THERE are different methods for reading smart cards, with corresponding levels of security. “Reading Cardax IV within a secured Mifare sector is the most secure technique. Alternatively, Cardax supports the reading of the Card Serial Number (CSN) in cases where the card is locked or sectors are unavailable,” explains Peter Francis, general manager Cardax Sales for Cardax Australia Pty Ltd.
“Security is compromised by the possibility of other companies being able to read the CSN. This is a significant issue when the Smart Card option is becoming increasingly popular in the global market,” he explains.
With the multi-purpose Smart Card option providing an integrated card capable of supporting access control information, as well as information for other applications and services, Cardax gave careful consideration to ensure the most secure method of data storage was adopted.
An alternative method of encryption is the key to higher levels of security. This enhanced security is achieved through using sector-encoded information. Philips Mifare proprietary encryption protects communications between the card and the reader. Cards are also encoded with an issue level to improve card management.
“This encryption provides the kind of card programming that Cardax customers expect,” says Peter Francis.
Bi-directional data communications with full error checking, encryption and communications monitoring (to ensure the reader is responding and connected to the system) are integrated into Cardax readers. Function keys (which can be used to set intruder alarm panels), are also all integrated into the Cardax FT Intelligent Door Terminal.
Additional features include the backlit keypad, and LCD display that provide comprehensive feedback to the user. The LCD display provides visual information and instructions additional to the audible feedback, and include; Present Card, Disallowed Entry, Alarm Set, Enter PIN, Open Door. These features make the reader easy to use, and seamless in everyday life. The Enter PIN feedback is especially important for organisations that extensively use PINs for identification.
Cardax chose Philips Semiconductors contactless Mifare Standard technology to provide the platform for its Smart Card range. The range includes the Cardax FT Intelligent Door Terminal, Cardax Prox, Cardax Prox Plus, Cardax Encoder III (for the encoding of cards), and the Cardax Smart Cards themselves – pre-printed and printable with a dual tech option with a magstripe available.