The concept of network security has been in existence for decades. With organizations using more sensitive information, the need to create policies that would limit access and control of a network has increased. At first, these policies involved nothing more than inputting a name and PIN or password on a computer. With the invention of smart cards, however, network security methods have changed.
The use of the smart card in our generation involves a combination of old network security measures and the newer, more secure multi-factor authentication concepts. Next, we look at some of the modern smart card innovations.
4 Ways Smart Cards Have Adopted Network Security Concepts
A wireless keycard serves as a security token used to gain authorized access to a building or a section of it, a computer, or a network. Smart keycards store cryptographic information that allows them to function much like the household keys that we are used to.
Depending on the sensitivity of the information or location, wireless keycards may require users to input their passwords and swipe their cards over the reader. In some cases, organizations use a single keycard for all authentication purposes, including physical, electronic, and network access.
Single Sign-On (SSO)
This is a modification of the more common network security policy called Directory Server Authentication (DSA). Both DSA and SSO are used to limit access to software systems. With the former, users have to provide authentication credentials for every application they access in a system. In SSO, however, a single authentication is all users need to access multiple independent applications in a system.
The Single Sign-On method incorporated with smart card technology is a major player in computer security. The technology is capable of relating information to a particular application. This concept saves time that would have been used in re-entering passwords for the same user.
Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Cards
SIM cards are based on smart card technology. They function like miniature smart cards with the card readers embedded in mobile phones and computers. They are crucial in telecommunication networks because they hold information related to user identity, authentication key, and contacts.
SIM cards provide access to a secure network, provided you have the authorization to make use of the facilities of your network provider.
Internet of Things (IoT) Smart Cards
IoT devices are becoming increasingly popular in industries such as construction, logistics, manufacturing, etc. The advantage of having all your devices connected across one network has been a revolution for science. To secure the IoT server, smart cards can be used to authenticate logins.
The encryption capabilities of smart cards are ideal in this situation because secure key management is necessary. There are also security elements embedded in the IoT devices that function on smart card technology. Organizations use these security measures to ensure safe transactions over a network consisting of users and sensitive IoT devices.
Benefits of Smart Cards’ Network Security Measures
- Smart card-based network security measures add extra security levels to single-factor authentication systems. A stolen password won’t work without the correct smart card to go with it.
- The encryption system in smart cards ensure your credentials are safe, making them difficult to copy or modify
- Password fatigue and the confusion associated with having multiple passwords are eliminated
- Because smart cards are tangible, users can easily detect when they are stolen and take the necessary precautions to secure their information.
Smart card technology has redefined network security on a broad scale. Companies have adopted these methods as part of their strategy to secure their businesses. With the speed at which technology evolves, security methods continue to improve. We can tell that there’s so much more to come in the near future.