Mobile Credentials (BLE / NFC / Apps) Guide

Author: Brian Rhodes, Published on Nov 14, 2017

One of the biggest trends in access for the last few years has been the marriage of mobile phones and access cards.

In this guide, we examine:

  • 4 key management problems
  • 2 practical problems for users
  • BLE vs NFC vs Apps Comparison

[Note: This tutorial was originally published in 2014 and substantially revised in 2017]

Mobile Credentials Are Slick

At a basic level, using mobile phones or tablets as credentials to open doors has a big cool factor. Take this simple demo of one setup below:

In simple terms, instead of ringing a card, fob, PIN, or fingerprint at a reader, a user flashes a phone and the door is unlocked.

Based on the rather personal value of phones, the idea that they accompany users like keys, wallets, or ID cards and they are protected (ie: not easily lost or misplaced) items make them good potential card replacements.

Management Problems

However, the transition is not a simple one, especially for commercial access control. A range of credential and access control management issues crop up not often issues with traditional credential methods. These include:

*** ** *** ******* ****** ** ****** *** *** **** few ***** *** **** *** ******** ** ****** ****** *** access *****.

** **** *****, ** *******:

  • * *** ********** ********
  • * ********* ******** *** *****
  • *** ** *** ** **** **********

[****: **** ******** *** ********** ********* ** **** *** ************* revised ** ****]

Mobile *********** *** *****

** * ***** *****, ***** ****** ****** ** ******* ** credentials ** **** ***** *** * *** **** ******. **** this ****** **** ** *** ***** *****:

** ****** *****, ******* ** ******* * ****, ***, ***, or *********** ** * ******, * **** ******* * ***** and *** **** ** ********.

***** ** *** ****** ******** ***** ** ******, *** **** that **** ********* ***** **** ****, *******, ** ** ***** and **** *** ********* (**: *** ****** **** ** *********) items **** **** **** ********* **** ************.

Management ********

*******, *** ********** ** *** * ****** ***, ********** *** commercial ****** *******. * ***** ** ********** *** ****** ******* management ****** **** ** *** ***** ****** **** *********** ********** methods. ***** *******:

[***************]

***** *** *****

****** ******, **** *********** ****, *** ******* *** - *** the **** ** * ****. *** *** **** ** *********** a ***** ** **** ******, ********* ******** ********* *** ******** updates ***** * **** ******* **** *********** *** *********** **** to ******** **** ******. ** * **** ****** ** ** lost, *** ******** ******** * $** ***** ** *******, ***** if * ***** ****** ** ** ****, ******* **** *** hundreds ** ******* ** ******* **.

**** ** *******

** **** *****, ********* **** *** ** ****** ******** ******. Therefore, '***** **** *** ******', ** *** **** ***** ******** their ******** ****** *** ********** **** ******** ******** ********, **** how ********** ******* ******** ** ********** ** ******* ** *** phone ****** *** ******* ** ****** ******** ************ *** ******* management ********* ** ******** *******.

******* ******* *******

******* *********** ***** ** **** ******* ** *** ***** **** is ******? ** ******* ************* ****** *** ************** ** *********, even ** **** ****** ***** **** ********* ** * ******? Or **** ********* ************ ******* *******? ****** ***, *** ******** leaves * *** ****** ** ** *********** *** ********* ****** if ****** *********** *** *** ****.

******** ********** ***********

****, ****** ******* *********** **** *** ** ****** ** *** physically *********** **** ********* ***** ** **** ****, ****** *********** must ** ******** *********** ** * ****** **** *** ****** unseen. ***** *** * *** ********* ****, *********** *** ****** for ****** ******** ******* ** *** * ****** ***** ********** is ***** *********** ** *** ***** ******** ** * **** that *** ****** ** *********** ** **** *********.

Practical ********

*** ** ******** ** '****' ********** ******, *********** ******* ******* cards ** **** *** ****** ******* ****** '****' ******** ****** as ****, *********:

******* ** ** ******* ***

****** ******** ***** **** *** ***** ******* **** *** ****'* picture, ****, *** ***** ***** ******** *******, ***** *** **** often ****** ** ******** ** ******. ***** * **** *** be **** ** ******* * ******* **** * *****'* ****** on *******, *** ****** ****** ** ********* ********** ** * glance **** * ******* ** **** *** ****.

********** ***********

*** *** ***** ** ********* ****** **** *** ** ***** with * ****** ***** ****** ** ****** *********. **** ******** as ***** ** ******* **** *** ****** **** ******, *** their ******* ** ******** *********** ******** ** ********* ********** **** or *****:

******, ******* *****, ********* *********, ******** ********, *** **** *****-******* demands *** ********* ****** **** *****. ***** ***** *** **** to *********** ********** ** ***** ********** ** ******* ***** **** with

Three ***** ****** *******

** ***** ** *******, ***** ****** ******* ** ****** *********** are **** ** ******:

  • *** (********* *** ******)
  • *** (**** ***** *************)
  • *** ***** ***********

**** *** * ****** ** ******** ******* ********* **** *****, frankly ********** *** **** **. **** ** **** ******:

BLE (********* *** ******)

***** * ******** ****-******* ** *** ****** *********** ******, *** is *** *** **** ****** ****** ****. *** ****** ** due ** *** ******** ********* ********* ** *** ** ****** phones, *** ********* * ****-******* ************* **** ***** ******* ********** of ***** **** ** ***********.

******* *** ******* ** **** *** ********* ***** *** **** or *** **** ******** ** ***, *** ************* ****** ****** money ** ******* *** ********* **** ********** ** ******* ****.

** ***** ** **********, *** ******** ****** ***** ** ********, so **** ***** ********* *** * *********** *** ******* ********* of ****** ********** *******.

*** *** ****** *** **** ****** ****** ** ****** *************, given ******** *********** ********* ********** *** ***/** *** ********* *****. Many ******** ***** ******** **********,****, *********, *** ***** ********** *** *** ** ******* ***********, including *******:

** ******* *** ******* ** ****** ** *** *** *** ****** ** ****** ***********.

NFC (**** ***** *************)

**** *** ****** ****** *******, *** *** *** ****** *********** giant *** ****** ******* ** ***** *** ** ***** **********/********** credential ****** ** ******. ***** ************ *******'* '***** *** **' ****** ********** *** ******* ** **** ***, *** *** *********** **** to **** *** **** ****** ** ***.

** ***** ** *********, *** *** *******, ********* ************ *** limitation ** ***** ***** ** *** * **********. **** ** NFC **** *** **** ******* ** ** ****** **********, ** can ** **** ** * ******* **** *** ***** ********* by *******.

*******, *** **** ** *** ** **** ** ***** **** manufacturer ********* ** *** *** ******. ***** *** *********** *********** adoption **.** *** ****** ******* **** **** ********* ****** ** demand/ *******, ** **** ******** **** ****** *** *** ***.

** ***** ** **** *** **** ******* *** *** **'* closest ********** ****** ***, *** ***** ***** ********* ***********:

*** ******* ********** ** *** *** ****** *** **** ******* as ******* *** *** ******* ***********. ******, ***'* *********** *** a ******* ******** ** *********** ****** ***'* *** ******.

App *****

** ******** ****** ** ***** ** *** ** ***** ** software ** ******* * **** ****** ******** ****** **** **** the ***** **** * **********. *** *** ****** ***** *** seen ** ******* ********-***** ********* *************, *** *** ***** **** ********** ********* ********,*****, ********, *** ******.

***** **** ******, ****** ****** ******* ** **** ******* **********, but ****** ******** ********* **** ********* **** ***********. **** ********* requires *********** *** *********** **** **** ** ***** ** ********, and **** ******** **** ******** ******** ****** ****** ****** ******* firewalls ** **** ***********. *** ***** *******, ** ** *** expect ** *** * ****** ****** ** ***-***** ****** ***********, but ** ******* * ************** ***** ***** *** ***** **.

Comments (18)

*** *** *** ************* ** *** ********** *****. ****** *** devices *** **** *** *** *** ** * ********** **** distribution **** ********* *********** ** *** *** ******** ** **** as *** ********** ** ***** ************* *** ******** ******** ******** those ******* ** ******** *** ***.

* **** ***** ** * **** ** ***, *** **** of *** ***** *** *** **** ***********. ** *** ********* by *** ************ **** *-*$ * ***** ***** ** ********* the **** ** * **** ************ *** ** **********. * believe ***** ****** ****** ** ** *** *$ ***** ** less *** **** **** **** ** ********* *********** *** *** market.

******* *** ************ ********* ** ******* *****. *** * *** people *** ****, *** **** *** ***** *********** **** ** 000s ** ********** *** ** *** ********* *** **** ********* with ******** ************ *******.

* ********** *** ****** ** ***** ****** ******* *********** ** this ****** *** ** ****** ***** ** *** ********** **** are *** *** *** ** **** ** ********** **** ***** solutions. *******, *****'* * **** ******** ****** ***** ********** *****. This ** ***** ** ***** *** ******** ** ****** *** it **** ******** * *****, *****, ***. ** ****** ** is *** ******** ** **** *** **** ******** ********* ** the ********* ************, *** **'* **** ******, ********, **** ** send ** *** ********** ****** *** **** ** **** ** a ******* *** ** * ***** ****** ** ****. *** initial **** ** ******** *** ** ******** ** *** *** is ********** ** *** ****** **** ** * ***** **** period ********. ** ** **** *** ********* **** ** ** used **** ******* ** *** ****** ***** ** **** ******* wioth ***** **** ********, ****** **** ********** ************ ** *** main ******* ** *** **** ******* *** ******** ****** ********.

**** ** ********* ** ***** *** ****** ******* ***********?

** *** ********* ** *** ******** *********** ** *** **** since * ** **** *** ** ****** **********. ******* ** certain ************ ** ** ****** ****** ***** ** ** **** to **** ** * ****** ****** *** **** ** **** of * ************ ****** ** ***** **** *******. **** ** being ******** *** ***** *** **** ** **** ****** ****** a ***** ***** **** ****** **** ** ********, **********, *********** operators ******* *** ******* ** **** **** * *****. ** course ** *** **** * ****** *** * ******** ******, you ***** **** **** *** **** ********, *** *** **** a ********* **** ****** ** ******. *******, ** *** **** is *** **** *** *** ***** *** *********, **'* **** flexible ** **** **** (** **** ** ********* ** **** with ******** *****) *** ** **** *** ***** *** ******** for *** ******* **** ****** (** **** *** ****** *******). Of ****** ** ¡** **** ***** ********* *********** ** ***** not ********* **** ** ***.

***'* ** ** ****** ******* ***** **** ******* ** ******** gates?

******, ** ** *** ******** ** ******* *** ** **** as * **** ****** ******* ****** ** *** *** ** all ********** ****** ******* *** ********, *** ******* ** *** title ** *** ****** ** **** **** "****** ***********"

***** *** **** ****** ********** **** ** ***** '*****' ** a *** *** ******* ********** *******, * ** ********* ** keeping ** ********* **** **** ****** **** ** ******* ********** more ******* ******-***** ****** ******* ***********.

*****, **** ** *** **** ** "****** **********"?

**** *********** *** ** ** ***** ***** *** ***** ** merge ****** ******* **** *** *******.

**** * **** **** ***** *'** **** **** ****....*** **** she's ** ********, *** ****** *** ******** **** *** **' memories.

******** *** ****... ***** *** ** *** ******** ***** *******...

**** *******, *** ** ** *** ***** **** ** ** the *** ** *** ******* **** ***'* ****** ****** ********* do *** ******* *** ** **** ** ***. ****** ** readers *** ** ******* ** ******* ******, ****, ** *******.

***** ******* :)

****** ***** *********** *** *** ** ************** **** **** ********* ** ************.

***

* ***** ******** ********* *** - ** *** ****** ******* the *** ** *** *****.

** **, ****'* *** ****** **** ***** *** **********?

*** *** *** ********* **** / ***** *** ***** *** on *******?

*** **** *** ****** ******** ** ** ********** *** ****** credential, *** **** *** ****** ********** **** ** **** ** the ****. * ***'* **** *** *********** ** ******* ******** with ********* ******** ***, *** * ***** ********** *********** *** to **** ***** ** ****** **********. ** * ***** ** wiped ** *** ****** ****** *** ** ******* *** **-*********, a *** ********** ***** ** ** ****** ** *** *****, even ****** *** ****** ******* *** ****.

* ******* *** ****** *********** *** ** ******* ** **** formats. *** ******* ******* ** ***** ***** ** *** ******* and ****** *********** *** ***-**** ********.

Mobile Credential Example

* ***** ******** ********* *** - ** *** ****** ******* the *** ** *** *****.

*** *** ** ************* ** **** * ***** ** **** to * ******** ******, *** ** ** *** ****'* ************/******* that ** ***********. ***** *** ********* *** ********* *** ******* with *** **** *****. ** **** **** ********?

*** *** *** ********* **** / ***** *** ***** *** on *******?

*** **** ** ******* ******* ** *** ***, *** ***** credentials ** *** ******* ***** **** *******.

** ***** *** ********** ** ******** ******?. * **** *** cool *** ** **** ** *** *** ******* *** ****, but **** *** ******* ********* *** ** **** ***** **** the **** *****.

** ***** **** ****** **** ** ******* , *** ** all **** ***** **** ****!

********* *********** ***** **** * **** ** ** *** ***. We **** *** *** *** **** ******** ** **** ***. On *** ****** ***** **** ** **** ** *** ********* reader *** ** ***** **** ***** ****** ** **** ** won't **** *** ********** *** **** ** *** ** ***** my ***. *** *** * ****** ** *** ** ***** watch ******* ******* ********** *** ****** ****** ** *******, ** at ***** ********* **** ****, *** ***** ******** *** ****. Every **** **** ** ***** ***'* ****** *** **** * always *** "*** ***** * **** **** ** ** *****'* always **** ****".

*** *** ******* *** ******* ***** *** ****? * ***... Arrrggghhh.

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