The World of Multi-Credentials: Which System Is Right for Your Customer?

As security breaches and hacks are being reported daily, there is a growing awareness of the fallibilities of conventional security technologies and a heightened demand for better methods of access control. Locksmiths recall the bump key episodes...

  • 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

One must look for the “EV1” designation to assure they have the most secure card.

A Mifare DESFire card is sold already programmed with general purpose software (the DESFire operating system) that offers a simple directory structure with files, similar to what is typically found on smart cards. The maximal read/write distance between the card and reader is 10 cm (4 inches), but actual distance depends on the field power generated by the reader and its antenna size.

Mifare DESFire EV1 is a new evolution of the above-described DESFire card, broadly backwards compatible. It is available with 2KB, 4 KB and 8KB NV-Memory. Other features include:

  • Support for random ID
  • Support for 128-bit AES

In cryptography, the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) is a symmetric-key encryption standard adopted by the U.S. government. The AES ciphers have been analyzed extensively and are now used worldwide. AES was announced by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as U.S. FIPS PUB 197 (FIPS 197) on November 26, 2001, after a 5-year standardization process. It became effective as a fFederal government standard on May 26, 2002 after approval by the Secretary of Commerce. It is available in many different encryption packages. AES is the first publicly accessible and open cipher approved by the NSA for top secret information.

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.

The US DEA recently issued a new rule requiring doctors and pharmacists to use 2-factor authentication when electronically prescribing controlled substances. The most usable combination is a smart card with a biometric. The biometric template would be stored on the card. The government demands that the card have a cryptographic device which the aptiQ smart card has.

The Schlage readers that read aptiQ smart cards also read the government’s PIV cards. Utilizing smart card or multi-technology readers from Schlage would be useful for sites utilizing mixed card types.

Although both PIV cards and aptiQ are ISO 14443 based credentials, they differ in terms of openness, security, and processes for issuance. aptiQ is an open architecture, contactless smart card enabling significant customization and featuring the highest levels of encryption currently available on contactless smart cards.

The PIV card is a credential used by the government. It has an extra component, a dual interface which lets information be stored and accessed in either contactless or contact environments.

The Schlage AD-Series Wireless Portable Reader can be used for applications such as attendance, event admission, checkpoints, signal testing, mustering and perimeter expansion. One example would be for use on a school field trip, a school could use the reader to check in students for each bus.Industry could use the reader at muster points to verify who has left the plant during a fire or other emergency.

It is fully compatible with Schlage AD-Series and PIM400s.

The reader is also field-configurable to work as a Wireless Portable Signal Tester, facilitating the survey more meaningful, and installation of wireless access control systems easier and faster. LED indicators communicate valid (green) and invalid (red) credential status.

For more information on Schlage aptiQ, visit


To read additional Locksmith Ledger articles on multi-credential technologies, visit

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