Additionally, 128-bit keys virtually ensure no one can read or access credential information without authorization. The technology behind AES has approval by the NSA (National Security Agency) for classified information. A message authentication code (MAC) further protects each transaction between the credential and the reader. This security feature ensures complete and unmodified transfer of information, helping to protect data integrity and prevent outside attacks
Facilities should use an open solution smart credential - one built to adhere to ISO 14443, a four-part international standard for contactless smart credentials. This results in faster data transfer between credential and reader, up to 848 kbps baud rate (1K baud = 1,000 bits of data per second). ISO 14443 technology - the same standard used by the U.S. government - is especially recommended for applications requiring large amounts of data (such as biometric templates), which are often used in tandem with card or PIN access.
With smart cards soon to be the most popular choice for credentials, it is very important that security professionals understand the ramifications of differing smart credentials. In an atmosphere of openness and inclusiveness, specifiers must make sure that they are adhering to smart card standards that will make their selected smart credential easy to deploy and use.
Jennifer Toscano is Portfolio Marketing Manager for Credentials, Readers, Software and Controls for Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies.