Category: Technology Products

Card Based Authentication Systems; How Do They Work?

We all have seen and most probably used one of those card reading security systems. You have to swipe a card, which looks like a credit card, and you gain access to a certain facility or a service within a fraction of a second. These are the easiest and efficient security systems trending around the world and they work based on various complex concepts. What we see is only a card most of the time but there are few other components involved in these systems. If you are curious and want to know how these futuristic devices and systems work, following topics and tips will briefly explain about them.

The card

Best way to start explaining these authentication systems is by starting with cards. As we have seen and used, these cards are small and they look like credit or debit cards. These cards contains a series of numbers which are binary in nature and they are the ones that identify cardholders’ information which is embedded to these cards. This is done on a magnetic stripe and you can swipe this identification cards on HID access control readers easily to read all information from computer database. Some of these systems have contactless cards that can be read with a proximity sensor as well.

Card reader

This is the device that connects data from a database to a certain person that holds an authentication card. System and concepts behind these reading devices depend on their manufacturers and almost all card readers use binary codes. You can choose a company to install this system and the looks and model of these readers vary with each company as well.

Controller

This is the software or the virtual part holds the connection between data in a card and information in database. This system is capable of reading the binary code through reader and then it decodes all information such as, city code, name, age, designation etc. and then it feeds those information back to user interface, so that user can view it. If the system involves biometric readers, this controller becomes more complex. This part of the system can be reviewed or edited by people who has authorization, basically by management level. Click here for more details regarding biometric readers.

User interface

UI is the part that connects virtual space with physical world through a screen. You can customize this part depending on your requirements and usually this is very user friendly. User interface allows operators and staff members to view the system and if operators want to edit or optimize the system, this is the part where they program.

Other than these main parts, a card based authentication system has a large database filled with a huge amount of information as well. Even though understanding the concepts is a little difficult, it is always better to have a general idea about your security system.

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