Simac IDS provides secure identification systems to customers that need to regulate access in a variety of work, leisure and educational settings. For their customers, security each day is as important as convenience of use. That is why Simac IDS chose Idesco Oy’s secure, bi-directional OSDP-compatible access control readers. In this case study, we briefly survey how the convenience and security of Simac IDS’s system is enhanced by OSDPv2.
Patrick Manders, Simac IDS’ managing director, explains that “our solution was designed and developed with processes in mind. First, we set out to ensure our customers’ journey into, and experience of, our solution would be uniquely positive. We decided our customers’ managers should spend only the bare minimum time registering users. By eliminating repeated tasks for them, we would free them for more interaction with guests, colleagues, students or clients.”
“Achieving that meant our solutions had to be flexible, so we brought the latest technology onboard to support that. We also foresaw a need for multiple identification methods because that would further enhance the positive customer journey we were committed to creating”, Patrick Manders adds.
Secure Idesco readers
For their systems, Simac IDS chose Idesco’s RFID readers. Their choice rested on their long standing mutual relationship with Idesco and shared philosophy about partnership. Patrick notes, “as the manufacturer of our readers, Idesco didn’t merely bring Simac IDS the flexibility and excellent quality our customers’ journey required. More importantly, they instantly recognized the comprehensive demands our access control solution must satisfy, to meet our goal.”
The basic role of Idesco readers in Simac IDS’ systems is to read access cards and badges, then securely forward the data to Simac IDS’ system for processing. However, a system’s security relies not only on reader technology. While modern technologies protect card-reader transactions and prevent card cloning or hacking a site’s readers, securing the data that readers transfer to their hosts poses a different problem.
Traditional, widely-used Wiegand protocol doesn’t support encrypting data that readers send to system hosts. That is why, 15 years ago, a more secure protocol was developed to protect such data transfers, eventually growing into an open standard. Today, that standard is known as OSDP, a bi-directional protocol (two-way data transfer), that carries other benefits besides security. Indeed, those additional benefits are partly why Simac IDS implemented OSDPv2 in their systems and chose Idesco’s OSDPv2-compatible MIFARE DESFire readers.
The Open Supervised Device Protocol standard was released by America’s Security Industry Association in 2012. SIA wanted to give America’s access control industry a regularizing standard defining bi-directional data transmitted between devices and hosts (controllers and/or systems). The protocol requires a slightly more advanced cable than RS-232 or Wiegand. That cable, RS-485, not only supports bi-directional data but transmits it much faster than Wiegand and over much greater distance.
OSDP’s latest version, v2 (2.1.7), can also powerfully protect data streams with effectively unbreakable 128-bit AES encryption. It deploys a unique, randomly-generated encrypting key with every session, to defeat hackers attempting ‘replay attacks’ (e.g. re-playing older transactions to spoof a door’s controller).
However, OSDPv2 also provides attractive conveniences for users, site managers and integrators. Its highly secured sessions can now also forward confidential, personalized messages to transacting users wherever readers possess a display.
OSDPv2 for Simac
To Simac IDS, OSDPv2 was an obvious advancement for their own total solution, enhancing both its security and flexible functionality. Patrick says, “Today, security can never be over-emphasized. It has become a primary topic on every company’s agenda, so it needs to be top caliber. We believe we must do everything possible to provide a robustly reliable, secure product to our customers. For that reason alone, OSDPv2 became a necessary element to our product roadmap.”
“However, in the markets where we operate”, Patrick continues, “flexibility is a highly-valued feature. We saw OSDPv2 would provide greater interoperability and broader tasking options to our customers. The final factor we recognized were future benefits. Working within standards generally future-proofs a solution and permits more robust development across its life cycle. Essentially, OSDPv2 frees us to build high quality, long-lasting solutions for our customers – just the way we like it.”
Idesco OSDPv2 readers
Idesco’s OSDPv2 readers are modern MIFARE DESFire readers that let you protect both card-reader and reader-host transactions with powerful 128-bit AES encryption. While they secure your system, they also provide the benefit of two open standards, MIFARE DESFire and OSDPv2. This lets you to add devices to your system from other suppliers if you desire.
Idesco’s readers are known for durability and reliability, possessing both high IP protection and impact resistance. This makes them highly suitable for environments prone to either harsh weather conditions or vandalism. They also offer a wide variety of housings to choose from, with or without keypad.
Because of its display, 8 CD 2.0 D OSDPv2 reader offers another benefit of bi-directional OSDPv2. It lets system integrators like Simac IDS build versatile, interactive identification applications, including the transfer of user-specific messages.