• RFID Protection - Protecting sensitive data

        • Sean Starkey, Managing Director, Durable UK explains why Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) protection is becoming increasingly important.

          According to data reported to The UK Cards Association, 73 per cent of debit cards in circulation are now contactless, up from 61 per cent a year ago. Undoubtedly the advent of contactless payment has made it much more convenient to make a purchase, but with our debit, credit and even ID cards now containing RFID tags, the requirement to protect sensitive data has become increasingly important.

          RFID is the technical term for a system consisting of a transponder which stores data electronically and a separate reader device which is able to receive said data. NFC (near field communication) technology is an international transmission standard for the exchange of RFID data across short distances via radio waves, such as a contactless payment where data is exchanged between a debit card and a payment machine.

          With RFID tags, personal information and account data can be stored on bank cards and remotely interpreted by a reader device using electromagnetic waves. Fraudsters can use skimming devices and even smartphone apps to read the sensitive data stored on the RFID chip. Figures released in the Experian Fraud Report (2016) found that fraud rates rose by 20 per cent over the last year, which highlights the pressing need to employ solutions that prevent the unauthorised reading of personal data.

          The identity theft threat is as applicable to businesses as it is to individuals. In addition to bank cards, personal ID cards, passports and driver’s licences, RFID is also frequently used for access control, time tracking, logistics and merchandise management systems.

          In January this year, German banks were legally obliged to supply RFID protective sleeves with all bank cards due to the rise in fraudulent activity. Although this is not a legal requirement in the UK, there is increasing consumer awareness about identity fraud and ways to prevent it.

          At Durable, we have combined our extensive knowledge and expertise from the name badge and security sector with RFID technology to produce a range of RFID security solutions which offer reliable protection. Our RFID SECURE range is TÜV-certified and offers RFID protection at the commercially used frequency of 13.56 MHz.

          Despite incorporating metal layers which block the signal from the card to the reader, all products in the range are extremely lightweight and compact. Products include the Credit Card Wallet which features a metal layer fused into the soft outer cover offering protection to all cards stored within it when the wallet is closed. The Credit Card Sleeve combines metal foil with plastic to produce a slimline protective sleeve. Finally, Card Holder, which is available in one or two card capacities, has a galvanised metal frame which blocks the signal from the entire card and can be used with all standard Durable name badge accessories.

          For more information visit www.durable-uk.com

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