Why Haven’t You Considered Facility Security?

By Bernhard Mehl
December 14, 2018

While there is no headline-grabbing news about the level of crime in workspaces, some employees attest that their workstation has fallen victim to robbery. Important documents, expensive headphones and wallets can go missing. Needless to say, these incidents cause a lot of unnecessary misunderstandings and unhappiness that affects employee morale and the reputation of your company over time.

Another common problem is when an employee brings their friends or family to work without asking the appropriate person so that they are accounted for. Former employees can also drop by unannounced if they remember the code on your entrance door or didn't return their key during off-boarding.

It is vital to ensure security across your premises, including parking lots.

What is facility security?

Having a facility security plan requires some initial investment, but it saves you money and trouble in the long run. It's important to pay attention to three vital areas: Building, space and information protection.

Safety starts from the perimeter. Ensure that your space is secure even before people enter it. One example is making sure that your parking lot has barriers that allow access to members only. For extra protection, video surveillance and good lighting is recommended.

Reliable access control is also essential to the physical security of your space. It can serve as an authentication and identification tool if you enforce mobile access control. An integrated alarm system will protect the space from a break-in and works in tandem with a cloud-based access control system.

As a digital security measure, make sure that each user’s firewall is configured properly and that you install a VPN service on users’ computers to ensure encryption of all data. Computer security locks and private lockers will help protect your employees devices when they leave the space.

Mobile access control is a safer alternative to legacy access control systems, like pin pads and keys.

It is essential to conduct regular audits to identify possible security hazards and potential violations. Fire control, HVAC, and electrical components should not be overlooked, either.


Phone-based systems are not just a small-business solution. CEO of Kisi, Bernhard Mehl, comments: “If you see the average of three doors connected then that might seem low but, in reality, one door relates to around 50 employees—so those are locations with about 150 people on average, including satellite offices. That’s quite significant.”

Mobile Access Control Adoption by Industry

Kisi examined which industries are investing the most in mobile access control technology. To do so, the average size of mobile access control installation projects by industry were measured. Commercial real estate topped the list with 23.5 doors running mobile access per facility. Education management came in last with 1.0 door running mobile access per facility. 

Physical Security Statistics: Mobile Access by Industry

The number of shooting incidents at K-12 schools, according to the CHDS, reached an all-time high at 97 incidents in 2018—compared to 44 in 2017. Cloud-based access control companies, like Kisi, offer a lockdown feature for active shooter situations or emergencies, making it an effective protective layer for places that are targeted, such as religious institutions, which come in near the top of the list with 4.0 doors running mobile access per facility. 

Based on industry size, it makes sense that commercial real estate tops the list, with 23.5 doors running mobile access per facility. Cloud-based access control enables these larger organizations to scale more seamlessly and allows large organizations, like telecommunications, to deploy the most manageable IT solutions available, eliminating the need to create and manage a business’s own IT infrastructure over time.

“Commercial real estate is, of course, the driver of mobile adoption since they have the largest buildings,” Mehl adds. “The key here is to show that mobile-first technologies are not a risk but an innovation that brings positive ROI and allows agencies to reposition their buildings as forward-thinking establishments.”

The scalabelilty and ease of use in onboarding an organization allows many different types of industries and businesses of different sizes to adapt a cloud-based access control system, either using keycard or mobile credentials for access. 

Mobile Access Control by State

Looking specifically at the United States, Kisi analyzed in which states companies are investing the most into upgrading to smartphone-enabled access systems. Of the currently installed base of access control readers, around 20 percent will be mobile capable by 2022, according to a recent IHS report. Cloud-based systems, like Kisi, are future-proof—allowing over-the-air updates in real time and unlimited scalability for users.

“Mobile unlock technology makes you think of the major tech hubs like New York, San Francisco or Los Angeles,” Mehl adds. “Looking at which states have the largest projects, it’s surprising and refreshing that those are not the typical ‘tech cities, and yet that’s where access control technology really makes an impact.” The fact that the largest projects are seen in states outside of the typical tech startup landscape is evidence that mobile access control is highly applicable across industry sectors.

For further questions about this study, reach out to Kait Hobson (kait@getkisi.com)

Bernhard Mehl

Bernhard is the co-founder and CEO of Kisi. His philosophy, "security is awesome," is contagious among tech-enabled companies.

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Useful Resources
Access Control Basics