In recent A.M. Editions I’ve talked about digital transformation on campus and next-generation payment security, so it makes sense to also discuss the evolution of credentialing security. Just as EMV and NFC have changed the way payment cards transfer information back and forth to protect data from skimming and cloning, DESFire is modernizing campus access software, making it safer, more portable, and easier to customize for specific school needs.
Much like payment security advances, DESFire utilizes encryption to protect data. The master key stays in a secure place, and encrypted versions of it determine where and by whom credentials are accepted. DESFire also provides secondary keys, which institutions can use to give student subgroups credentialed permissions. For example, a school might store basic student data with its primary key then encode a secondary key to denote which students have chemistry lab access.
Beyond accommodating diverse student academic needs, DESFire’s centralized structure also helps schools manage multiple campuses. Whether an institution uses one of DESFire’s templates or configures its own structure, the ability to manage multiple locations with a single master key will be welcome news to any school that’s grown beyond its original campus to accommodate its student population.
Of course any discussion about contemporary campus modernization must include mobile capabilities. DESFire delivers here, too, by laying the groundwork to work with multiple applications and file types on smartphones.
The ability to accommodate multiple campuses and DESFire’s adaptability to mobile technology also factor into its strengths from a security standpoint. By working in conjunction with other technologies and applications, DESFire can empower a campus to change or update its keys in an emergency or add integrated partners without compromising campus security.
Advantages such as centralized control, administrative flexibility, and the ability to work in tandem with other applications might seem like they only benefit administrators. But DESFire is also a boon to end users who aren’t even aware they’re using the technology.
From an end user’s perspective, the best technologies work in the background, and that’s definitely the case with DESFire. Students don’t understand the solution powering their credentials enables seamlessness among applications, cross-campus consistency, or mobile-friendliness; they just know they have what they need to get where they need to be on campus. You won't find it highlighted on the product spec sheet, but DESFire delivers peace of mind, which might be its biggest selling point of all.
Adam McDonald is the President of TouchNet. Adam has spent his entire career in the software industry and draws from that experience to steer TouchNet's product and process innovation and ensure consistently exceptional customer experience. Prior to becoming president in mid-2018, Adam served as TouchNet’s Vice President and General Manager. Before joining TouchNet, Adam held a number of leadership positions at RSA, including Vice President and Global Service Leader. Prior to his tenure at RSA, Adam worked at Archer Technologies and MicroStrategy in leadership roles. Adam is a graduate of Dartmouth College, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in history.