The Smart Card Alliance’s Identity Council has issued a new white paper on smart card technology based on FIDO Alliance specifications. Called “Smart Card Technology and the FIDO protocols”, the paper outlines the benefits of advanced smart card tech for authentication and security.
The paper outlines FIDO’s UAF and U2F authentication specifications, and also highlights advanced technologies such as biometrics, which can be used to add further security to smart card solutions. Indeed, major fingerprint biometrics specialists such as Fingerprint Cards are now aggressively pursuing these applications, evidently seeing a growing market for such solutions.
The paper also discusses how mobile technology can be used in smart card authentication. A mobile device’s secure element can offer one potential form factor, for example, and indeed companies like Gemalto and NXP have developed such solutions. Meanwhile, devices like Yubico’s YubiKey NEO use smart card technology to offer U2F authentication in conjunction with smartphones and PCs.
In a statement announcing the white paper, FIDO Alliance executive director Brett McDowell asserted that the Alliance “supports this effort from the Smart Card Alliance to educate and broaden the use of the FIDO authentication standards,” adding, “With FIDO specifications where all user credentials are stored on-device to protect them from scalable attack, utilizing trusted hardware such as a secure element can offer additional protection for those credentials.”
The full white paper can be found on the Smart Card Alliance website.