Access Control ID cards

To upgrade or not to upgrade? Why you should migrate to a more secure access control technology in 2020

HID 125kHz snippet

It’s a question our experts get a lot here at Digital ID. Should you upgrade your access control technology? The answer can be a little complicated.

Access control as we know it today has been around for more than two decades, with the majority of organisations still using a traditional access control card or fob to control and monitor entry.

In this blog, we examine why now is the perfect time to consider migrating to a more secure system.

Despite looking the same as they always have, the technology these cards and fobs now contain has moved on significantly since that first prox card arrived back in 1990.

So what’s the issue?

While the cards appear to be the same as they always have done, technology and encryption have moved on significantly with newer, more secure 13.56mHZ cards taking the place of older traditional 125kHz technology.

In turn, these are now being complemented with a range of highly secure mobile credential technologies which may eventually supersede the traditional access control card. Well, you’d think that’s the case. But not necessarily.

The truth is that hundreds, if not thousands of organisations, are still relying on outdated, insecure technology from the 1990s – around 50% of organisations according to a HID Global report.

125kHz cards and readers are significantly outdated. Those implementing access control systems for the first time would certainly never use them. But why?

HID 125kHz snippet


For a start, 125kHz proximity cards are not encrypted and can now be easily cloned by tools that are readily available online. For businesses that consider themselves to be a low-risk organisation from a security perspective, this might not seem like a big problem.

But in 2020 they are more vulnerable than ever to security breaches and system downtime – in turn risking them significant financial damage and inconvenience. While there is still a place for this technology from an affordability perspective, it is most definitely considered a legacy system.

So why is 2020 the time to do it?

2020 has changed the way we work, with safety and security being bumped up the priority list by many organisations.

We have been helping our customers implement solutions that allow them to adapt to the post-COVID workplace by reducing touchpoints, introducing cloud-based technology, automating visitor management systems and supplying temperature screening kiosks to keep everyone as safe as possible.

If there was ever a time to integrate an access control upgrade into your business plan, now is the time.

Mifare contactless access control card

So I want to upgrade. Where do I start?

The best options for you will depend on your current access control technology. You can read more about the most secure access control card solutions from manufacturers in our dedicated guides. Our HID cards guide and our MIFARE explainer gives you a good overview of the latest technology on offer.

Upgrading your system and migrating to new technology is an opportunity to safeguard your business for the future. With the right planning and knowledge, it’s possible to carry out an upgrade without interrupting your business. The best thing to do is to contact one of our ID and access control experts on 0800 988 2095.