Commercial Integrator + Security Sales April 2024 - 50

INTEGRATOR INSIGHTS by Jerry Swenson
Don't Lose Your Keys!
IT IS EASY to assume your card access system is always
going to work, but we know what happens when we
assume something....
I've been in the card access industry for more than 13
years. One of the key points I drive home when I'm training
our customers on their new system is this: " Don't lose your
building keys. " Yes, it is easy to get comfortable using a badge
and card reader to get inside your building, but contingency
planning is essential.
Contingency Planning is a Necessity
Whether the risk is normal wear and tear on a lock or a card
reader, a nefarious hacker, a sporadic power outage or some
catastrophic failure - for example, the card access system's
server dying - having a contingency plan that is easy to execute
helps overcome these threats.
In the event of any of these problems, having spare keys in
an accessible place - that is, not inside the locked building -
is preferable.
I've been on several service calls where one of these
catastrophes caused a tremendous amount of downtime for the
company simply because they could not get inside their own
building, thus aff ecting all employees.
If you have 30 employees standing around for an hour, just
waiting to get inside, how much money has been wasted?
'Whether the risk is normal wear and
tear, a nefarious hacker, a sporadic
power outage or some catastrophic
failure, having a contingency plan
helps overcome these threats.'
Hackers are Waiting for Your Mistake
As technology progresses, and as the sharing of information
becomes easier, the landscape of " normal " changes quickly. If
you are not taking precautions to ensure that your card access
system is up to date with modern equipment and modern
technologies, you're taking the risk of a hacking attack.
The hacking community is growing, with widespread hacking
equipment easily found on social media platforms such as
YouTube, TikTok and Facebook.
Flipper Zero recently popped up on my Facebook feed. Not
only is it easy to use but it's also inexpensive to acquire. The
Facebook ad is super appealing for the low-level hacker. If
A tremendous amount of downtime for companies can
result from simply not being able to get inside their own
building, thus aff ecting all employees.
the card access system of your building uses one of the older
card reader technologies that this device can exploit, then the
hackers have, in essence, the keys to your building.
Another device that hackers use with growing popularity
is the ESP key. If you don't have tampers on your card readers
that let you know if your card reader has been compromised,
hackers can install an ESP key with great ease and quickness -
and you will be none the wiser.
This device utilizes a " man in the middle " attack. It is placed
behind the card reader and uses vampire teeth to read the data
traveling over the card reader wires. It also creates its own
Wi-Fi network so that the bad actor can use their phone to
connect to the ESP key and then unlock your doors.
Those are just two of many hacking tools that have gained
popularity in that community, with many more on the horizon.
Stay Vigilant and Have a Backup Plan
What's the key takeaway? Stay vigilant, update your equipment
and have a backup plan. If you fi nd out that your building's card
access system has been compromised, you might have to take
your system offl ine until the vulnerabilities can be addressed.
That means you must have a contingency plan ready to
execute to minimize the business risk and detrimental impact
on productivity.
And don't lose your keys! SSI
Thought leadership provided by PSA, the largest systems integrator
consortium made up of progressive security and audiovisual
systems integrators in North America.
JERRY SWENSON, VDV technician for BW Systems, is a member of the PSA Cybersecurity Committee.
50 Commercial Integrator+Security Sales & Integration | April 2024
TOSTPHOTO/STOCK.ADOBE.COM

Commercial Integrator + Security Sales April 2024

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Commercial Integrator + Security Sales April 2024

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