Security Solutions, Access Control, Card Readers

An Easy, Futureproof Access Control Update

Yes, you read that correctly; “easy” and “access control update” in the same sentence! But hear me out… I really do mean easy!

When you think about updating your access control system, your mind generally goes to long and costly projects which take months and tens of thousands of dollars, if not more. What if I were to tell you that you can begin updating your system, even futureproofing it, just 1 card reader at a time? It’s possible, with multi-technology card readers.

Multi-technology card readers are card readers installed on a wall or are part of the locking hardware that can “read” more than one type of technology. Basically, these card readers can be used with both old legacy cards (125kHz) and modern technologies ones, such as Seos, MIFARE DESFire EV1/EV2, and (smartphone) mobile credentials via Bluetooth and Near Field Communication (NFC).

Why would you want to move away from old legacy cards? My colleague, Chris Bracken, touched upon credential security in a recent article where he talked about the ability to “skim” card data and duplicate it. Online retailers are selling 125kHz card reader writers kits for less than $29 with free shipping and over a thousand 4+ star reviews! If you’ve had card readers for more than 3 – 5 years, more than likely you have 125kHz card readers. Do you really want a $30 hack to compromise your occupants’ and building’s security?

So now that you know that you want to upgrade your readers to a more modern, secure ones, how do you do that? By just buying 1 card reader!

First, choose a reader manufacturer. Make sure that the style that you choose can read both your current card technology as well as at least 1, maybe 2 newer, more secure ones for the greatest flexibility for your upgrade rollout. As you upgrade card readers, your new card readers will continue to read your old cards until all of your readers are replaced with newer ones. At that point, you can replace your old cards with a newer credential technology, spreading the cost of conversion out over months or years.

See? Wasn’t that simple and easy? Just take that first step of changing out just 1 card reader, and you are on your way!

Contact LONG today if you have additional questions about upgrading card readers or choosing the right card reader for your building.

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Erica is an account executive for LONG Security Solutions in Washington.