Automatic Merchandiser

AUG 2015

Automatic Merchandiser serves the business management, marketing, technology and product information needs of its readers including vending operators, coffee service operators, product brokers, and product and equipment distributors in print.

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"I can see how quickly they attack one of our locks — where they drill. It's very obvious they are talking to someone on the inside," explained Denison. "The access records help identify what employees are aiding the thieves." To get the full security of an electronic lock, an operator needs more than the physical device. For instance, certain bottler-provided beverage machines include an elec- tronic lock that opens with a low security remote controlled key. "When the machine is given to the operators, it is like a garage door opener," said Denison. The opera- tor needs to contact the electronic lock provider to add the extra layers of security such as higher security electronic keys and software. However, operators might also receive a bottler machine with an electronic lock that they can utilize with programs on their computer. "[With some electronic lock systems] it is the key you program," said Jason Faulconer, president at Locking Sys- tems International. The operator can program the key himself or herself using a computer, limiting access to certain machines, times and even to individual personnel. Unfortunately, electronic locks are still at risk as van- dals can use drills or other physical methods to break into a machine. And the damaged locks are expensive, as are lost keys. "An electronic lock can be six times that of a mechanical lock," warns Faulconer. Quality locks are a must Most of the industry is using mechanical locks, versus electronic locks. However, the quality of the locks is very important. Cheap, basic tubular locks won't provide much protection for operators. Faulconer explains that many standard, low- security tubular locks are made with zinc, dye-cast or brass — materials that are not very strong. Would- be thieves can more easily drill or break these types of locks. In addi- tion, low-security locks have non- patented key shapes. That means key blanks are available, making it easier for a dishonest person to make a key to ft the lock. "You can move from low-security to mid-grade," said Faulconer. "That might mean a patented key design." Warehouses at risk? A Website that makes keys from mobile phone pictures made headlines a few months ago. A sales team took photos of a colleague's house key, sent the photos away to a 3D printer offering key reproduction services via the Internet, along with a fimsy backstory. They flmed themselves using the key they received back from the photos to enter the colleague's house, because indeed the photos to real-thing worked. While vending machines do not commonly use fat keys, warehouses and offces might. There is also a bump key that makes it very easy to break-in to a lock. Watson Visuwan with Lock America suggests changing any fat key locks to more robust locks, either tubular or combination locks. Also, ensure the money room is secure and any cash is inside a safe. Three different categories of vending lock crime • Professional thieves. These criminals use picks, picking devices or machine their own keys in order to break-in to machines. They often move from state to state to avoid being caught. They will watch a route driver to discover when a machine is vulnerable and has the highest level of cash before breaking into the lock. Try to slow the thief down with uncommon locks and unpickable electronic locks. • Vandals. This class of thief will use anything that can get them into the machine; a drill, removing the hinges, prying off the bill validator, try- ing to use a crowbar, etc. Use locks with hardened steel faces that are drill resistant and protect the machine in other ways with covers and protective plates. • Internal. This is the hardest because it's diffcult for an operator to accept one of his or her employees is stealing or at least an accessory to the theft. Electronic locks can deter internal theft and make it clear the company is watching. Knowing what type of thief a machine is most at risk from will help deter- mine the best security solution. MOVE from low-security to mid-grade with a patented key design where key blanks aren't readily available. Jason Faulconer, president, Locking Systems International 14 Automatic Merchandiser August 2015 S E C U R I T Y

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