The pros and cons of using RFID cards for access control and identification
Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) technology has revolutionised how we handle access control and identification in different areas such as healthcare, mining, corporates and industries.
The technology uses radio waves to transmit information between an RFID reader and an RFID card. These cards are embedded with an RFID chip that contains information such as the cardholder's name, photo, and access rights to a specific area.
This blog will examine the pros and cons of using RFID cards for access control and identification.
What are RFID Cards?
RFID technology cards are smart cards that use radio waves to communicate with an RFID reader. RFID technology cards contain a microchip that stores information and an antenna that enables the card to transmit data wirelessly to an RFID reader.
There are several types of RFID technology cards available, including:
Proximity Cards: These cards are commonly used for access control systems and have a limited range, typically within a few centimetres of the reader. This means that users can simply wave their card in front of the reader to gain access rather than having to swipe the card through a reader or make physical contact with the reader. They are ideal for applications with a high level of security, such as in secure government, corporate buildings or hospitals, and schools.
We offer a wide range of proximity cards with varying levels of security and functionality to meet the needs of different industries and applications. Easi-card's proximity cards are designed to work seamlessly with RFID readers and other access control products to provide a complete access control solution for businesses and organisations.
Easi-card's proximity cards are made with high-quality materials designed to withstand wear and tear, making them a durable and reliable solution for access control applications. We also provide customisation services, allowing businesses and organisations to personalise their proximity cards with their branding or logo.
Smart Cards: These cards contain an embedded microprocessor that can store more information and perform more complex functions than proximity cards. Smart cards are often used for applications such as cashless payments, loyalty programs, and transportation systems.
Easi-card's smart cards are made with high-quality materials. They are designed to withstand wear and tear, making them a durable and reliable solution for various applications.
Contactless Cards: These cards use RFID technology to communicate with a reader but do not require physical contact. They are commonly used for public transportation, toll collection systems, and access control applications.
Unlike magnetic stripe cards or traditional smart cards, which require a swipe or insertion into a card reader, contactless cards work by transmitting a radio frequency signal to the card reader when the card is held nearby.
Our contactless cards are designed to work seamlessly with their RFID readers and other access control products to provide a complete access control solution for businesses and organisations with no restrictions. Our cards can be easily integrated into existing systems with limited or no additional costs with new readers. The only change would be that your readers would have to be upgraded.
Hybrid Cards: These cards combine the features of two or more RFID cards, such as proximity cards and smart cards. Hybrid cards, such as university campuses or corporate offices, are often used for applications requiring physical access control and cashless payment capabilities. These are perfect for universities where students can access library facilities and pay for their books, food and stationery on campus without using other cards. This is the same for corporates.
Hybrid cards offer several advantages over single-technology cards. They provide greater flexibility and functionality, allowing users to choose the technology that best suits their needs. They also offer a higher level of security, as the combination of multiple technologies makes it more difficult for fraudsters to clone or counterfeit the card.
The hybrid card is a secure and reliable technology card system for businesses that want a card that has multiple uses.
RFID technology cards offer several advantages over other technology cards, such as magnetic stripe or barcode cards. RFID technology enables cards to be read from a distance without direct physical contact, making them much more convenient and user-friendly than other technology cards. Additionally, RFID technology offers several layers of security, including encryption, authentication, and data privacy measures, which make it much harder for fraudsters to clone or skim RFID cards.
What makes RFID technology cards unique in the technology card industry?
RFID technology cards are unique in the technology card industry because of their ability to communicate wirelessly with an RFID reader. Unlike traditional magnetic stripe cards or barcode cards, RFID cards use radio waves to transmit data between the card and the reader. This wireless communication enables RFID cards to be read from a distance without the need for direct physical contact, making them much more convenient and user-friendly than other types of technology cards.
Another key feature that sets RFID technology cards apart from other technology cards is their versatility. RFID cards can be used for various applications beyond access control and identification, including asset tracking, inventory management, and payment processing. This versatility makes them popular for businesses and organisations across many industries.
RFID technology cards are also known for their security features. RFID technology offers several layers of security, including encryption, authentication, and data privacy measures, which make it much harder for fraudsters to clone or skim RFID cards. Additionally, the ability to program different access levels into RFID cards provides an added layer of security for access control applications.
Finally, RFID technology cards are known for their durability and longevity. Unlike traditional magnetic stripe cards, which can easily become demagnetised or worn down with frequent use, RFID cards are designed to withstand wear and tear and can last for years without needing to be replaced. This makes them a cost-effective solution for businesses and organisations that require technology cards that can withstand frequent use and rough handling.
Pros of Using RFID Cards for Access Control and Identification
RFID cards offer a convenient, secure, and scalable solution for access control. They are ideal for businesses and organisations of all sizes and can be customised to meet specific security requirements. Depending on what your security needs are, Easi-card has it all.
RFID cards are convenient for both the employee and the system admin. With an RFID card, employees can simply tap the card on the reader to gain access. Employees can have their cards handy and close by to ensure they can be read and gain access almost immediately.
For system administrators, it simplifies the process of granting or revoking access. They can add or remove access rights remotely, and the changes will take effect immediately. This ensures that no prohibited members are accessing important areas they should not have access to.
RFID cards offer improved security compared to traditional access control and identification methods.
RFID technology eliminates the need for physical keys or passwords that can be easily lost, stolen, or shared. The technology is also much harder to hack or clone than traditional magnetic stripe cards. Additionally, RFID cards can be programmed with different access levels, allowing for more granular control over who has access to certain areas.
RFID cards use secure encryption techniques to protect data transmission between the card and the reader. The data transmitted between the card and the reader is encrypted, making it more difficult for attackers to intercept and steal sensitive information.
Each RFID card contains a unique identifier used to authenticate the cardholder. This makes it difficult for an attacker to clone or duplicate the card, as each card has a unique identifier that cannot be replicated.
Overall, RFID cards can store cards important information more securely, making it more difficult for anyone to access or steal it.
RFID technology is becoming increasingly affordable, making it an attractive option for businesses and organisations of all sizes.
With RFID cards, there is no need for costly key management systems or the rekeying of locks when an employee leaves the company.
RFID cards can be used for various other applications, such as time and attendance tracking, making them a versatile investment.
RFID cards can be easily reprogrammed or deactivated when lost or stolen. This eliminates the need for expensive re-keying or re-issuing of physical keys or cards, saving money on replacement costs. Cards are not as costly to replace, reducing the need to waste unnecessary money.
Improved Tracking and Monitoring
RFID cards can track and monitor employee movements, providing valuable insights into different building areas' use. This information can be used to optimise the layout of the building and improve workflow. Employees can be held responsible for accessing areas they should not be in and can be asked why they were in a specific area for so long. Employees can be held more accountable, enhancing your productivity in your business.
Additionally, in the event of a security breach or theft, RFID cards can be used to track the movements of individuals and identify potential suspects. This will narrow criminal activity and ensure that criminals are not allowed access.
Cons of Using RFID Cards for Access Control and Identification
Many of the Disadvantages of RFID cards are minor, and if you can minimise the rest, you can reap the significant benefits of RFID technology.
Vulnerability to Hacking
Despite the improved security that RFID technology offers, it is still vulnerable to hacking. Hackers can intercept the radio signals between the RFID reader and the card and use this information to clone the card.
This can be particularly problematic in high-security environments where the risk of data theft or unauthorised access is high.
To prevent this from happening Easi-card has used SkimSafe as a shielding material to ensure that cards are not read. SkimSafe is made of foil, creating a barrier that prevents unauthorised scanning of RFID cards.
You can use Encryption, where data transmitted between the card and reader is encrypted and secured. This ensures that unauthorised users cannot access the information stored on the card. Extra encryption is important for security and ensures that your company's security policies will not be breached.
This is necessary, especially in mining, where cards can easily be hacked or cloned.
Reliance on Technology
RFID cards rely on technology to function, which means that if the system fails, access to buildings or areas can be compromised.
This can be particularly problematic if there is an emergency and people must evacuate a building quickly. Loadshedding is another major issue that companies face. Without power, your access control systems will not work, and your batteries could be drained. Battery backups, generators and UPS’s are necessary for these issues.
RFID technology can be used to track and monitor employee movements, which can raise privacy concerns.
While this information can be used to optimise workflow and improve security, it can also monitor employee productivity or behaviour. Employees may feel uncomfortable with the level of monitoring and feel that their privacy is being invaded.
It’s important to let your employees know that you are monitoring them and that they can report to you if necessary on things that may concern them. Having an open and honest relationship with your employees is always important.
Risk of Physical Damage
RFID cards can be damaged if exposed to extreme temperatures, moisture, or electromagnetic fields. This can cause the card to malfunction, leading to access being denied. Additionally, RFID cards can be lost or stolen, compromising security and leading to the need for costly reissuing of new cards.
You must let your employees know the importance of keeping these cards at specific temperatures and ensure they know how to look after them. Easi-card supplies rule cards that can help ensure that your employees comply with the rules and regulations you outlined in your company.
Easi-card is a supplier of RFID cards and technology for ID access control. We offer a wide range of RFID cards, including proximity cards, smart cards, and contactless cards, designed to meet the needs of different industries and applications. We are experts in our field and can find the right fit for your company's needs.
In conclusion, RFID cards offer many benefits for access control and identification, including convenience, improved security, cost-effectiveness, and tracking and monitoring. However, there are also potential drawbacks to using RFID cards, such as vulnerability to hacking, reliance on technology, privacy concerns, and the risk of physical damage.
Using RFID cards for access control and identification will ultimately depend on each organisation's specific needs and requirements.
As a supplier of RFID cards and technology, Easi-card is well-positioned to provide guidance and support to organisations looking to implement an RFID-based access control system.If you’d like to know which RFID or smart card will fit your company’s needs, please contact us. We will be willing to help in any way possible.