Trends In Access Control: SMART CREDENTIALS

In security, there are three universally recognized factors for authenticating individuals: Something you know, typically a P ersonal I dentification N umber (PIN) Something you have, typically a security token (encoded credential). Something...

In access control, 26-bit is the industry standard encoding format. It is an open format. (The use of this format is not restricted). The data encoded using 26-bit format consists of 255 possible facility codes. Within each facility code, there are 65,535 unique card numbers.

Several other Wiegand formats with higher levels of security are available to the access control industry.

The use of a memorized P.I.N. (Personal Identification Number) or biometric template in conjunction with the proximity credential is referred to as multiple factor authentication and regarded as strong authentication.

The trend in credentials is towards Smart Cards which can support multi-use (access control as well as meal or bookstore transactions); utilize higher security encoding (example: DesFire) and also carry a biometric template on the card for speedy 1:1 biometric verification at the entry or point of transaction)


Schlage apti-Q

Unlike proximity cards, aptiQ smart cards from Schlage, using MIFARE DESFire EV1 technology, offer several different layers of security, including mutual authentication, which ensures that the reader and the card are allowed to talk with each other before any information is exchanged. aptiQ smart cards from Schlage also provide AES 128-bit encryption, a key encryption technique that helps protect sensitive information.

They also supply diversified keys, which virtually ensure no one can read or access the holder’s credentials information without authorization. A message authentication code (MAC) further protects each transaction between the credential and the reader, ensuring complete and unmodified transfer of information, helping to protect data integrity and prevent outside attacks.

We contacted Jennifer Toscano, Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies, Portfolio Marketing Manager, Credentials, Readers, Software, and Controls, and interviewed her about this important new technology trend. Following are Ledger’s questions and Ms. Toscano’s answers.

For which markets/applications is the aptiQ intended?

Smart cards can be used in diverse applications such as access control, cashless vending, meal programs and transit applications because of their ability to read data from and write data to the card. Smart cards also employ advanced security features that make them an ideal candidate for both high security applications and those in which important data or financial information will be transmitted.

They cover all of the applications in which proximity works plus high security applications, situations requiring data storage, where protection of high value areas or information is needed and in scenarios requiring multiple credential applications.

Is aptiQ intended for use with IR or other systems?

The aptiQ smart card is designed on an open architecture platform and can be used both in access control systems manufactured by Ingersoll Rand, as well as third party systems.

How many different aptiQ credential types are there?

There are three basic form factors, clamshell cards, ISO Cards, and an adhesive PVC patch. Within those three form factors, we offer 12 different types:

  • SXF8420 MIFARE DESFire EV1 16k bit Clamshell Card
  • SXF8440 MIFARE DESFire EV1 32k bit Clamshell Card
  • SXF8480 MIFARE DESFire EV1 64k bit Clamshell Card
  • SXF8520 MIFARE DESFire EV1 16k bit ISO Card
  • SXF8520M1 MIFARE DESFire EV1 16k bit ISO Magnetic Stripe Card
  • SXF8540 MIFARE DESFire EV1 32k bit ISO Card
  • SXF8540M1 MIFARE DESFire EV1 32k bit ISO Magnetic Stripe Card
  • SXF8580 MIFARE DESFire EV1 64k bit ISO Card
  • SXF8580M1 MIFARE DESFire EV1 64k bit ISO Magnetic Stripe Card
  • SXF8720 MIFARE DESFire EV1 16k bit PVC Patch
  • SXF8740 MIFARE DESFire EV1 32k bit PVC Patch
  • SXF8780 MIFARE DESFire EV1 64k bit PVC Patch

How many different aptiQ reader types are there?

The aptiQ credential can be read by the smart card readers in the Schlage and XceedID product lines. They can also be read by select multi-technology readers from Schlage and XceedID. Schlage AD-Series locks that include the smart card reader module or multi-technology module are also capable of reading aptiQ smart cards from Schlage.

How real a threat is proximity credential cloning?

It is very real. All it takes to clone a card is a very inexpensive device that can be ordered over the Internet. Nobody would know that a cloned card was being used.

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