What is a smart card in information security?

A smart card is a card that stores data on a microprocessor or memory chip instead of the magnetic stripe found on ATM and credit cards. A smart card is a secure microcontroller that is generally used for generating, saving and working on cryptographic keys.

Smart card authentication supports users with smart card devices for the goals of authentication. Users linked their smart card to a host device. Software on the host computer connect with the keys material and other secrets saved on the smart card to authenticate the user.

Smart cards are ubiquitous because of their strong authentication security and identity assurance, such as smart cards are beneficial because they allow us to understand who is logging into what software using which device.

Smart cards are considered a very powerful form of authentication because cryptographic keys and other secrets stored on the card are very well secured both physically and logically, and are extremely difficult to steal.

The added security supported by the smart card comes at the expense of the user experience, as smart cards required to be physically carried around by the user and added into the host device every time they required to authenticate with it. Users are also defined to host devices that have the card interface software set up.

Smart cards are also costly to administrate, as they required software set up on the host device and physical distribution to the users. Smart cards supports computing and business systems the enormous advantage of portable and secure storage of information and value. Similarly, the integration of smart cards into the system introduces its own security management issues, as people access card data far and broad in a multiple applications.

Smart cards have fixed microprocessor chips that support a more layer of security for users. They look like normal credit cards or driver’s licenses, but rather than being an individual piece of plastic, they are generally constructed like tiny boxes that include the microprocessor itself.

Smart cards are not used for transferring monetary data alone and can be used for several identification purposes. Some companies give their employees smart identification cards as an added measure of security for the organization and for the individuals who work there.

Smart cards are essential for security goals in some applications. In an age of enhancing technology hacks and security complexity, smart cards provide users and institutions more protection for transactions and account data.

Transactions create with smart cards are encrypted to secure the transfer of data from party to party. Each encrypted transaction cannot be hacked and doesn’t transfer any additional information beyond what’s needed for completing the single transaction.