Keeping hotel locks safe31 Oct, 2012 By: Adam Leposa
As hotel locks become increasingly automated, preventing them from becoming vulnerable to security concerns has become a top priority for hoteliers. Hotel Management corresponded with Tim Shea, president of ASSA ABLOY Hospitality, for ways in which vendors are keeping hotel locks secure.
“Our Classic magstripe locks do not store critical security information within individual locks, such as master key information, and any service device must authenticate itself through diversified encryption methods to gain access to the lock software,” Shea said. “When VingCard Elsafe moved the industry towards RFID technology, security was one key driver, and our primary focus was to add additional security to the RFID card to prevent cloning. To that end, VingCard Elsafe hotel locking systems do not work with cards that have no anti-cloning capability.”
VingCard Elsafe’s locks can also detect tampering and work to alert hotel security staff using the company’s VISIONLINE system. “[The VISIONLINE system] incudes alarms to alert the hotel front desk if someone attempts to tamper with a door lock as well as providing real time alerts to the hotel’s security staff when activity is detected that a card is being misused,” said Shea. “For instance, a ‘wandering intruder alert’ warns hotel security personnel when a card is presented to a number of different doors. Other alarms include detecting that a door is forced open, left open, or ‘mule tool’ intrusions when a door is opened from the inside handle without an occupant in the room.”
After installation, hotels must work to keep their staff trained and their system upgraded to keep pace with the latest security issues.
“Upon completion of a locking system installation, VingCard Elsafe provides comprehensive training on the technology for the hotel staff and encourages everyone who will have interaction with the locks to participate,” Shea continued. “As with any hotel upgrade, hoteliers understand that renovation and upgrades are a regular part of running their business. Our proprietary “Future Proof” technology employs a modular system that makes it simple and cost-effective for hoteliers to upgrade their existing locks to new technologies. Looking past RFID solutions for instance, VingCard Elsafe has made our RFID locks compatible with next generation technologies, like Near Field Communications (NFC), providing our customers with an easy upgrade path at reasonable cost.”