First Things First: Securing ATM Access Points

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Don’t rely on a trivial lock:
Guidelines for hardening the outer security rim of your ATMS.

ATMs are under constant attack, and the security industry is booming, offering a variety of solutions to the latest malware, virus and hardware intrusions. But in the rush to high tech protections, we shouldn’t ignore the basics. No one would be satisfied if an ATM security consultant’s recommendation was merely “upgrade your security.” ATM operators expect to know details: where and how the ATMs are vulnerable, what software to update, what anti-malware and anti-virus tolls to employ. Yet when it comes to locks for the first line of defense, the recommendations usually end with “replace your locks.”

Here’s a typical comment: “Weak locks on this compartment can also simplify the process of harvesting payment card numbers through skimmers or similar monitoring devices planted by criminals for the ongoing collection of magnetic stripe and card PIN data.”

Another consultant points out that getting at a keyboard or an internal disk can be quite easy: Just “Open the ATM using jiggle keys or other key opening tools.”

After pointing out the vulnerability of the humble lock,
few consultants provide any guidance for upgrading.

Do you call a locksmith? Do you call the ATM supplier, who supplied the low end locks in the first place? Do you search for some locks on line? Or do you upgrade the security of your outer defense by selecting a vendor with experience securing similar devices, like vending machines and gas dispensers.
Even if you choose to install upgraded locks yourself, you need locks that resist physical attacks such as picking, bumping, and drilling.

And What Do You Need In A Lock That
Will Keep A Thief Out Of Your ATM?

Minimum Features of a High Security Lock System:

  • A lock with a pick resistant and bump resistant key way.
    Don’t know about bumping? Many locks are easier to bump than pick.
    Just search YouTube and be forewarned.
  • A lock with a non-duplicatable key blank.
  • A lock with millions of key combinations.
  • Each key code registered exclusively to your company with manufacturer restrictions for reordering.
  • A supplier with proven history of providing high security to security-focused industries.

You can invest significant time and money
hardening the software and operating system of your ATMs,
but low end locks are low hanging fruit for a thief.

You can do more than merely “upgrading your locks” by installing the Lock America System. For over 30 years, Lock America has developed and manufactured locks for markets where security counts, among them Gaming, Fuel Distribution, Information Management, Self Storage, and Vending. Lock America’s components are hand assembled to meet the needs of each market. For example, much like an ATM network, a vending company’s machines are spread out over an area without 24 hour surveillance. With Lock America’s non-duplicatable key blank, you can be assured that only authorized service personnel and management can get into the lock. The keyway is virtually pick and drill proof: eleven rotating disks must be lined up to turn the cylinder, virtually drill proof because of solid brass disks, and a hardened stainless steel “spinner disk.” The only way to get into a Lock America-secured ATM is with brute force. Unfortunately, we can’t protect you there. You’ll have to find a different vendor to stop a backhoe.

Features of the Lock America Lock System:

ATM retrofit with Cam Adaptors
Installation Guide

ATM retrofit with Cam AdaptorsView

  • A unique numbered and registered key that cannot be duplicated.
  • Registered cylinder mechanism with 11 rotating disks, hand assembled in our California plant.
  • No pins, no tumblers, no operational springs.
  • Up to 13 million usable key code combinations.
  • Keyway can be employed in a cam lock, T handle lock or a padlock, all using the same key code.
  • Mechanism can be shipped to your supplier for installation, or installed yourself, using our instruction guide.
  • Various depths and cam lengths available.

A New Level of Lock Security for ATMs

Based on a time-tested design, the Lock America System is easy to install, and virtually impossible to break. You may not be able to protect your ATMs from sledgehammers and drills, but Lock America can secure your door.

You can add additional operational control with master keying:
The Lock America Master Key System allows you to segregate each route, while you maintain a corporate key.

If you want to protect what’s inside your machine, you need a first line of defense, and Lock America has a thirty year record of providing just that.

For additional information or to view Lock America’s full product line, contact us at or call 800-422-2866.

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