Card Encryption

A lot of discussion surrounds the use of encryption in Card Access. Below we explain the simple differences.

Access Control

As the title suggests , 'Control'

Who - Control Who uses a nominated door and track a History log of events

When - Control When a nominated door can be accessed

Where - Control what doors a nominated person can access



Allows persons entry and exit to nominated doors.

One step above a physical key system with the benifit of a history log.

Can be achieved with simple keypad or proximity controllers

Encrypted Reader & cards

Transmits a password to the Reader.

If the password matches the Readers password, sends a request back to the card for the identification code.

Identification code is sent to the controller, and checks users access levels

Benfits of encrypted

  • Conforms to the standard of 'Control'
  • Can not be copied
  • Single supplier creates uniform system
  • 2 stage authentication

Cons of encrypted

  • Read range is reduced.
  • Usually one supplier of cards



Transmits an Identification code when presented to a door reader.

Identification code is sent to the controller, and checks users access levels

Benifits of Un-Encrypted

  • Cards can be purchased anywhere
  • Simple mode of operation

Cons of Un-Encrypted

  • Because cards can be purchased anywhere, no control
  • Low security check
  • Easily to copy of cards
  • No authentication

Discussions surround the benefits and cons of using a single supplier for your security services, and who is responsible for the encryption code.

Lets look at a few scenarios.

Un-encrypted Access control system.

Scenario 1

  • The Customer orders 50 Access cards from Security Company 1. The cards are numbered 101-150.
  • The Customer orders another 50 cards, but from a different Security Company (2). The cards are numberes 151-200
  • The Customer orders another 50 cards from Security Company 1. The original security company looks at their records, and orders card numbered 151-200.

Scenario 2

A card holder makes multiple copies of a card with a $25 fleabay scanner. The customer now has no way of linking the identification number to the employee, effectively losing 'control' of 'who'.