Post written by, Marketing and Sales Specialist at Kenton Brothers
I remember when I first started working at Kenton Brothers and needed a way into the building before normal business hours. I heard(Operations Manager at Kenton Brothers) tell someone “We are going to give her so-and-so’s old credential.” I didn’t know what he was referring to at first, but then a key with proximity chip (you’ll learn what this is if you keep reading!) was handed over to me. Eureka!
Let’s take a quick look at the definition of credential:
cre·den·tial /krɪˈdɛnʃəl/ Show Spelled[kri-den-shuhl] Show IPA
1. Usually, credentials. evidence of authority, status, rights, entitlement to privileges, or the like, usually in written form: Only those with the proper credentials are admitted.
2. anything that provides the basis for confidence, belief, credit, etc.
I find it interesting that we use the word “credential” in the security industry to refer to a factor that allows passage. The example sentence in the first definition (italicized) could absolutely refer to someone having the wrong key, pass code, card, or biometric [biometric, by the way, refers to a unique physical trait used to identify a person, such as a fingerprint.].
When it comes to the world of security, examples of credentials include keys, codes, cards, and biometrics. So what are the differences between these credentials?
A key used to work a mechanical lock is the oldest and most recognized credential. In the past couple of decades, we’ve seen more and more doors operated through an access control system that requires a pass code. Now, swipe cards, proximity cards (a card that works by being in close proximity of the reader, like the paypass on some credit cards) and smart cards are becoming more commonplace.
These systems tend to offer more secure means to control the access to a building and they also offer the opportunity to track who have been coming and going. Now, with the rapid advances in technology, a biometric can also be considered a credential to allow passage. A person’s fingerprint or even iris can be used to identify whether or not they are allowed passage. These systems are typically used for more secure applications as it is nearly impossible to use someone’s iris or fingerprint without their knowledge. At the highest point of security, we recommend multi-factor authentication. For instance, you’d have a pass code memorized to punch into a keypad, in addition to presenting your fingerprint for access.
So what kind of credential do you have? Do you think your office is properly secured for individuals coming in and out? Have you been wondering how to increase the security of your building or space by limiting who has access? Depending on your security needs, a traditional mechanical key may not be sufficient. Your desired security level should dictate the access system you have and the credentials you use to control it.
Call us at 816-842-3700 to learn more about your options!