Common Smart Card and Reader Standards

Dec. 13, 2018
A look at MIFARE DESFire EV1 and SIA's OSDP

MIFARE DESFire EV1 has become the contactless digital RFID technology benchmark for smart cards. The protocol uses 128 AES encryption – the same as used by the U.S. federal government – and it is based on open global standards for both interface and cryptographic methods, with compliance to all four levels of ISO/IEC 14443A.

Beyond security, MIFARE DESFire EV1 brings benefits to access control customers, such as being able to use the same device for related applications such as payment at vending machines or event ticketing.

Smart cards with this level of protection are ideal for customers who need secure, multi-application smart cards in public transportation schemes, access management or closed-loop e-payment applications. They fully comply with the requirements for fast and highly secure data transmission, flexible memory organization and interoperability with existing infrastructures.

Featuring an on-chip backup management system and mutual three-pass authentication, a MIFARE DESFire EV1 card can hold up to 28 different applications and 32 files per application. Data transfer rates up to 848KB can be achieved.

If the new system leverages the Security Industry Association’s Open Supervised Device Protocol (OSDP), it also will interface easily with control panels or other security management systems, fostering interoperability.

OSDP takes solutions beyond the limitations of Wiegand and enables security equipment – such as card and biometric readers – to interface easily with control panels and equipment from another manufacturer.

From a cybersecurity standpoint, the standard leverages features such as bi-directional communication and read/write capabilities to benefit smart credentials by increasing communication speed and bandwidth.

OSDP secures smart cards by constantly monitoring wiring to protect against attack and serves as a solution for high-end encryption such as required in federal applications. ■

Scott Lindley is General Manager of Farpointe Data. Request more info about the company at