August product of the month

For our August product of the month, we will be highlighting an industry-wide product and what we see as the future of access control. In this article, we will be examining the current limitations of standard proximity readers, and why in 2021 technology is making them more and more obsolete.

Outside technology has made standard prox unsecure

Today, anyone with a card cloner can copy the data off a 125 KHz proximity contactless card and make a perfect duplicate. It’s so easy that you can do it in less than 5 seconds without the cardholder’s knowledge or permission at a kiosk in many retail stores. Despite this security risk, these unsecured credentials are still in wide circulation. In the U.S., more than half of the 3 million access credentials sold every year are vulnerable technologies such as prox and other legacy systems.

13.56 MHz cards with encryption are secure

Next-generation 13.56 MHz smartcards with AES encryption have been available for years now. From a price standpoint, there is not a significant difference between these secure smartcard credentials and readers, and the unsecure legacy technology that is still being sold and deployed. Every new system should include secure smartcard credentials and readers. Enterprises that currently utilize legacy cards and readers should be aware of the risks and make a plan to upgrade their access control systems with secure credentials and readers.

Overview of future credentials

We are entering a new era of digital keys and portable digital identity credentials that can be securely equipped and safely embedded into smartphones. Deploying this new access control model requires a seamless, end-to-end ecosystem of products and technologies for mobile keys and credentials, including the smartphones that carry them, the readers that authenticate them, the locks they open, and the services for issuing them. In light of recent developments, using a smart device for controlling physical access (what the industry calls mobile access control) is the next logical step their enterprise and employees.

Why mobile access control stands out

When looking at why mobile credentials as the future of access control, several areas of improvement stand out. The first being security. Mobile access solutions that follow best practices should employ multi-layered authentication protocols to protect sensitive identity information and unauthorized entry into the system. Additionally, Mobile access creates opportunities for the overlapping of network and physical security that are unavailable with standard prox. Next is efficiency. Mobile access solutions are accessed through the cloud offering operational efficiencies, such as being readily scalable and offering centralized management over multiple locations. This efficiency makes it easier for a business to manage its employees and be more secure than previous legacy equipment.

Conclusion
Cards and credential technologies have significantly advanced since they hit the market over 30 years ago. The transition from Magstripe to Prox introduced the concept of contactless technology. Contactless technology has evolved, and new generations of cards are more secure and can be used for a variety of applications. The future of access control will move towards the integration of mobile devices with the goal of increasing the functionality of access control systems. Only a modern ecosystem will be able to keep pace with the transformative trends today’s organizations are facing. Fortunately, upgrading your physical access control system is not as difficult as you may think.