Monday, October 22, 2012

Credential Overflow

Thousands of organizations struggle with a common door access security issue known as Credential Overflow. 

Credential Overflow occurs when the number of active credentials in the system outnumber, sometimes drastically, the number of active cardholders.  If a company's door access system is not equipped to handle the causes of this issue, they may face some serious security risks as a result. 

What causes Credential Overflow?  There are two primary causes: 

1. Lack of Database Communication

Often times, a company's active user database, such as their employee or HR database does not communicate with their access control system seamlessly.  If those two databases do not share information, then the process for activating and deactivating users and credentials usually involves two steps. 

Step One:  Enroll/Remove them from HR
Step Two: Enroll/Remove them from Access Control System

This is not very effective, as any time the second step is missed, cards remain active in the system long after the user has left. 

2. Badge Re-Issuance

Many times cardholders lose badges and ask for reprints, forgetting to have their old cards deactivated at that time.  If the system doesn't support automatic deactivation of old credentials as soon as a new one is printed, the old badge can stay active in the system forever, creating an imbalance in the number of active cards and cardholders. 

How do we fix it?

1. If the access control database can "sync" up with the customer's existing cardholder database, like Active Directory or HR, then this allows for more of a single-step activation and deactivation process.  Once a person has been enrolled or removed from the HR database, they will no longer have active access priviliges in the access control system either.  This is far easier for all parties involved - and much more secure. 

2. Look for door access systems that automatically deactivate old badges as soon as a new badge is printed.  This will help to eliminate the issue with users having numerous credentials associated with their record in the system. 

Lindsay Cornell is the Director of Sales for BadgePass, Inc. BadgePass manufactures cutting edge Door Access, Photo ID, and Visitor Tracking software. Visit for more information.