Smart Cards – A New Wave of Access Control

Most people are using smart cards these days whether they know it or not. Banking, healthcare, finance, education and the media are just a few of the industries that currently use smart cards to enhance their security in a cost-effective and convenient manner. Smart cards are advancing security and access control because they have the ability to read, update and transfer data or information based on a memory or microprocessor chip embedded in the card. They can also replace the need for complicated passwords that can be hacked or forgotten. While older access control systems may have used cards with magnetic stripes, these cards were at a disadvantage as the information stored is read-only and these cards often require more maintenance if the strip is damaged or wears off.

Contact and Contactless Smart Cards

Contact smart cards must be physically inserted into the reader where the chip containing information can then be read. Contactless smart cards, however, contain an RFID (radio frequency identification) antennae and don’t have to touch or be inserted into a reader, they can be swiped within range of the electromagnetic field of the card reader to be used. Both of these options work well for payment solutions, as identification for students or employees, or in conjunction with other access control systems when multi-factor authentication is necessary for security.

Advantages of Smart Cards

Some of the ways smart cards can benefit access control systems for different venues are:

  • Used to authenticate employee workstations and provide secure access while the employee is working. There is no need to log out or risk access to files if the employee forgets their password or to log out, when the card is removed the workstation is no longer open
  • Employees or managers that work in buildings that have more than one area of their building that needs to be accessed, such as a hospital, no longer requires different cards or authentication for each area. One card can be programmed to be read by multiple readers even with different technologies.
  • These cards have the ability to keep time and attendance records, provide quick and easy payment, are automatically updated without the need for a new card if information changes, and provide another level of security in an access control system.

Card Lock provides solutions for access control systems including smart cards. Contact us for more information today!

 

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