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Tom Hope, CardLogix: “digital identity stored in a mobile phone carries the highest risk”


We carry our IDs and credit cards with us everywhere and assume that since they aren’t completely digital, they don't need much security. But this isn’t completely true.

Regular users resort to using Virtual Private Networks for guarding their personal data on public wifi networks. But that doesn’t really work when it comes to protecting their credit cards when utilizing the contactless payment methods – you can’t turn on a VPN for your card. However, there is still a need for encryption solutions because these cards store very sensitive data.

To discuss this in more detail, Cybernews reached out to Tom Hope, the Director of Sales at CardLogix, a manufacturer of all sorts of cards. They’ve been at the forefront of the card-making business since the early days of the digital world, and are experts in their field.

CardLogix has been in business for more than 2 decades. Can you tell us more about your journey?

We started our business in 1994 with a patent on a card that could turn and off the magstripe. The banking client found the card too expensive after the development. So CardLogix moved on to producing smart cards in 1998. After some early Java developments, and the government moving the goalposts, we wrote our own OS and became a product-based company.

You describe trust as the primary commodity offered by CardLogix. Would you like to share more about your vision?

We developed a set of SDKs for logical data structure development for both contact and contactless smart cards. They have more memory on a less expensive secure microcontroller. We offer a complete toolchain for smart cards including the recording of biometrics.

A lot of people might not be familiar with the topic of smart cards. Can you briefly describe this technology?

Smart Cards are used to store data and transact stored value. With secure microcontrollers, we are able to secure the data with encryption.

How did the pandemic affect the smart card scene? Have you noticed any new security issues emerge as a result?

The pandemic didn't interrupt our activity that much due to our major customers being in the medical field. Security has always been a priority here, so it had little effect on our activities.

Could you tell us more about your recently launched Mobile Biometric Enrollment and Verification device? What makes it special?

The development of our biometric tablet offering was the brainchild of Sebastien Goulet, our CEO. We are providing a handheld version of products which we have been offering for some time. For complete enrollment and seamless integration into our smart card families, we are doing this with our other partners. Our BioSID Pro when matched with CLX Enroll is a complete system for enrollment and credential validation. Our competitors are not able to offer a solution at the price point that we are providing.

In your opinion, what challenges are going to arise as digital identity becomes commonplace?

Digital identity is an issue promoted by some other suppliers. But we do not feel the mobile identity on a cellphone is very secure. Databases are the most vulnerable of all. But with a secure smart card, there have been no reported hacks relating to our OS.

Is there a specific industry that you think has the highest risk of falling victim to identity-based attacks?

The highest risk is where the stored data carries the highest value information. Certainly, digital identity stored in a mobile phone carries the highest risk because commercial operating systems are well known in the industry. We control our M.O.S.T. OS with our development kits, and we do not share the OS with our clients. Each client has its own customer-specific card file structure. Without specific authorization, we share it with no one.

What do you think the future of identity verification methods is going to be like? Do you think the use of biometrics is going to catch on?

Biometrics has certainly caught on, and we are at the forefront of providing a cost-effective solution. The FP reader on the card is an expensive solution. If you can imagine, the cost of the reader on every card is much more expensive than having an FP reader at the point of sale or service.

Would you like to share what’s next for CardLogix?

The deployment of biometric terminals for national identity and law enforcement has brought us to the newest markets. Here, it's easy to deploy and provide solutions at the best cost basis available.

I hope this gives you a better understanding of what makes CardLogix unique in this market space.


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