Strengthening Device and Identity Security (S1:E16)

Jonny Adams, Product Manager of Logical Access at Identiv, is joined by Steve Clark, Security Technologist at WISeKey and tech expert in IoT, blockchain, PKI, anti-counterfeiting, and privacy. The two discuss today’s growing data and identity security concerns and how Identiv and WISeKey’s 15-year partnership and product portfolios simplify complex logins, protect valuable time, and strengthen security at the device and identity level.

Full Transcript

Speaker 1 (00:01):
You’re listening to Humans in Tech, our podcast explores today’s most transformative technology and the trends of tomorrow bringing together the brightest minds in and outside of our industry. We unpack what’s new in physical access, identity verification, cybersecurity, and IOT ecosystems. We reach beyond the physical world, discuss our digital transformation as a species and dive into the emerging [figital 00:00:30] experience. Join us on our journey as we discover just how connected the future will be and how we will fit into that picture. Your host is Leigh Dow, VP of global marketing at Identiv.

Leigh Dow (00:43):
Thanks for tuning in. I’m joined by Steve Clark, security technologist at WISeKey, and tech expert in IOT, Blockchain, PKI, anti-counterfeiting, and privacy. We also have Identiv’s own Jonny Adams on the line, product manager of logical access. Welcome to Humans and Tech, guys.

Speaker 1 (01:00):
Thank you very much. Good to be here.

Steve Clark (01:02):
Thank you.

Leigh Dow (01:03):
It’s great to connect with our longstanding partners, and we’ve worked together for about 15 years. Today, we’re here with WISeKey to talk about that partnership and our integrated technologies. Welcome to the show, Steve. Can you tell us a little bit more about the technology?

Steve Clark (01:16):
Sure. It’s glad. I’m glad to be here, and it’s good to be talking to you about the way WISeKey has supported Identiv in the user authentication over the years. We provide two versions of our smart card readership, and one of them is programmable, and the other one is not. And let me explain the differences between those. The programmable one, it has a flash. And think of flash as, think of your thumb drive and the programmability of it, and you can put basically anything on it. That’s very good for flexibility and development. That’s very good for the flexibility and deployment, because you can change your programming on it. However, it’s not very good if you have a secure facility, and that’s where a non-programmable chip comes in. If you have a secure facility, high security, think of a government installation, top secret, where you check your phone, you check your laptop, and you check the flash drives that you have at the door. And for that scenario, you need a chip that is pre-programmed and that cannot be… That no memory on it can be changed. So we also provide the SER75, which is our pre-programmed chip along with the SCR200 and 400 series, which are… Have flash so that you can program them.

Leigh Dow (02:54):
Identiv smart card reader and logical access control technology identifies and verifies users to safely and securely access data. Multifactor authentication and passwordless experiences provide the strongest cyber security, while remote authentication, multifactor authentication and embedded application solutions protect data on the go, in the home, or in the office. Jonny, which logical access products in our portfolio feature a WISeKey chip?

Jonny (03:21):
So we have several. We’ve got the u Trust 3700 F, and that’s our contactless and NFC card reader. And then built on that, we have the u Trust 3700 IG, which is the industrial grade version of a contactless NFC card reader. We’ve also got a couple of dual interface card readers. Those are the u Trust 4711, and the u Trust 4701. So those allow for both contact and contactless in a couple of different ways. One, using secure access module or SAM technology. And then the other is a contact plus contactless for an ID-1 size card.

Leigh Dow (04:05):
Which of the smart card readers are the strongest players in the market?

Jonny (04:09):
So our 3700 F has been pretty popular. With contactless and NFC on the rise. It’s just been gaining momentum. We do have a lot of use cases or a lot of users for our 4711. They enjoy the secure access module plus the benefit of contactless. So if they’re in a hybrid environment, that’s kind of the one that they may gear towards.

Leigh Dow (04:39):
Recently, we launched the u Trust 3700 IG. I’d really like to hear more about that latest product offering.

Jonny (04:48):
Yeah, so, like I said, it’s based on the 3700 F, which has been very popular. So contactless, plus NFC, highly secure, plus the added benefit of an IP65 rated enclosure. So IP65 means that it’s impenetrable to articulate. So if you’re in a dusty facility, so a warehouse or an industrial complex, these are going to stand up to those harsh environments. Also that IP65 indicates that it is able to handle slight immersion in water. So you could, if it’s a very humid environment, it’s not going to destroy the board components. You’re not going to have readers that wear out quickly. Also that enclosure, it’s a nice polished surface, so easy to keep clean, and so for use cases like healthcare or medical facilities, you would be able to keep those a bit more hygienic than you would your typical reader. Spraying on cleaners, that type of thing, is going to affect a non IP65 rated reader, whereas it won’t have that impact on this IG reader.

Leigh Dow (06:12):
I’ve worked in a clean room environment, and it’s really interesting all the different ways that they all the different ways and all the different technologies that are used to keep that clean room environment at the level of cleanliness that it needs to be. I certainly have never operated on anyone, but it makes me happy to know that those things are taken to an account in a surgical environment as well and any kind of healthcare space like that. You mentioned that this industrial-grade, contactless, and NFC smart card reader is really for industrial facilities, clean room environments, the healthcare spaces, and that it really simplifies the complex logins protecting people’s time, and at the same time strengthening data security. So what makes the original 3700 so popular, and what are some of the differences between the two?

Jonny (07:05):
Yeah, so the 3700 gained in popularity a lot as we moved away from contact. So 3700, the IG, the difference there, again, is the IP rating. Both contain basically the same interior internal components, so your contactless, especially now here over the last several years in the pandemic, there was a big move to get away from contact, from touch points, all of that. And this reader absolutely allows for that. And then we add in this IG rated case, I’m sorry, IP rated case. And you’ve got something that you can really keep clean, even though it’s a contactless reader, incidental contact, you can still hit it with your cleaning solutions, and really keep your space clean for health reasons. And again, this is not just specifically for healthcare and for clean rooms, but it’s also a rugged reader. It will withstand, like I said, a lot of heavy particulate in the air, high humidity spaces, that type of thing.

Leigh Dow (08:26):
So really anything that’s an industrial environment.

Jonny (08:29):
Absolutely. Yeah. Warehouses, industrial facilities. It’s really an ideal reader for those kind of environments.

Leigh Dow (08:38):
It sounds like collaborating with chip manufacturers like WISeKey allows us to make the strongest data security much more convenient for those industries that need it most. Our technology is also, as we discussed, really prevalent for the healthcare segment. It lets clinicians focus their time and attention on patients, not those complex logins, and really helps our world heroes get back to work. I know WISeKey is focused on reducing fraud and securing infrastructure and services, and the reader chip line is well positioned to address growing data and identity security concerns, but WISeKey’s not just a chip manufacturer. Steve, can you tell us about your diverse product portfolio?

Steve Clark (09:20):
Sure. Fundamentally, WISeKey provides trust for the connected world. And if you think of trustworthiness, it depends on identity, the data integrity, and confidentiality of communications. All our products are focused around the identity and identity of users and devices. We cover the spectrum from the infrastructure, which is the certificate authority that issues the certificates and manage PKI that manages the certificates to secure hardware that stores the identities and that secures the actual platforms. So if we looking at chips, we have the secure card reader chip, which is the user identity chip that we’ve been talking about up till now, and Identiv has been using that in a very positive way. We also have the Vault IC family of chips, which are more focused on device identities. And what they do is they can store certificates. They can secure communications. They’re used in things like home medical monitors. They’re used in drones. They’re used in radio communications and smart city detectors and actuators and those kinds of things.

Steve Clark (10:48):
So that’s the vault I see. And we also have brand protection and nano seal kinds of technologies, and these are NFC based products. And one of the things that you’ll see as a continuing theme here is that the identity is the cornerstone of security. With the identity for brand protection, you’ve got the identity of actual products, and you can use the NFC with a smartphone to actually have brand engagement with your end customer while doing the secure identity and the brand protection functionality.

Steve Clark (11:34):
We also have secure MCUs, and secure MCUs are actually used for smart cards on the other side of this that users can have in their possession to authenticate their user identity. And they’re also used for IP protection and IP protection and identity. And in addition to that, the managed BKI, which is the [INeS 00:12:10] product that we have for certificate authorities, and it provides the immutable identities for the certificates. All of these things are providing trustworthiness for the connected world.

Leigh Dow (12:25):
This technology partnership targets applications in the areas where we said we’re really seeing the most growth in the market, whether it’s healthcare, pharmaceuticals, government, education, and more. Public and private organizations use Identiv’s identity verification devices when seeking the highest security and performance and access management. So, Steve, how WISeKey chips differentiated in a few of those top verticals that we talked about, whether it’s healthcare, pharmaceutical, government, education, or maybe some others?

Steve Clark (12:58):
Sure. The technologies that differentiate us are the secure card reader is state of the art. It has the ESD protection, on-chip clock, more space for code, security functions built-in, and the boards actually require fewer discrete elements, so the BOM, your Bill of Materials cost, can be much lower.

Steve Clark (13:26):
What I’d like to talk about, though, is the complementary between user identities and device identities. And one place where that comes into play would be a home medical monitor, where the user, the patient, in this case… I know we’ve been talking about the medical workers at this point, up till this point, but the patient at this can log in with a smart card and use a smart card reader on the home medical monitor. And in addition to that, the device itself, the home medical monitor, can provide the device level security and the secure communication confidentiality for HIPAA laws and those kinds of things that will complete the picture. And it has a complimentary action. But I think the most important differentiator… And we’ve been working with Identiv for some time. WISeKey provides, I would say, top quality technical support and sales support. So we’ve been working with Identiv on the supply chains and the technical issues that you have come up with over, or you’ve had over the years. And I think that would be one of the differentiators between us and other companies.

Leigh Dow (15:00):
That’s great. Any closing thoughts from either of you on how we and our humanity can continue to adapt and adjust and really in this hyper-connected world that just continues to be more and more connected and technology centric.

Jonny (15:20):
Yeah. I think that the trend is almost everyone already carries a NFC device. You’ve got your mobile device, and that’s NFC capable. So I think that we just continue to lean into that type of technology, the NFC standards, the protocols are all highly secure. You’re just as secure with a contactless transaction as you are with most any other. So just to continue to keep in mind that NFC is trending up, and just lean into it.

Leigh Dow (16:04):
Agreed.

Steve Clark (16:04):
Yeah. And so for my key, our key takeaway here is basically trustworthiness. And how do you get the trustworthiness? You get it through, as Jonny just said, the secure identities using NFC technologies. You get it through secure communications, and you get it through encrypted communications. So that would be our… And WISeKey provides all of those technologies.

Leigh Dow (16:39):
I like that concept of trustworthiness. I think that’s a really good way to summarize. Thank you both, again, for taking the time to join us and Humans in Tech. Really appreciate you calling in and sharing your insights. I definitely learned a lot today, so thank you so much for your time.

Jonny (16:56):
Great.

Steve Clark (16:56):
You’re welcome.

Jonny (16:56):
Thank you.

Leigh Dow (16:57):
Thanks, guys.

Steve Clark (16:58):
Yeah, thank you.

Speaker 1 (16:58):
Our new IP-rated contactless smart card reader writer is perfect for clean rooms and industrial facilities. U Trust 3700 IG combines the world class technology of u Trust 3700 F with a unique industrial grade dust proof water resistant enclosure. Crafted with polished high grade plastics and ultrasonic welded seams, it stays clean inside and out. Learn more at Identiv.com.

Speaker 1 (17:29):
Physical security. Identity verification. The IOT. The hyper-connectivity of our lives will only grow more pervasive. As technology becomes more automated and experiences more augmented, it’s up to us to preserve our humanity and use new tools and trends for good. The only question is, are we up for the challenge?