A Security Deposit

INDUSTRY PROFESSIONAL

A Security Deposit

Large national bank consolidates seven access control solutions to one

A full-service bank with operations spanning numerous states across the United States and several international offices found itself in an all-too-common situation regarding its access control solution — too many different systems. The bank needed a cost-effective enterprise solution to change over and upgrade 71 sites and several disparate databases.

With many of the bank’s access control systems reaching end-of-life, it was time to find one that would work for all locations. The bank chose AMAG Technology’s Symmetry Access Control system for its ease-of-use and minimal service upkeep. By using AMAG's SR retrofit option, the bank not only considerably reduced costs when replacing their legacy hardware but also upgraded technology and achieved some needed integrations as well. The solution helped centralize operations, reduce compliance vulnerabilities and cut costs during a massive overhaul of their security's software and hardware.

The project was implemented over phases. The bank’s integrator increased the number of access control readers for each site, compiled site surveys, and did the preprogramming and inventory of the parts and pieces. Many of the sites transferred over to the new system in a day, but the larger sites with 100 or more card readers took a bit longer.

The project touched retail and administrative physical locations nationwide. While converting all the locations, the bank consolidated 16 access control systems to Symmetry and that touched 71 sites, 200 access control panels, upgraded 1,100 card readers and approximately 15,000 cardholders. The project took 12 months to complete, and with the proper planning in place, no site took longer than four days.

Several sites were using an outdated system that urgently needed replacing, and many others that were in dire need of upgrades. Some systems were very old with no support left, and no expertise, because of age; and the platforms had compliance issues from an IT perspective.

It was also important to upgrade for regulatory and compliance reasons. Symmetry allows them to provide the required reporting from a centralized location instead of 16 different locations. Before, any time reporting was needed, the bank had to visit different systems; now they can better answer those requests, show they are in compliance and who has access to what. The bank can pull reports from one system, saving time and money while meeting compliance requirements.

Concerns over data security and privacy also led to a consolidation of the database. The bank needed to ensure access was granted only to those who needed it, therefore performing a large database clean-up. A few sites had more than 10,000 users, and the bank was able to cut the number to 2,000.

As the rollout of the upgrade progressed, the bank not only added panels and readers as needed, but also upgraded technology and achieved some much needed integrations — including laying the foundation for future plans. The resulting solution includes multi-class readers with several different card technologies, as well as biometrics in certain environments, such as higher security areas requiring two-factor authentication.

The bank plans to install AMAG’s Symmetry CONNECT identity management system to assist with onboarding, off-boarding and access request changes, which will help it meet more compliance regulations. Symmetry GUEST visitor management is slated after CONNECT to automate the visitor process, creating an audit trail which is also necessary for compliance.

This article originally appeared in the January / February 2022 issue of Security Today.

About the Author

Kim Rahfaldt is Director of Media Relations at AMAG Technology, Inc., based in Torrance, Calif.

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