Insights

Card Cloning – A Real Threat to Modern Building Security 

Thankfully, innovation has led to the development of encrypted solutions that provide the security that all environments can benefit from.  

Chris Wrench


Senior Product Manager

One of the greatest security risks to your buildings and estates is that of card cloning. Sadly, technologies have existed for years that allow the swift copying of legacy cards and it is only becoming easier. Recently there has been a spike in card cloning using a range of devices, from specialist machines through to the versatile Flipper Zero. For security professionals responsible for access control systems, card cloning presents significant issues that seem insurmountable.  

Thankfully, innovation has led to the development of encrypted solutions that provide the security that all environments can benefit from.   

The Worst Case Scenario 

You don’t need much imagination to consider the potential problems that card cloning creates. Systems installed to allow only approved personnel access can be circumvented – and the reasons for doing this are always nefarious. And it affects access control systems used in so many areas, from offices to university student accommodation to hospital buildings.  

It’s not the fault of the security professionals; often, those partaking in illicit access have cutting-edge technology at their disposal. However, it is the responsibility of security professionals to meet this threat with equal firepower. And that means understanding and using advances in access control credential technology to combat the issue.  

There are some security firms guilty of adopting a ‘carry on regardless’ attitude, which only serves to leave their customers vulnerable. With a solution so readily available, there’s no excuse for not adapting. So why are so many firms lagging behind? 

The Problem with 40-Year-Old Technology 

Keycard and fob technology has been around for decades, and many systems that are installed across the UK have existed for more than 40 years. And because these systems work well enough day-to-day, it can seem like an upheaval – financially and administratively – to make a change. There’s a mindset of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’, but in this case, remaining ignorant of the risks that relying on the same basic unencrypted RFID communication presents can make you question the integrity that drives the decisions. 

And we’re not just talking about the boot-on-the-ground access control companies; some of the leading names in manufacturing are guilty of pressing ahead with technology that can be breached. 

Encryption and Actually-Secure Security 

At Grosvenor Technology, we work with the newest systems that incorporate high-frequency communication with strong MIFARE DESFire EV2 and EV3 levels of encryption. Data is transmitted between card and reader in a secure envelope with encryption that cannot be easily cloned, and thus truly provides the access control and security that is much needed. We have a range of options to upgrade existing building door security systems from ageing infrastructure, resistant to the best attempts of even the most dedicated hacker. 

With the top-of-the-range EV2 and EV3 chips, you can expect;  

Enhanced Security – evaluation assurance level 5+ certification 

More Flexible Memory – unlimited simultaneous application use 

Greater Read Speed & Range – varies on card type, but minimum expected distance is 10cm 

Proximity Check – protects against relay attack 

Of course, upgrading in this way doesn’t just improve the reliability of door security; it also brings your estate access control up to current specifications, offering seamless management over your site that includes CCTV, wireless locking, fire and intruder alarms, lift control, and properly tracked occupancy access. 

Building Security for a New Era 

It should be unacceptable to all of us for building security to be left open to the threat of card cloning and the subsequent easy access for intruders – especially when there is no need to do so. Contact Grosvenor Technology today to discuss incorporating the latest technology.  

 To find out more about our leading access control solution, click here.