News Details

Access Control Industry ALERT

Access Control Industry ALERT

By Chris Burke

Managing Director




Recent questions have been raised about the vulnerabilities of physical access control systems. In my opinion, the majority of attacks are generally simple in nature and involve a person already associated in some manner with the entity.


The best way to prevent any type of fraud is to defend at the front line; this involves focusing on the employee ‘credential’ for physical or logical access.  The majority of Corporate security systems these days allocate an I/D number to the individual and track their movements via access card or PIN readers.  This form of security system therefore relies solely on identifying the access card or PIN entered.  The process of card badging or PIN input actually becomes the security system’s greatest weakness, in that; we are only identifying the card or PIN – not the individual.  Therefore, employee collusion for fraud or ‘time & attendance’ manipulation has developed.  The ability to recreate, loan, steal access cards or video PIN numbers being entered ensues; and in recent times it has become very easy to copy proximity or magnetic stripe cards.


The most important step forward in security systems has been with the advent of Biometrics, which offers a far greater certainty for identification purposes.  The newly formulated requirement is to add a Biometrics template to the access card or PIN in the most cost-effective manner whilst offering the strongest security upgrade.  Microlatch have created many patented solutions that add such a Biometric signature to existing systems, thereby offering a simple upgrade and ensuring the identification of the card holder or person entering their PIN.  The two types of systems are shown below, CCF (Combination Card and Finger) and BIOFOB (BIOmetric keyFOB) with integrated proximity tag.

Additional Factor of Authentication

The use of card readers with additional security Factor for authentication is now posisble with the Microlatch BIOCARD and BIOTAG.  These biometrics cards cannot be picked up and simply used to enter a facility. It also eliminates the threat of card cloning. Microlatch offer a simple upgrade to any existing card reader, (without changing the card reader)  simply issue the BIOCARD and BIOTAG exactly the same way as access cards are issued today plus a last step of embedding the User fingerprint template at issuance.  There are no privacy issues to worry about with Microlatch BIOCARD and BIOTAG because the User fingerprint template is held securely within the device and is never released or allowed to be removed under any circumstances.

The use of biometric readers to ensure that the person presenting the card is actually the same person that was issued the card can be a significant advantage for securing buildings, time and attendance and online banking.  Most fraud is conducted by people purporting to be someone that has authorisation and this is very easy with acccess cards, they simply borrow, steal, copy or collude and have ease of access both to physical buildings and also online into a network or making a payment on a mobile device, phone or tablet.



Security systems these days need to upgrade with Biometrics enhancements, as it is becoming more obvious to perpetrators that intrusion into these buildings or online platforms are too easy with Trojan software solutions, video capturing of PIN’s and card theft or copying techniques.  Microlatch have the solution and it is the simplest possible integration platform on the market today, simple and secure, patented and trade mark Microlatch.