Definition: A Smart Card provides for one of three requirements for authentication: something you are (i.e. biometric), something you know (i.e. a password) and something you have (i.e. a token).
This authentication instrument is both sturdy and portable it can hold an RFID chip, magnetically readable strip or be 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.
The extra-level of security that an intelligent token can provide is desirable. If lost, stolen or misplaced it can be replaced with a new code.
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.