Access data must be secured

Issue 1 2022 Products & Solutions

Whether it is proximity, smartcard, long range reading or mobile access technologies, there is no excuse for not providing safe data today. First, one needs to understand that Wiegand, the industry standard over-the-air protocol commonly used to communicate credential data from a contactless access credential to an electronic access reader, is no longer inherently secure because of its underlying obscure and non-standard nature.

For this reason, options are now available that can be added to the readers. The first is MAXSecure, which provides a higher-security handshake, or code, between the proximity of smartcard, tag and reader to help ensure that readers will only accept information from specially coded credentials.

The second is an embedded anti-tamper feature available with contactless smartcard readers, cards and tags. It can add an additional layer of authentication assurance to the NXP MIFARE DESFire EV1 smartcard platform. It operates independently and above the significant standard level of security that DESFire EV1 delivers. A smartcard reader effectively helps verify that the sensitive access control data programmed to a card or tag is genuine.

Adding encryption

One aspect of securing a card’s information is to make the internal numbers unusable through encryption. To read them, the system needs access to a secret key or password that provides decryption. Modern encryption algorithms play a vital role in assuring data security.

Today,13,56 MHz smartcards are used to provide increased security compared to 125 kHz proximity cards.

The newest of the MIFARE standards, DESFire EV1, includes a cryptographic module on the card itself to add an additional layer of encryption to the card/reader transaction. (MIFARE, a technology from NXP Semiconductors, enables two-way communications between the card and the reader.) Because it is among the highest standards of card security available, MIFARE DESFire EV1 protection is ideal to secure multi-application smartcards in access management, public transportation programmes or closed-loop, e-payment applications.




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