The PSIA Introduces Secure Credential Interoperability Initiative


The Physical Security Interoperability Alliance (PSIA) announced its Secure Credential Interoperability (SCI) initiative and a working group to advance its development. 

“The physical access control industry has demonstrated a need for a universally compatible secure credential and we believe we have found a simple, yet elegant solution to address this with SCI,” said Mohammad Soleimani, CTO of Kastle Systems and chairman of the SCI Work Group. 

“The specification will leverage the security, flexibility, and convenience of Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) and negate the need for investment in the infrastructure,” noted Soleimani. 

PSIA member companies involved in the SCI work group include, Allegion, ASSA ABLOY, dormakaba, Farpointe Data, IDEMIA, Kastle Systems, LenelS2, Tyco and WaveLynx Technologies

“We are fortunate to already have a strong group of leaders in the access control and building management systems industries involved in the SCI Work Group,” said David Bunzel, Executive Director of the PSIA. 

“They have been able to come up with an effective solution to an issue which will have broad application in the market.” 

The SCI specification supports NFC, ISO14443, and Bluetooth (BLE) and therefore can accommodate all device types including cards, mobile devices, and wearables. The group has already prepared a draft specification for apps, readers, and locks featuring BLE compatibility. 

“Mobile credentials are rapidly gaining in popularity with many commercial and institutional customers but the diversity of offerings can often present interoperability and management issues,” noted Peter Boriskin, Chief Technology Officer, ASSA ABLOY Americas. 

“The SCI proposal aims to increase interoperability and reduce the barriers to portability, supporting enterprise credential management across multiple device manufacturers.”

The SCI group recognized that the proximity credentials, currently in widespread use are not secure and organizations are actively migrating to secure credentials. 

“Smart cards, one of the most commonly used access control mediums, are secure, but pose extremely challenging interoperability issues,” noted Hugo Wendling, CEO of WaveLynx Technologies. 

“The PSIA’s SCI Initiative is a perfect complement to address this need.”

The SCI leverages off existing standards and commercially available technology. For example, most smartphones enable the public/private key to be created by the device. This is compatible with nearly all smartphones produced over the last five years, including Android and iOS devices, which represent a significant installed base. 

The SCI Work Group is finalizing its technical draft of the specification and any companies interested in being part of this process are invited to join the PSIA.  

PSIA is one of the world’s leading standards body addressing the need for interoperable systems and intelligence/data sharing in the security ecosystem and beyond. The international group is focused on access control and identity management specifications, with the Physical Logical Access Interoperability (PLAI) specification, it’s most important initiative.


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