Panelists Weigh Potential RFID Security Threats - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


Panelists Weigh Potential RFID Security Threats

Similar to other wireless technologies, there are security risks for companies that don't secure their RFID networks by using equipment with built-in protocols such as secure shell and Secure Sockets Layer.

Radio Frequency identification technology is facing network security challenges. That's the consensus from TechBiz Connection panelists participating in a discussion on RFID last week at an industry gathering in Irvine, Calif.

Similar to other wireless technologies, there are security risks for companies that don't secure their RFID network by using equipment with built in protocols such as secure shell and secure socket layer. "It will probably happen," said Jon Fullenkamp, executive director of RFID Systemedia at NCR Corp. "But you have to remember that you're only going to capture an identification number off the tag."

Company executives need to keep in mind as they design networks for supply chain applications that RFID works on a wireless platform. "It's very, very, very easy to defeat any wireless system," said Vinay Gokhale, executive vice president for RFID products at Impinj Inc.

The concern from privacy groups is cyberpunks could sneak into networks to steal consumer identities, and that the unique identification number programmed into the RFID tag would become the single point of failure and gateway into trouble.

The security threat doesn't come from a hacker breaking into the RFID tag and steeling the electronic product code information. It will come from intercepting the information as it travels from the RFID reader to the network.

Secure shell and secure socket layer, two basic security technologies, are expected to become standards for RFID equipment, said Kevin Ashton, vice president at ThingMagic Inc, which has begun to integrate these technologies into their RFID readers. Ashton didn't attend the TechBiz event, but said "As RFID projects moves from test phases to actual deployment more CIOs will insist on that level of security."

TechBiz is a non-profit professional trade association that organizes monthly events for Southern California executives, technology professionals and entrepreneurs.

Panelists included Rajit Gadh, a professor at the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of California, Los Angeles, and founder and director of the Wireless Internet for Mobile Enterprise Consortium (WINMEC); Bob Kleist, CEO, president and founder of printer company Printronix Inc.; Vinay Gokhale, vice president of RFID business development at Impinj Inc.; Jon Fullenkamp, executive director for RFID Systemedia at NCR.; and Marlo Brooke, president at consulting firm Avatar Partners.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
State of the Cloud
State of the Cloud
Cloud has drastically changed how IT organizations consume and deploy services in the digital age. This research report will delve into public, private and hybrid cloud adoption trends, with a special focus on infrastructure as a service and its role in the enterprise. Find out the challenges organizations are experiencing, and the technologies and strategies they are using to manage and mitigate those challenges today.
Enterprise Guide to Digital Transformation
Cathleen Gagne, Managing Editor, InformationWeek,  8/13/2019
IT Careers: How to Get a Job as a Site Reliability Engineer
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  7/31/2019
AI Ethics Guidelines Every CIO Should Read
Guest Commentary, Guest Commentary,  8/7/2019
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
Data Science and AI in the Fast Lane
This IT Trend Report will help you gain insight into how quickly and dramatically data science is influencing how enterprises are managed and where they will derive business success. Read the report today!
White Papers
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll