Look, proximity card cloning is a thing. That’s no secret.

Anyone with a credit card, PayPal account, or a spare $20 can purchase the right tools on Amazon or ebay, and how-to videos are abundant online.

Not only that, but do-it-yourself kiosks are popping up in shopping malls and convenience stores across the country, allowing anyone to pop in after picking up their prescription or puppy chow and duplicate the key fob or RFID card of their choice.

So why is the use of proximity cards still so widespread?

Well, for one – they’re prolific. The genie is out of the bottle, so to speak, and it’s a colossal pain to round up every card and key fob currently in use.

Proximity cards are also:

  • Cost-effective – The price of readers is easy on the wallet for small businesses and startups.
  • Convenient – Because they are contactless, proximity cards to be used while they’re still inside a wallet or a purse, or even a pants pocket.

The versatility and programmability of encrypted smart cards is often turned to as the saving grace of card-based access control measures. In addition to being virtually impossible to clone, they offer multiple levels of customization and functionality.

But should users be so quick to abandon proximity cards?

Keep the following in mind when worries of duplication begin to surface.

Three things still have to happen to effectively clone a proximity card:

  1. A hacker would have to know where your prox card is carried (purse, back pocket, etc.)
  2. Then, the perpetrator would have to be within inches of that precise location to commence cloning.
  3. Alternatively, a hacker would have to obtain physical possession of your card to copy it.

Is it possible? Absolutely. Is it worthy of scare tactics driving business owners to other, newer tech? The verdict is out.

However, for many small- to moderate-sized companies who understand that security measures should be reflective of the risk at hand, an additional layer of security – such as two-factor authentication – may be enough to warrant the continued use of proximity cards.

Two-factor authentication modifies access control setups to include a reader with a keypad at each entry point. Users would then be required to supply a PIN to gain access in addition to their card.

Three-factor authentication – which would bring in biometrics (eye scans, voice recognition, etc.) – could achieve a security trifecta, of sorts, culling together something a user owns (proximity card), something he or she knows (PIN), and something that is intrinsically unique to his or her person (biometrics).

Secom, LLC can help you control every corner of your business. Contact us today to learn more.