Healthcare News & Insights

Hospitals: Why your access control systems may not be secure

Access control has become a vital security measure for nearly every organization – especially healthcare facilities, where patients, sensitive documentation, high-value equipment and medications abound. In this guest post, Brad Konkle, director of integrated solutions at an electronic security company, details the added security access control technology offers to protect buildings and assets, and to ensure the safety of staff, patients and visitors.

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However, many executives are unaware that their access control system could be breached by a product that costs less than $20 on Amazon.

Unfortunately, with increased access to inexpensive and easy-to-use technology, defeating an access control system that isn’t secured by edge-to-edge encryption is becoming easier for criminals to accomplish.

For years, the security industry has been aware of these risks, but, because of the complexity and high cost associated with duplicating access control cards, it was never a real threat – until now.

Just as hospitals must protect their data from increasing cybersecurity threats, they must be equally vigilant about putting the proper physical security measures in place.

Why hospitals need access control systems

Many healthcare facilities have extended business hours, with some (such as hospitals) operating 24/7. During this time, they’re accessible to the public, meaning that anyone can walk into the building at any time. For larger hospitals, this can mean hundreds, if not thousands, of patients and visitors entering the building on a daily basis.

With so many people on-site, access control systems can be critically important for securing a hospital, managing the whereabouts of staff and visitors, and preventing unauthorized individuals from gaining access to certain areas throughout the facility.

How to ensure your access control system is secure

With criminals able to purchase access control card duplicators online with the click of a button, hospitals and other healthcare facilities, are becoming increasingly vulnerable to security breaches.

To protect against these threats, hospitals should ensure their access control systems are secured by edge-to-edge encryption – meaning encryption not only on the cards, but encryption from the access control reader to the panel, panel to the server and server to the database.

While this can seem overwhelming at first, most security integrators can help hospitals navigate the process of upgrading their access control technology to use encrypted credentials that can’t be copied. This newer tech, which is already available on most access control systems, doesn’t cost significantly more when specified on a new installation.

Whether looking to upgrade or implement an access control system, be sure to reach out to a systems integrator to make sure your facility is up-to-date. Hospitals can’t afford to wait until it’s too late; it’s time to take action and make sure your people and assets are safe and your system is secure.

Brad Konkle, director of integrated solutions at STANLEY Security, an electronic security company. STANLEY Security is a part of Stanley Black & Decker.

 

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