RFID Card Technology
The technology that allows you to wave your contactless credit, debit, transit, identification or passport card in front of a scanner is called RFID. Some people worry about it being easy for criminals to skim this information.
But there are many built-in protections that make it more difficult for criminals to steal your data, making RFID cards a safe and effective access control solution.
Ease of Use
RFID cards are easy to use, as they allow users to simply wave the card in front of a scanner instead of swiping it like traditional credit cards. This contactless technology also helps reduce the chance of users accidentally leaving their card in the machine, which could be stolen by a scammer.
Unlike traditional magnetic stripe cards, RFID cards have built-in antennas to send and receive signals. This allows them to work in a range of environments, including indoors, without the need for a direct line RFID Card of sight. RFID cards can also transmit data at a very fast rate, allowing them to be used for transactions and other processes in real time.
In addition to their use in access control systems, RFID cards can also be used for contactless payments. To make a contactless payment, simply place the card or smartphone near a payment terminal with the same WiFi-looking symbol as on an RFID credit card. This technology has proven to be very useful in the retail sector, but it can be dangerous for consumers, as criminals with minimal technical skills can construct their own RFID readers that can pick up and transmit personal information from a victim’s wallet or phone.
While RFID access control systems can be effective for multifamily properties, they are not suitable for every application. For example, visitors and delivery couriers need to enter the building, too, so a mobile access solution that incorporates keypads or smartphones with PIN codes provides more versatility for residents and staff.
Ease of Maintenance
Unlike magnetic stripe credit cards, which require a swiping motion to provide information to a card reader, RFID technology lets you simply wave or tap your contactless-type card on the terminal when it’s time for a payment. A chip embedded in the RFID tag wirelessly transmits your financial information to the terminal, eliminating the need for a swipe and speeding up the transaction process.
Because RFID tags emit radio signals, they must be within close proximity to a scanner to work. This makes them hard to hide and easy to include in items that you want to monitor. For example, researchers glued RFID micro-transponders to live ants to track their movements.
Passive RFID tags don’t have a battery and depend on the reader to power them up. When the tag comes within range of the reader, it broadcasts a ‘chirp’ that can be heard by the scanner and interpreted as a read request. These tags are often used for access control applications.
Active RFID tags have a small internal battery that powers them to broadcast for longer distances. When a RFID reader nears an active tag, it will send out a ‘chirp’ that can also be heard by the other tag. The tag responds with a read request, which includes the data it’s carrying on the item to which it’s attached.
Ease of Replacement
RFID cards have 4 main memory banks, but only 2 of them are re-programmable. You need to decide which memory bank you will be programming your data into. You will also need to know the numbering system that you are using to program into the tag. Tags can be programmed in 2 basic numbering systems – Hex code and ASCII (letters based on the English alphabet). Most RFID reader software programs make it easy to tell which language you will be programming into your tags.
The main benefit of RFID is that it eliminates the need for manual swipes at a point of sale terminal or insertion into an ATM. Contactless RFID lets you make a payment by waving your credit card near a scanner, which then transmits the information to a computer that verifies the transaction. The process is much faster and more convenient than manually entering your pin number at a terminal, and your card never leaves your hand, minimizing the chances that you will leave it in the machine.
RFID also gives you the ability to use your card as a key to enter buildings and vehicles, replacing traditional locks. You simply mifare desfire wave the card in front of the RFID reader, which then transmits a signal that is read by a device attached to the vehicle or building. The device determines whether the user has permission to enter and locks or unlocks accordingly.
RFID cards are a great solution for business security needs. They are highly secure and easier to manage than traditional magnetic stripe cards. However, as with any access control system, there are some considerations when implementing RFID. Managing card access privileges carefully and ensuring that employees understand the appropriate use of the system is vital. Also, it is important to choose the right RFID vendor and ensure that the infrastructure is properly designed.
Despite their convenience, RFID cards are still relatively vulnerable to theft. The proximity of a card to the reader is the most significant safety concern. This is why special RFID-blocking wallets and sleeves are available. However, these aren’t necessary to secure a transaction because the card only transmits data when it is within an inch or two of the RFID reader.
Additionally, RFID systems are designed to verify that the data read from an RFID tag matches predefined parameters. This makes it unlikely that a hacker would be able to implant an RFID chip with malware and send malicious code to a back-end application. However, researchers from Vrije Universiteit’s Computer Systems Group did create a proof-of-concept RFID virus that transmitted Structured Query Language (SQL) commands to a database. This could be exploited to launch buffer overflow attacks and other common cybersecurity threats. However, the small memory capacity of RFID tags should limit these attacks.