Card access control, especially newer multi-functional approaches, can do more than secure a door or provide entry to a parking garage.
Today, a card, sometimes branded to the issuing organization, opens up a world of financial services, computer networks, meals from the cafeteria, buying a bag of chips at a vending machine, purchasing a textbook, and, by the way, providing secured access to a building.
Michael Clemens of IDenticard Systems knows that many enterprises want certain people to wear a photo identification card or badge as a level of security. But there are plenty of uses beyond that, especially with one credential with multiple technologies on it, ranging from elevator control to taking a book out of the library, he says.
One Credential for all PurposesIt’s a solution that mirrors past physical security card access situations in which an employee had to carry a number of cards related to different facilities or applications.
Smart cards are a natural way to expand access control beyond a door.
There are two general categories of smart cards: contact and contactless.
A contact smart card must be inserted into a smart card reader with a direct connection to a conductive contact plate on the surface of the card (typically gold plated). Transmission of commands, data and card status takes place over these physical contact points.
Smart Card AdvantagesA contactless card requires only close proximity to a reader. Both the reader and the card have antennae, and the two communicate using radio frequencies over this contactless link. Most contactless cards also derive power for the internal chip from this electromagnetic signal. The range is typically one-half to three inches for non-battery-powered cards, ideal for applications such as building entry and payment that require a very fast card interface.
Storing Data on a CardIn addition, Hart and Ballard have been heavily involved in the on-going STRAC (Southwest Texas Regional Advisory Council) Version 2 access control system upgrade. This Version 2 Universal ID Card is a credit card-sized FIPS-201-compliant (PIV-interoperable) smart card. It stores the physician’s personal digital identity and can only be accessed by the physician. The card is useful to physicians who visit many different locations such as hospitals, pharmacies, labs, designated physician parking areas, secure locations in certain buildings and their own offices. Many of these access points require an ID card for access. The STRAC Universal ID card consolidates all of a physician’s separate digital identities onto one card. This card also provides physicians the ability to use a portion of their badge for convenient access at all Christus Santa Rosa Health System facilities.
Colleges and universities are also at the forefront of squeezing more out of identity management tools. Some firms partner with educational institutions. One source is the Student Advantage card from CBORD as well as IP-based door access control technology tailored specifically for the unique needs of campus security systems.
• Library circulation privileges
• Building access
• Meal plans
• Student health facilities
• Access to recreational facilities
• Charge privileges at university bookstore locations
• Admission to athletic events
• University transit
• Access to student legal services
The new electronic locks at the university provide options to customize the access control solution. As business needs change, so can access control to new credential technologies, a variety of network protocols, increased security levels and system expansions.
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