Is Your Commercial Access Control System Safe from Cyber Threats?
Protect the Keys to Your Access Control System
An access control system is designed to protect your physical premises. When an employee or staff member is granted access, it is essentially a "key to the kingdom." Of course, access control has layers, and not everyone is given full access to a facility if they don't need it. But what if a cyber intrusion opens the door to grant access to people outside your organization for nefarious purposes?
Access control systems are increasingly vulnerable to cyber threats. While some may think cyberattacks are very sophisticated, sometimes they exploit vulnerabilities in practices or the underlying operating system or software that may not be up to date or secure. Keep reading below for some best practices to keep your commercial access control systems safe in San Antonio, TX.
End users, ironically, are usually the weakest link in a cybersecurity system. You can employ the most sophisticated encryption and other secure techniques, yet users who are not well-trained to recognize phishing threats from websites and emails all too often give up a password or credentials. Phishing scams are well-known to have been the source of getting passwords to access such vital systems as electric utilities and water processing. Using password managers and training staff to recognize threats and carefully look at email sources are two best practices to mitigate these threats.
Today’s security systems tend to be interconnected, with software platforms tied together by APIs (software interfaces) that help integrate systems. If there is a weak security link in interconnected platforms, a cyber hacker could gain access to mission-critical business systems tied to access control, like surveillance and business applications. Your access control systems should employ a practice known as the "principle of least privilege," where the access control system, if hacked, is limited from having access beyond its operating requirements to other systems.
Software and firmware have vulnerabilities. A system is only as secure as all its components. If the access control system is running on an older operating system environment with unpatched vulnerabilities, the whole system is at risk. Vulnerability scanning checks software for susceptibility to malware infiltration, open network ports that can be exploited, and other risks.
Password Management and Two-Factor Authentication
Despite all the known threats, many users employ passwords that are insecure and highly vulnerable to easy guessing or breaking. Too often, staff use birthdates and other information easily gleaned from readily available sources like social media and public websites. Forcing the use of strong passwords is one step. A more secure form is enforcing the use of two-factor authentication. In a two-factor model, the user needs to know something like their username and password and another factor, like a physical dongle, app, or a code only they can access. Even if a password is acquired through phishing, a well-designed two-factor authentication scheme can thwart hacking.
Want to know more about secure commercial access control solutions? ASAP Security Services has vast experience across Texas with sophisticated security and surveillance solutions in the public and commercial sectors. To learn more about access control solutions, set up a consultation with our team by calling (877) 418-ASAP, filling out our contact form, or starting a live chat with us below. We look forward to working with you!