Smartcards, flexibility and security

Metro Moskautelos has been using smartcard technology for several projects. These projects range from RFID applications to Java Card application development.

One of the challenges related to such projects is the strict requirement for quality assurance, testing and documentation. One common purpose of all smartcards and related products is to provide a security mechanism and therefore reliability of related application is the most essencial criteria.

telos has implemented an ISO9000 certified quality management system 1997, thus, we are very well prepared for such tasks.

Smartcards have gained considerable popularity during the past years. There is a virtually unlimited number of applications for devices which offer secure means for storing and exchanging information and which enable strong encryption. Smartcards are actually specialized microcontrollers placed on a plastic card, including both volatile and non-volatile memory and a communication and power supply interface to the outside world. A smartcard receives commands and sends back a reply which corresponds to the application. While not being very useful it is well possible to use a smartcard for non-security-related tasks such as calculations or data logging.

Java Card

Java Card is a technology introduced and maintained by Sun Microsystems, Inc.

Smartcards running Java Card contain an interpreter for bytecode generated from programs written in Java. This code can be loaded onto the card after it has been preverified, i.e. checked for consistency and compatibility. Since Java is a standardized programming language, this approach allows vendor independent development of applications.

In addition, modern JavaCards are equipped with a sophisticated operating enviroment including an Operating System like JCOP which lets the user dynamically add and remove applications. This makes it possible to run banking applications, access control for a company gate and an electronic ticket for the public transportation system all on one single plastic card. The biggest challenge of those systems is to assure at any time that under no circumstances an application gains knowledge of another concurrently installed program and its data.

If you are looking for a professional partner in this domain, please contact us now.