Dino-Security – The 125kHz Dilemma

September 22, 2022
When we think about Dino-technology, we usually picture computers the size of rooms, floppy disks, and cellphones the size of a brick.

When we think about Dino-technology, we usually picture computers the size of rooms, floppy disks, and cellphones the size of a brick. We picture technology that kids look at in awe at a museum, not the technology many organizations still rely on for their security and access control, right? Well, what if I told you that many people are still carrying around and using Dino-technology in their day-to-day security – it would be a little problematic, wouldn't it?

This is the case for many people across the world, with insecure access control systems installed pre-2000 that still run on the ever-popular 125kHz cards (commonly Prox cards). Unfortunately, due to its popularity and perceived cost to change, many access control systems are still using this insecure and outdated system.

Due to the age of the 125kHz frequency standard, the data isn't encrypted and thus is easy to gain access to and read with off-the-shelf devices easily purchased online. This isn't just an issue for Prox cards; magnetic stripe cards are also subject to this insecurity. The good news is that there are cost-effective ways to upgrade and re-secure facilities using the newer 13.56MHz - specifically MIFARE DESFire technology. A company can migrate their readers and access cards to a more secure option, and can do this slowly or all at once.

Migration is where a company gradually, over a period of time, replaces critical readers first, with less critical readers being changed later. A migration reader (such as the BQT BT951 or BT953) will read the existing Prox card base as well as the new MIFARE DESFire cards that can be issued. Once all the readers on site are replaced with a BT951 or BT953, the Prox element is disabled, leaving only the secure MIFARE DESFire credentials to gain access.

If a company is looking for a total system overhaul in one go, there is a range of 13.56MHz readers that will read the non-compromised MIFARE DESFire credential data. Associated with the security upgrade is the re-issuing of the users' access cards to MIFARE DESFire; again, there is a wide range of credential options for this. For an added layer of security, a company could also look into a biometric reader such as the BioXK that offers up to three-factor authentication, including a fingerprint scanner and PIN for those areas that need the extra security.

The good news is that BQT Solutions offers everything you need to upgrade your Prox system to a more secure system. So, whether you are after a migration strategy to upgrade your security at your own pace or ready to take the plunge and have a complete overhaul, BQT Solutions is your one-stop shop to find the right solution for you and your company. With a global presence and a friendly team ready to have a chat about your access control, BQT Solutions can help you re-secure your premises.

BQT Solutions is a specialist in the development, manufacture and supply of high quality, high security card and biometric readers, electromechanical locks and related electronic security products.
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