OSDP Offers Extensive Benefits

Increased Security: Implementing OSDP standards can result in higher levels of security:

  • OSDP with Secure Channel Protocol (SCP) supports AES-128 encryption that is required in U.S. federal government applications
  • OSDP constantly monitors wiring to protect against tampering, removing the guesswork since the encryption and authentication are predefined
  • OSDP helps overcome and address the growing threat of "man in the middle" attacks, such as when a "bad actor" uses a tool to penetrate and secretly alter the communication between reader and controller to gain access to a secured location

Bidirectional Communication: OSDP standards support bidirectional communications between devices. Early on, communication protocols such as Wiegand were unidirectional, with external card readers sending information one way to a centralized access control platform. However, OSDP has transformed the ability for information to be collected, shared and acted upon with the addition of bidirectional communication. This means that not only can the readers "talk" directly to the centralized management platform, but the system can also communicate directly with the readers. As a result, this two-way communication offers a host of advantages, including:

  • Reader configuration can be specified in the PACS software and sent to the reader via the controller
  • Continuous reader status monitoring, polling and querying
  • Tampering and malfunction detection and indication without needing to physically inspect the reader
  • Advanced user interfaces, including welcome messages and text prompts can be displayed by the reader

Open and Interoperable: Numerous advantages exist for open-platform protocols, including the ability to deliver an increasingly flexible solution for end users as more and more peripheral devices are added — and not necessarily from the same manufacturer. OSDP supports IP communications and point-to-point serial interfaces, allowing customers to enhance the functionality of their systems with additional tools as needs change and new threats to an organization emerge.

The open-platform nature of OSDP allows organizations to bring new technology to the table the increases a company's ability to protect incoming and outgoing data collection through a physical access control system. This allows companies to remain proactive in their approaches to the safety and security of employees, visitors, and assets.

Reduced Installation Costs: OSDP's use of two wires (as compared to a potential of 11 wires with Wiegand) allows for multi-drop installation, supervised connections to indicate reader malfunctions, and scalability to connect more field devices. Multi-drop capabilities mean one length of a two-conductor cable can be daisy-chained to accomodate many readers connected to a single controller, eliminating the need to run home-run wiring for each reader. With two data lines, OSDP enables the use of a four-conductor cable, which can achieve up to 10 times longer distances between reader and controller than Wiegand, and it powers the reader and can send/receive data. The reduction in wiring costs has a direct effect on an organization resulting in lower-cost implementation on an embedded device. The installer also benefits form less cable to run throughout a building, meaning less time on a project overall. 

User Friendly: For credential holders, OSDP provides greater ease of use, with audio and visual feedback such as colored lights, audible beeps, and the ability to display alerts on the reader. For security administrators, managing and servicing OSDP-enabled readers also becomes increasingly convenient, as OSDP-enabled readers can be remotely configured from network-connected locations. Users can poll and query readers from a central location, eliminating the need to physically visit malfunctioning devices to diagnose, thus saving time and reducing costs. 

Unlimited Application Enhancements: OSDP supports advanced smartcard technology applications, including PKI/FICAM and biometrics, as well as other enhanced authentication protocols used in applications that require Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) compliance and interactive terminal capabilities. Audio-visual user feedback mechanisms provide a rick, user-centric access control environment.