A couple of weeks ago, Jeremy Hyatt talked a little about HID's new iCLASS SIO-Enabled (SE) platform in his ISC West post...
...and since as a product manager iCLASS SE is near and dear to me - and it is a product for which I have a lot "sweat equity" - I thought I would share a bit more about what it is and what it means for the industry.
Simply stated, iCLASS SE is HID's next-generation reader technology, which is moving the concept of "identity" beyond traditional I.D. cards to smartphones, memory sticks, USB tokens and other mobile platforms that enable us to stay connected anywhere we go.
There has been a lot of new recently about mobile commerce developments, including reports that Microsoft is adding Near Field Communications (NFC) short-range wireless communication technology to its Windows Phone mobile operating system, and that Google, RIM and Apple are all preparing mobile payment and wallet systems. Earlier this month, the ISIS coalition (AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless) announced plans for the first pilot mobile commerce network using smartphone and NFC technology.
These and other initiatives will enable us to use our mobile devices to open doors, buy tickets and execute other secure transactions. NFC is one technology for doing this, and there are many more. First, however, there must be a way to ensure that virtual identity credentials can be securely moved from one platform to another. That's where HID's next-generation iCLASS SE reader and credential platform comes in, with a new, portable credential methodology called the Secure Identity Object™ (SIO). An SIO is a standards-based, device-independent data object that can exist on any number of identity devices.
SIOs and SIO interpreters behave like traditional cards and readers but use a significantly more secure, flexible and extensible data structure. So this means that we are still talking about the same basic nuts and bolts of an access control system -- just more secure, more flexible cards and readers that can extend their capabilities more easily and seamlessly in the future. Because they're portable, SIOs can reside on traditional contactless credentials and many different mobile formats. The device-independent SIOs act as a data wrapper to provide additional key diversification, authentication and encryption while guarding against security threats. And since SIOs use open standards language definition, they can expand to include more security mechanisms (e.g. asymmetric keys). Conversely, traditional architectures that are technology-specific can remain stuck in a fixed definition.
The first product to implement this technology will be HID Global's iCLASS SIO-Enabled (SE) reader and credential family. iCLASS SE readers and credentials also will be the first access control products to operate under the company's Trusted Identity Platform™ (TIP) framework for greater security, providing end-to-end privacy and integrity.
We are extremely excited about the iCLASS SE platform and its potential for revolutionizing access control and mobile commerce. It isn't enough to be connected everywhere, we also need to be secure. iCLASS SE with HID Global's SIO technology makes this possible.