We live in a world where cybercrime has become a very common thing. Cybercriminals, who are turning more and more sophisticated with evolving technology, are always on the lookout for security holes that they can exploit to access systems, devices and networks to steal all kinds of data, ranging from corporate data to sensitive personal information of customers. Thus, for any organization, it has become a challenge to protect its infrastructure against cybercriminals as it’s an ever-evolving threat landscape that needs to be responded to.
Securing the ACS (Access Control System) is today of key importance for any organization, as regards ensuring proper cybersecurity. Cybercriminals would always be on the lookout for outdated or poorly managed ACSs, which they could exploit to gain entry into systems, networks and the premises of organizations. Thus, organizations that give importance to cybersecurity today give utmost importance to securing their ACSs. Companies that manufacture ACSs also try to develop solutions that seek to secure access as well as access rights and secure cardholders’ data.
Securing ACS: How to go about it…
The first thing that you need to remember is that securing your ACS is not just about deploying some secure smart card and sitting back thinking that it’s all secure. No, it won’t work in today’s context. Today, you must seek to secure every level of your ACS architecture. One single weak point can render your whole access control system insecure. You must understand that security vulnerabilities can exist at any level and hence you need to, as mentioned earlier, secure every level of your ACS architecture.
Begin by choosing the kind of ACS that has several layers of security, from access card to software. Go for a secure, resilient ACS that would protect your data and keep it totally confidential. The best bet would be to choose a vendor who’s committed to adopting the security industry’s best practices and evolved with evolving technology, thereby helping your organization stay secure today and, in the future as well.
There are certain other things that you need to keep in mind while deploying ACS technology. You’d better deploy 13.56 MHz Smartcard technology that gives you better security. You should opt to use a secure, bi-directional ACS protocol between the reader and controller to mitigate the risk of tapping attacks. When it’s a bi-directional protocol, the operators are alerted whenever the readers are tampered with. Thus, it’s possible to promptly neutralize any threat that occurs and is detected immediately. Encryption, as we always say, is key to cybersecurity. Hence, using an encrypted protocol would secure all data.
Whenever you select an ACS, always select one that uses advanced cryptographic protocols, like TLS (Transport Layer Security). This would help secure communication between servers and field devices, thereby mitigating the risk of MITM (Man-in-the-Middle) attacks over your network.
Remember, you need to choose an ACS platform that adopts a comprehensive approach to security, comprising multiple layers of defense and aiming at total security of your ACS as well as all your data. You should ensure that you are choosing a platform, which, through strong encryption, authentication and authorization, secures all credentials that are captured from readers, whether used in ACS decisions or stored in controllers & servers.
While investing in ACS protocols, think wisely. Invest not just for today, but for the future also. Remember, the threat landscape, as we have already mentioned, is ever-evolving. Cybercriminals are getting more and more advanced and sophisticated. They have started making big money out of the attacks that they plan and execute; yes, the ROI (Return on Investment) for cybercriminals is now on the rise. Stolen data now fetch big money in the black market. Extortion is also on the increase. Hence cybercriminals spare no opportunity that they get to target organizations (and individuals as well). Thus, as threats continue to evolve and as cybercriminals get increasingly sophisticated, organizations need to stay ahead of them by adopting the most advanced of security technologies.