can sell you cans of the appropriate spray if you want your facility staff to maintain the locks.

Ongoing maintenance of a master key system is important. It’s critical to keep your locks maintained at least annually, especially during the cold and salty winter months.

If you don’t currently have a master key system in place at your organization, we would love to help you set that up! Please contact us and we will have a conversation about your current situation and what it would take to implement a master key system in your office space or across multiple buildings.

Introducing the LenelS2 Elements Security System

By Courtney Emra, Lead Customer Service/Sales Assistant at Kenton Brothers

At Kenton Brothers Systems for Security, it’s important that we partner with the best solution providers in the industry. LenelS2™ is one of those providers.

LenelS2 ElementsLenelS2 is a leader in advanced physical security solutions, including access control, video surveillance and mobile credentialing. Their products, systems and services tackle the evolving needs of some of the world’s most demanding organizations. They provide a security backbone with deployment options that incorporate multiple technologies including mobile, cloud, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity. Their open architecture supports hundreds of third-party system interfaces that extend the capabilities of many security management systems.

The LenelS2™ Elements™ system is a comprehensive, yet simple, unified access control and video management solution built for the cloud. From single-site access control and video surveillance to more complex systems, the Elements system contains all the key ingredients for an effective and scalable, cloud-based solution; providing businesses with a brand-new security option that’s as simple as it is essential.

Perfect for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses

LenelS2 Elements ArchitectureThe Elements security solution is perfect for small to medium-sized businesses or satellite locations that need secure workplaces, but may not have permanent IT staff or security professionals. Easy to operate and maintain, the Elements system provides hassle-free, effective security that allows businesses to focus on more important things — like running their business.

Updates and enhancements are pushed in real time, reducing costly site visits. This makes budgeting more predictable and helps keep capital expenses down. Mobile first, the system can be accessed at any time, from anywhere. As the only unified access control and video management system that integrates with the OnGuard security management platform, the Elements solution can expand to meet a growing business’ needs.

LenelS2 Elements Checks All the Boxes

  • Cloud Based
  • Ideal for small and medium businesses
  • Easy to budget, get predictive monthly billing
  • Browser based user experience
  • No need for IT or security personnel


Active Shooter: Real world stories about lockdowns in schools saving lives.

By David Strickland, Vice President of Kenton Brothers

On November 14th, 2017 at 7:30 am, shots ring out near Rancho Tehama Elementary in Northern California. It’s an all too familiar but tragic scenario these days. One moment children are playing on a full playground, the next, panic, confusion and the succession of two more shots. This time however, the outcome is different than some of the other school shootings you may have heard about.

The staff members of the elementary school went into lockdown mode and followed the procedures they’d practiced and drilled multiple times. The staff knew what to do, and they did it in the face of true and present danger.

The secretary immediately sent out the signal for LOCKDOWN. 

Lockdown ProtocolsStudents were rushed into the building by staff members. Family members still present in the school yard were corralled by school support personnel. Teachers and staff members locked their internal doors and barricaded external doors. They huddled in their rooms away from the windows and out of the line of sight of the shooter. Hugging each other and the most solid wall in their classroom for safety.

Within seconds, two-thirds of the school was in lockdown. An then the shooter drove his pickup truck through the school fence and barreled toward the front entrance. The school custodian was busy getting parents into the school. He paused to look and see how far away the shooter was and, “looked the shooter in the eye as the shooter shot at him.” After the shot rang out, “The shooter was struggling with his weapon at this time. The gun appeared to be jammed, and he was having trouble loading ammunition.”

The gun jamming bought the staff, kids and parents precious seconds to finish their lockdown procedure. Everyone made it inside and all access to the school rooms and offices was now secure. The shooter, now fully loaded, entered the middle quad of the school 8 seconds later.

“The school secretary recognizing the threat made all the difference between 100 kids being around today and dozens being shot or killed. Those eight seconds were critical!”

The shooter was angry and frustrated and began to shoot into the classrooms and offices. In between shooting, the gunman tried to get into classrooms and the main office, but was unable to gain entry. He checked the bathroom, which was open but empty.

One 6 year old child was injured but survived and no one was killed. Six minutes after the shooting started, the gunman drove away. Hundreds of lives were changed forever, but everyone survived.

The Rancho Tehama Elementary School staff had practiced drills and executed lockdowns before, so even though they’ve never had an active shooter on campus, they knew what to do. It had become second nature.

The superintendent said, “The lockdown procedure was implemented flawlessly. The reason that we have a situation where I have one student injured on campus and nothing worse happening on campus is because of the heroic actions of all members of my school staff.”

Oxford High School in 2021

Lockdown ProtocolsThe same techniques and lockdown training were used in Michigan at Oxford High School on November 30, 2021.   Just after lunch, shots rang out inside the school in the main hallway. A 15 year-old student opened fire on his classmates. School staff, students and parents in the school that day followed the LOCKDOWN call and began to follow their training. “They had drilled this exact scenario so much that everyone knew exactly what to do next.”

In the hours after the shooting outside Detroit on Tuesday, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said that without the measures taken by students, the tragedy would have been worse. “It is also evident from the scene that the lockdown protocols, training and equipment Oxford schools had in place saved lives.”

David Riedman, lead researcher on the K-12 School Shooting Database, said that the lockdown procedures that were deployed in Oxford, in which students sheltered and stayed out of sight, “absolutely saved lives.” The training that appeared to be on display in Michigan is similar to what students all over the country are taught, he said.

LOCKDOWNS took on new meaning during the heights of the COVID-19 Pandemic. 

Lockdown ProtocolsIn the physical security world, lockdowns mean locking down a building so that no one can enter or leave for a period of time. The location stays locked down until an all-clear signal is given. This seems like a pretty straight forward premise. It is – IF you plan correctly and have the right systems and procedures in place to make a LOCKDOWN effective.

Kenton Brothers uses several access control platforms to make it easy and quick to lock down a school. When a panic button is pressed, all the school doors lock. And alarms and mass communications go out audibly through speakers and electronically through mobile devices and computers throughout the school.

One of our manufacturers, Gallagher, allows you to not only lock down the school, but also send out emergency messaging to any staff members or parents who are not at the school. This would allow them to stay away or help support police in their efforts to bring the situation under control. Gallagher also has the ability to remotely muster or check off each person from a pre-determined list to be sure 100% of the people on-site are accounted for. This is a powerful benefit in the aftermath of these incidents.

Police can also remotely operate and IP Surveillance cameras in the building to gain situational intelligence on the location of the shooter and the direction they’re headed. This is just one example of how these security systems can help support the training, processes and procedures during a Lockdown situation.

Kenton Brothers Systems for Security helps guide schools and other entities through the process of identifying risks around active shooters and the techniques in protecting your people, property and possessions. Kenton Brothers’ qualified consultants will perform a no cost physical security assessment with recommendations for security system components, processes and procedures that will help prepare your staff. Just give us a call.

Additional Resources

CISA K-12 School Security Guide, 3rd Edition