A Smart Card fulfills one of three authentication components: something you are (i.e. biometric), something you know (i.e. a password) and something you have (i.e. a token). This authentication instrument and the function it performs can be a small flat object made of plastic containing a RFID chip, magnetically readable strip or a key-based token that can be placed in a USB drive port. The instrument can contain integrated circuits, encryption algorithms and readable data. The token is frequently used as part of a multi-layered system for authentication.
Its Relevance: Organizations must specify how employees and others are allowed to access information resources. Tokens increase the robustness of a security system but are more expensive. The organization must weigh the costs and benefits after inventorying assets and conducting a risk analysis.
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