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A solution that makes access control cards harder to steal

A solution that makes access control cards harder to steal
The access control card is an important component to keeping premises secure. However they are not 100 percent safe, considering card skimming has become more rampant. Using an effective solution to protect against such crime has become more critical.
That was the point raised by Prevent Crime Now, which offers various solutions that make access control cards and credit cards harder to steal.
The company came up with the solution amid an increase in card skimming, which produces serious ramifications across the society. According to a CNBC report, card skimming is getting more common and sophisticated, costing more than US$2 billion a year in fraudulent charges.
Card skimming is an act where the criminal uses a device known as a skimmer that reads a person’s access control card or credit card information. The skimmer can be placed on ATMs or gas pumps. But more and more, the criminal carrying a skimmer can just approach a person and tap him, stealing that person’s card information.
“We have devices which can show that we can break into offices and hotels very easily,” said Shamir Rajadurai, Crime Safety Specialist at Prevent Crime Now. “Suppose you are a bank supervisor or a bank employee. All I do is come and tap you. Now I walk in the bank as you. I just walk to the backend, put a pen drive in, and I am good.”

Protecting all frequencies

Prevent Crime Now’s solution, then, comes in the form of a thin metallic film that can be easily put over an access control card or credit card. The film basically serves as a shield that prevents the card from being read by a skimmer. “This is made up of a few different metals. What it does is it prevents the waves from your card from emitting. That’s the technology behind it,” Rajadurai said. “Access card runs anywhere from 125 kHz to 13.6 MHz. This shield protects all the frequencies.”
Meanwhile, the film is thin and light, a feature that makes the solution stand out, Rajadurai said. “I am sure along the way there will be imitations popped up here and there, but what makes it unique is it is extremely light – you cannot even feel this in your wallet or even on your access card,” he said. “It doesn’t get damaged in any way, as long as it is hooked on to your access card.”
According to Rajadurai, vertical markets that are most vulnerable to card or identity theft can benefit. Among the examples cited by him are banks and healthcare. “I believe banks would benefit the most because they have so much personal data to protect. The other industry would be the hospital industry because again you have the medical records and the donor profiles. Any information that is confidential will want to adopt our solution,” he said, adding the cost benefits to these institutions can be significant. “Now you are worried about your office building being hacked. Instead of changing your whole access system which will cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars, all you do is put this on. You don’t have to change your system, you don't have to redo your wiring.”
Prevent Crime Now, based in Malaysia, was founded in 2010 and recently celebrated its eighth anniversary. According to Rajadurai, the journey all began with a desire to offer simple yet practical solutions that combat card and identity theft.
“I have a Master’s in criminal justice and I got a certification in crime prevention on environmental design. But again those are all theories. The only way we can come up with practical solutions is to learn from experts which we believe are the criminals themselves,” Rajadurai said. “So we sat down with criminals. We have learned what criminals have taught us, and we share that information with you, so that you can make an informed decision about how to protect yourself.”

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