How To Secure Data Collected By RFID Chips

Radio frequency identification (RFID) technology is a convenient and cost-effective method of tracking and managing all your assets and inventory in one place. It’s one of the most critical technologies of the IoT that remotely tracks single or multiple objects, even people.


RFID technology is extensively used by businesses and researchers in across various industries, including:


But while this revolutionary technology is accomplishing real-time transmission of information for business use, exploiters are using RFID spy chips as sources of spyware to exploit vulnerabilities by eavesdropping and skimming.


Eavesdropping and skimming refer to unauthorized access to exchanges between a tag and reader to receive stolen data. These attacks were on the rise in 2017 when exploiters used skimming to target 2 million more victims than in 2016 and stole about $16 million.


But that’s not the only way cybercriminals employ to access your RFID data.


With the increasing adoption of RFID technology, attackers employ many different techniques to gain access, including:


There are security measures and defenses for protecting your data. And the more you know, the less likely you allow your business and data to be an easy target.


Don’t fall victim to an RFID attack. Here are some things you can do to secure the data you collect using RFID chips.


Use Encryption Options

You want a solution that makes it harder for hackers to access the data in your RFID tags. This is what encryption does: it creates a system that makes it harder for an intruder to decipher what is inside your tags.


And because most encryption solutions are within the tags themselves, you get an automated, effective, and secure solution. The trick is to find a solution that offers you maximum security with minimal complications.


This makes the RFID tags integrated circuit easier to compute your data. And the harder it is for the RFID tag to evaluate the data collected, the harder it will be to get your read ranges and read rate. It would also be costlier to decipher the information.


Knowing that, here is a list of encryption options to consider for securing your RFID chip data:


Lock Password

This is a 32-bit password that must be transmitted before the tag starts to share data. The 32-bit password has more than 4 million possible combinations. Therefore, it is challenging for hackers to access your chip data if you use a lock password, making it a very secure option for your business. The lock password is also perfect for systems that have limited computational capabilities.


Cover Coding

Most hackers target the RFID reader because its signal is louder than the tag. But with cover coding, your reader will request a unique number from the tag and then use this for future communications, but under encryption. This ensures that only the tag and reader can decipher the information passed between both devices.


Access Control

A basic access control system ensures users provide a specific key to access the tag data. Any person without a unique key is denied access.


Mutual Authentication

Here, both the RFID tag and reader know a shared key that enables the transfer of information from the tag to the reader. First, the sensor sends the line of code to the tag and waits for the tag to decipher it using the standard code.


If the tag recognizes the line of code, it sends the line of code back to the reader for authentication. If there is no sign of an imposter, the tag and the reader start to transmit data. This protects your RFID chip data from skimming and eavesdropping since the special key is not shared between the tag and the reader, meaning it remains unknown to an intruder.


Kill Code

Only use this option in the direst circumstances because once your tag is killed using the kill code, you cannot use it again. A kill code is perfect if you discover your company has been breached and you have no way of locking out the hackers from your system.


Reader Encryption

This is one-sided encryption where the reader takes part in encrypting the tag. If the tag sends data to the reader, the reader decrypts it. Therefore, before data reaches the tag from the reader, it is already encrypted. As a result, if an intruder intercepts any data, it becomes useless because it is encrypted.


Incorporate Insulated Shields

An insulated shield is a manual option for securing the data in your RFID tag. Usually, placing the insulated protection around your RFID tag protects it from a breach from an intruder. To gain access to this data, you must physically remove the insulated shield from the tag.


Sure, an insulated shield works, but it is best used for businesses with minimal assets. If your company uses 100 assets in a few hours and your employees were required to remove and replace shields each time they need to access data, it would cost them loads in time and efficiency– and requires too much manual intervention.


Use Switches

Another manual option for securing the data gathered in your RFID chips is a switch. But unlike the insulated shields, the switch has a button or a switch to activate the RFID tag. Therefore, it is easier to use and access than an insulated shield, but it is still more labor-intensive than the encryption options provided above.


​​Dive deeper: Things to Consider in an Asset Tracking Solution


Why Risk It?

Asset data is vital to your business operations, and the last thing you want is to have a breach that leaks your information to your competitors. Ensure that only authorized business associates can access the data transmitted between your RFID chips.


Ultimately, the question becomes what level of resources your business is willing to commit to security vs. how much risk you’re ready to accept. With all these RFID security options available to choose from, why risk it?





What type of data does an RFID chip collect?

The RFID chip collects your asset data depending on the type you use. Usually, it collects any information that transpires between your RFID reader and the RFID tag. Most of this information includes your asset location, use, and employee information like the current name and position of the current asset holder.


Why is this RFID data at risk?

Initially, RFID technology was meant to be open to using. As a result, the communication between the RFID tag and the reader is very open to hacking or exploitation since it is not entirely protected and can be tapped into without authentication.


How can I secure my RFID data?

There are both manual and automated security options when determining how to secure your RFID data. We recommend investing in encryption options like lock passwords, access control, and authentication because they protect your data, business costs, efficiency, and productivity.



Your entire process can be frictionless.