Intelligent Access Control

Modern corporations nowadays have access control requirements that exceed the capacity of purely mechanical locking systems. At the example of a highly reputable German car manufacturer (name withheld at clients request) it is explained how modern access control systems increasingly extend into multifunctional solutions.

At the example of a highly reputable German car manufacturer (name withheld at clients request) it is explained how modern access control systems increasingly extend into multifunctional solutions.

The objective in the project was ambitious: Manage all authorisations with a single staff badge within the whole organisation from headquarters to car manufacturing plants and subsidiaries in several countries.

This includes:

  • physical access control
  • time & attendance systems
  • PC access
  • parking
  • company canteen and shops
  • automatic vending machines
  • filling station systems

While the access control system calls for the same authorisation structures (master-slave principle) as in conventional locking systems, there were additional security requirements to be met due to the employment of an electronic purse and a PC/network access security system. After stringent evaluations the client decided to use the contactless LEGIC technology for all applications that demanded high user comfort and security at the same time. To ideally operate all functions, including digital signatures and IT network access, a so-called hybrid card is used. The credit-card-sized staff badge now features a contact processor chip for IT-related functions and a contactless LEGIC chip, which is invisibly built into the card.

Upon full execution of the project there will be well over 100,000 staff and visitor cards in use. The installed reader base, including access control, POS, vending machines and time and attendance terminals will be in excess of 3400 units and result in several benefits, both
to the operator and the users of the system.

Easy integration into existing system
Less secure systems, such as magnetic stripe technology, may be in use. Migration to a state-of-the-art system like LEGIC can be done incrementally. Old systems can still operate parallel to the new system through the use of hybrid cards (e.g. LEGIC contactless, magnetic stripe and contact chip combined). This allows to write-off older systems before fully replacing them.

A low-cost solution sees the cards upgraded to contactless technology by attaching an adhesive, ultra-thin sticker, which includes the transponder chip and antenna. Such transponder stickers may be attached to any existing card type whether they are magnetic stripe, contact chip based, inductive, etc. This solution can be used as short- or long-term solution to migrate to contactless technology.

Reduced administrative, operative and maintenance costs
Due to the synergies of one medium (card) being used for all applications and a near-zero need for maintenance of the contactless system, ongoing system costs are reduced.

High security
A sophisticated authorisation concept that is based on master cards not passwords and data encryption mechanisms ensure a high level of security.

Reduced theft
Thanks to the integrated electronic purse (debit card) function there is no cash in cash registers and vending machines. Theft is eliminated.

There are no openings that may be subject to vandalism. Antennas can be placed away from valuable reader electronics, which means that damage and related repair costs can be minimised.

True multi-functionality through smart memory management
Variable memory allocation versus fixed blocks allows operators to ideally use the card’s memory. Users benefit from carrying a single card only for all functions within the organisation. New functions, including biometrics templates, can be added at any time.

Investment security through compatibility
While access control systems commonly remain for decades, technology changes. Ensuring compatibility and with that protect the investment made into a system, like the one described, s the key to a long-term business relationship.

  1. Officebuilding: Access to buildings for authorised persons only
  2. RFIDprinciple: The reader energises the card, which initiates communication
  3. Hybridcard.tif: Integrated, contactless LEGIC chip combined with contact chip or magnetic stripe
  4. LEGICaccess: Quick access authorisation with LEGIC contactless card
  5. LEGICfieldcard: Easy and low-cost migration to LEGIC: attach adhesive sticker with microchip to any card type.