You might have control over who is opening your locks. But what then?


Maintaining the security of critical infrastructure sites is vital to ensure modern society runs smoothly. Managers are responsible for the sites themselves as well as the people accessing them. It is therefore paramount to know exactly who is entering where and when.

The use of keyless smart padlocks has revolutionized the locking industry by eliminating the risks involved with mechanical keys that can easily be lost, stolen or copied. With a smart-locking solution, such as iLOQ’s, access rights are sent to an app running on the end user’s smartphone. Those rights can be updated or cancelled immediately to ensure real-time visibility of access rights and to keep security at the highest possible level.

So, now you have control over who is entering a site and when. But can you really be sure the site is once again secure when they leave? Have they remembered to close the padlock? That is a big worry, particularly when the site is in a remote area where it’s not feasible to go and doublecheck.

Some battery-powered smart padlocks send a signal when the shackle has been closed. But, even that is not a 100%-secure solution. The shackle might indicate that it has been closed, but has it actually been used to secure anything? Some unscrupulous users may close it, but leave the site ‘open’ and available for unauthorized people.

To eliminate maintenance and battery waste and slash OPEX, iLOQ developed not only a keyless smart-locking solution, but one that is also battery-free. Locks are opened using the power harvested from an NFC-enabled smartphone. With iLOQ’s solution, the shackle doesn’t send a signal, but, by using the app to also close the padlock, there is an electronic ‘signature’ that is reported in iLOQ’s audit trail.

There might also be unscrupulous users of iLOQ’s solution. But, if there are, you will know because all their movements have been tracked.

You then have one question to ask yourself: Would you prefer to use a battery-powered solution that sends you a signal that the shackle has been closed, but you have the costs and headache of regularly changing hundreds or even thousands of batteries in all your sites? Or would you prefer a signature in the audit trail and forget about the expense of purchasing batteries and the maintenance time and costs of frequently changing them?

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of WIA or its members.