Security conscious companies often have methods of access security in place to prevent unauthorised people entering areas of your business. Door access control passes are becoming very common, and most people would think these access systems would keep them secure. However, as security technology advances, so does the technology for contactless card theft.

contactless-card-theft-door-access-keyburyKeybury are aware of the threat and are taking precautions to ensure your access cards are protected against this type of theft.

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) is the technology that lets you wave your ID, credit, debit or travel card in front of a nearby reader instead of using “chip and pin” or having to slide the magnetic strip through the card terminal. The chip responds to the signal sent by the reader and releases the encrypted information.

Criminals are creating readers which can send signals to interfere with the chip, causing it to release the information. These devices can steal your private financial and access information quickly and silently. All the criminal needs to do is come near your wallet with the hidden card reader. The information could then be scanned onto a blank card and used to gain entry or spend the money. It is obviously difficult to catch a thief that doesn’t even touch your belongings and it could be a long time before you realise the information has been taken, especially if it isn’t money.

New bank cards are more commonly carrying RFID chips. They can be identified by the logo or radio wave symbol on the front or back of the card. So far these contactless payments appear to be on the rise with the number of payments more than tripling in 2014. The UK public spent approximately £2.32 billion using this technology.

Continuing on this trend, Barclays have released contactless payment devices this week to rival Apple Pay. Launching a set of contactless payment gadgets that anyone with a Visa or Mastercard registered debit or credit card can use. The gadgets are wearable, attachable to keys or stickers which can be stuck to phones to create a digital wallet.
These devices can then be topped up to £20 to be used at contactless tills around the country as well as the London transport network. An automatic top up feature is also available, but this holds a higher risk in the event of theft.
Even information on an NFC enabled smartphone could be compromised. An NFC enabled phone allows for wireless payments by smartphone, such as Google Wallet, Apple Pay etc.

Radio frequency blocking card sleeves are now appearing on the market to help prevent this kind of theft. We took a look at the products at IFEC last month.contactless-card-theft-prevention-door-access-keybury

The material of the sleeve, which appears to be just like card, acts like a faraday cage to stop interference from radio frequencies. Clear ID holders are also available with this technology, perfectly suited for ID access cards. Simply open the holder to allow the card to be read when you reach the reader of the door you wish to enter. At all other times the card is protected.

As well as the card sleeves and ID holders, there are also larger sleeves to keep passports safe. This could prevent much greater identity theft.

The sleeves also prevent ‘card clash’. An issue particularly relevant when travelling on the London transport system using their contactless payment. Many commuters keep their Oyster card in their wallets and simply present it at the reader. While the travel card is being read and charged, your contactless payment enabled debit or credit card could also be charged in the same movement. The commuter is then paying twice or more for their travel without realising. Keeping your cards in these sleeves prevent them from being read unless removed.

As this technology becomes more present in every day life, more measures will be taken to make sure they are secure.  Keep a look out for these extra security measures in the future!

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