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Integration of RFID with Security Systems

  • Akansha Sharma
  • Jun 30, 2023
  • RFID
RFID with Security Systems

RFID technology has been gaining ground in a variety of industries and applications. One such application is security and access control. The integration of RFID with security systems has been on the rise & slowly taking over traditional forms of security systems. 

So, let’s discuss more about this technology and its uses.

What is RFID?

RFID stands for, Radio Frequency Identification. It is a type of AIDC (Automatic Identification & Data Collection), technology used to identify, capture and store encrypted/hidden data using different methods. Some of these types of technologies are Barcodes, OCR (Optical Character Recognition), Automatic Speech Recognition, etc.

Radio Frequency Identification uses radio wave propagation as a means of communicating information. These systems consist of three basic segments, namely – Reader, Tags, and Antennas. A tag stores information like identification, product group, telemetry (temperature, pressure, movement), etc. The reader can convert signals from the tag into a readable format and uses the antennas to communicate by broadcasting and receiving signals.

Different Applications of RFID Technology for Security Systems

This technology has a host of applications in almost every industry around the globe. You can find RF being used in applications varying from industries like healthcare to manufacturing. When it comes to security, there are numerous ways this technology can be used.

(A). Security Checkpoints

One of the primary uses of RF technology in security applications is checkpoints at entry and exits of a facility. You may have seen security gate in retail stores, these can utilize RF technology. These systems prevent any tagged item from leaving the store without prior authorization. 

They have a simple work behind them when an item is to be sent out of the facility, the users will first deactivate the tag using an NFC reader. 

(B). Access Control Systems

Another very useful application of these systems is for controlling access to a facility or areas within a facility. These systems are also easy to set up and run. An access control system requires short-range NFC readers, connected to a centralized system. For granting access, users can employ smart cards with integrated inlays.

These cards can be encoded with the identification information of the carrier and their authorized security clearance. This allows an organization to automate the entry and exit gates. It also allows you to divide your facility areas based on clearance levels. 

For example, at airports, every person who is not a passenger, from the janitor to the pilots is required to carry an AEP. An AEP (Airport Entry Pass), is a custom access control smart card that stores the identity of the user and their clearance level. It allows the users to enter the areas they have clearance for, and record their movements. Meaning a commercial pilot will not be able to enter the cargo hold, and a cargo pilot will not be able to enter the commercial travel areas of an airport.

In addition, these systems also record the movement of personnel through their access passes, throughout the facility. This provides security teams with increased transparency and monitoring capabilities. And in a scenario of security violation, makes it easier to find the perpetrator.

(C). Transaction Security

Monetary transactions always hold a slight risk of theft, like pickpocketing, identity theft, etc. For example, if someone finds out the information on your ATM card, they can easily conduct online transactions with it. And there have been many cases of such theft. With the help of contactless payment, this problem can be solved easily.

Nowadays, most cards have an integrated RF chip inside them. This allows users to conduct transactions through a simple tap on the card reader, without having to put in any pin codes that anyone can copy.

These also have uses in public transportation. For example, there is no need to carry physical cash for the purpose of traveling through the Metro system. Just recharge your traveler’s card online, and use it to pay for tickets.

(D). Tracking & Retrieval

In sectors like construction and healthcare, we use a lot of specialized tools and equipment to conduct operations. As these equipment are often expensive, organizations do not have the luxury to employ them in large numbers, for example, a defibrillator at minimum would cost around ₹1,12,000 per unit, and portable X-Ray machines can cost more than ₹2,00,000 per unit, etc., and these are some of the cheapest equipment in a hospital.

Therefore, these organizations must be able to keep accurate track of this equipment. Allowing them to be retrieved for use as quickly as possible, in case of emergencies.

Benefits of RFID Integrated Security Systems

Now you know the uses of radio frequency identification technology for security applications. However, there are other systems like Biometric Security or just plain old manual security, so why even bother with RFID? 

The answer is that there are several advantages of RF technologies over other types of systems.

(A). Automation & Resource Reallocation

Firstly, one of the biggest benefits of using RF technology for security purposes is its ability to provide automation. Unlike using employees for security like guards, RF systems provide complete automation to these operations. This has several benefits like efficiency, reduction in long-term cost, accuracy, etc.

(B). Cost of Implementation

Implementing an RF system has a larger initial cost than hiring security personnel. However, in the long run, the cost of human security will severely outmatch RF systems, due to monthly salaries and other costs that go with employees. In addition, security departments are not responsible for any productive operations, therefore, they just increase costs.

(C). Accuracy & Data Collection

Biometric systems offer better security measures, as it is a bit difficult to steal someone’s fingerprints or iris. On the other hand, an RF system without any additional passcode requirement can be fooled if you manage to steal someone’s access card. However, stealing a card is not that easy and happens surprisingly rarely. Making these systems a far better option than biometric systems.

As biometric security has several flaws like increased cost, limited storage capacity, difficulty with cross-system integration, etc.

(D). Compatible with Integration

Unlike other types of systems, RFID systems are very dynamic and are often custom-built. Making them compatible with other types of systems. For example, users can connect a reader to work in tandem with electronic locks, online databases, cameras, etc. 

This is not possible with other technologies like biometric security.

(E). Streamline Operations

Lastly, these systems improve the productivity of an organization. This occurs due to the ability of RFID to induce automation, improve efficiency & accuracy, etc. The combination of all these things reduces any disruptions in operations and the time employees have to spend creating manual records.

This allows the workers to give their optimal performance during work hours.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What are the three main types of RFID systems?

The primary method of classifying radio frequency identification systems is on the basis of their operational frequency. On this basis, we can divide these systems into three classes – Low Frequency (LF), High Frequency (HF), and Ultra-High Frequency (UHF).

Q2. What is an RFID security system?

These are a type of security system that utilizes RFID technology to provide access, track items, and monitor asset movement.

Q3. Which software is used for RFID?

There are many different types of software that you can use with RFID. Some RF systems provide custom software that is compatible with their readers. In other cases, users can develop their software to interact with their RF systems. Or, purchase a 3rd party software that is compatible with certain brands.

Disclaimer: The information presented here is for general information purposes only and true to best of our understanding. Users are requested to use any information as per their own understanding and knowledge. Before using any of the information, please refer to our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.

  • Created on Jun 30, 2023

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