Keys or Access Control? Why Not Both?

March 4, 2019
Streamline access control system and eliminate issues with vulnerable legacy locks and keys with the future-proof CLIQ system

Do your customers want to:

  • Minimize the risks posed by lost or stolen keys?
  • Boost business security with flexible access and key management?
  • Minimize operational costs?
  • Control and manage access at anytime from anywhere?

Look no further; CLIQ® from ASSA ABLOY® is your customer’s future-proof Intelligent Key control solution.

Mechanical Technology

For over 150 years, the mechanical pin tumbler cylinder has become the ubiquitous standard for securing our door locks. The mechanical key and cylinder have evolved over those years to offer ever greater protections. ASSA ABLOY group brands offer numerous mechanical technology options to meet customer’s individual security needs. For cylinders, keys, and key systems, they can range from conventional Grade 1 cylinders, to patented key control systems, and ultimately to a full high security attack resistant solution.

All facilities using mechanical keys and cylinders can improve their security profile using patented key control to effectively secure exterior and interior openings through a limited form of managed access. With patented keys and a sound key control management system, a security manager can gain control over who has what key and, therefore, access to what space.

Standard locking systems lacking utility patent protected keys, cannot prevent anyone who gains possession of a key to easily and inexpensively make a copy. With an unauthorized duplicate key, a thief may have complete and unfettered access to a building, its physical and intellectual property, its most sensitive data storage and server rooms, and to the people inside.

Patented cylinders offer affordable key control through patent protected keys. For areas that require higher protection against picking, bumping, drilling, prying, and other forms of attack, UL 437 or ANSI/BHMA A156.30 rated cylinders are available.

High Security Cylinders feature UL437 listed physical strength components like the triple locking technology for ultimate pick resistance and solid brass construction with strategically placed hardened inserts to thwart drilling attacks.

This strength of integrity and durability allow security managers to have increased peace of mind when it comes to managing their key systems.

While the evolution of mechanical key systems has reached new heights, security managers must still grapple with the question, “Is this secure enough?”

Current Access Control Market Trends

The global access control market is on the rise, driven by an increasing need for enhanced physical and data security at residential, commercial, industrial, government and defense facilities.

  • Smart security that can be easily integrated within any type of building
  • Cloud-based interfaces that can manage with ease all your security system’s components
  • Mobile credentials with the use of different apps to manage security on the go
  • Increased and secure data usage and storage
  • Increased need for flexibility and mobility in the work environment

Here’s why mechanical locking brings major inconvenience to your business.

The minute mechanical keys are handed out in an organization, the system begins to lose its secure state… Mechanical key access is not limited by schedule or time. Keys get duplicated, employees quit or are separated from the organization and keys are lost or misplaced. Each of these events reduces security further until the vulnerability becomes intolerable (typically crisis mode sets in or an event triggers additional sensitivity).

In order to regain security, best practice dictates that we rekey the premises and issue new keys – both time consuming and costly… and begin the process over again.

Of course, one of the main reasons we rely on the mechanical technology for security is simply the cost of traditional access control.

Historically, we have had two choices – basic mechanical locks, or a full-featured traditional access control solution. Both these solutions lie on the opposite side of costs. However, by leveraging some of the latest technologies, there is a whole range of options in between these two extremes that give you many of the same features at a much lower cost.

Remaining secure means adopting digital technology. Relying on traditional locks and keys is prone to the hazards of human carelessness – which introduces potential liability that can be solved by embracing newer technology.

CLIQ® Solutions

With CLIQ, customers can streamline access control system and eliminate the problems that come with vulnerable legacy lock and key security. Customers can give their employees only the access they need, when they need it, and no more. Customers have the ability to

  • Control access for different users at anytime from anywhere
  • Schedule access to any door or grant time-limited access
  • Retrieve audit trail records from the system and review who goes where and when
  • Minimize the risks posed by lost or stolen keys without changing or rekeying locks
  • Boost business’ security with flexible access and key management
  • Minimize operational costs thanks to cable-free installation and in-key battery power supply as standard
  • Transition from vulnerable legacy security to audit trails and easily monitor who was where and when

The future-proof CLIQ system contains:

1) Software

2) Programming devices

3) Keys and Cylinders.

The CLIQ software is used to manage access rights. Individual access rights based on the clock and calendar ensure that users can access the right place at the right time – and nothing else. The CLIQ programming devices transmit and update access rights. The battery powered programmable keys (optionally Bluetooth enabled) and programmable cylinders.

CLIQ technology integrates chip technology into mechanical locking cylinders and their corresponding keys. Locking cylinders and keys can thus communicate with one another without the need for wiring or a network. As a result, access or locking is controlled on two levels: through mechanical locking and through electronic identity. Data transmission is powered by an easily replaced standard battery.

When the system administrator changes a user’s access rights, the user can update their intelligent CLIQ key with the new rights through their smartphone. This makes updating quick, easy and efficient, which saves both time and money.

In order to maximise security, the key's unlocking rights can be verified every time the lock is opened. Unlocking rights are downloaded to the key through a smartphone, and they are valid only until the lock has been opened. This way, a lost key is no longer a security risk.

CLIQ® technology gives the customer; a simple step up from mechanical locks to powerful, modern access control, a system easily retrofitted to existing doors, access points and infrastructure and an access control solution trusted by businesses of all sizes and in all industries

History of CLIQ

The development of the CLIQ technology platform was initially conceived in the mid 1990’s. Development activities began in late 1990’s with joint development occurring across multiple ASSA ABLOY companies. ASSA ABLOY leveraged global talent from the various divisions of the organization, that included project management, engineering, R&D and marketing.

The CLIQ technology platform became available to the multiple ASSA ABLOY divisions. The divisions adopted the CLIQ technology to their markets and the initial CLIQ product offerings were introduced during the 2002-2003 timeline.

Customized CLIQ product offerings are now sold worldwide and have truly become a global product success.

CLIQ Products 

CLIQ® technology gives customers three levels of access control, no matter what the business type

  • CLIQ Go for small to medium businesses
  • CLIQ Web Manager for medium size businesses and enterprises and
  • CLIQ Connect for widely dispersed businesses

Table 1 is a comparison chart.

CLIQ solutions are applied in many applications, including power generation utilities security, critical infrastructure protection, retail security, banking, museums and art galleries, healthcare security, K-12 and Universities security, Retirement community solutions, airport security and government buildings security.

Building a Recurring Revenue Stream

Locksmiths and resellers can build a recurring revenue stream in many ways with CLIQ systems.

For all CLIQ products, there is an annually recurring software-licensing fee, which provides recurring revenue for the locksmith.

In addition, locksmiths can manage the customer’s CLIQ Go system for them using the same CLIQ Go app, creating the opportunity for additional revenue. Locksmith management is ideal for a small business with limited staff, or one that wants to focus solely on their growing business.

Additional keys and cylinders can be provided by the locksmith who originally installed the system.


To survive in today’s market, the security professional must seek to answer the question: What do my customers value?

Security. It is the reason why your customer came to you in the first place. They look to you as a security professional to advise them on how to best secure and protect their property, assets and people.

Convenience. Today’s consumer expects expedient service.

Relationship. Today’s customer is looking for something above and beyond the basic needs. They want to build a relationship of trust with their suppliers and service people.

Nearly all of the ASSA ABLOY Group cylinder brands offer some form of CLIQ technology as a complement to their mechanical key systems, each providing unique value propositions for the channel partners and end-users they serve.    

Ashok Acharya is CLIQ Product Line Manager, Medeco, Salem, Virginia