Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) is a system that validates a user’s digital identity over a public or private network. It does so by associating a pair of public and private keys with the individual’s identity credentials. These keys are created with a cryptographic algorithm and shared by a certificate authority (CA) that links them to the user’s unique identity. The CA stores this information in a database and issues digital certificates, which include the public key or information about the public keys, in order to verify the user’s identity.
Java Card is an industry-standard technology platform that was developed by Sun Microsystems (now Oracle) to enable Java-based applications – applets – to run on smart cards that support this standard. Java Card helps developers build, test and deploy smart card-based applications quickly and efficiently with an object oriented programming model and off-the-shelf development tools. For smart card issuers, it delivers a secure and interoperable platform that can be used to store and update multiple applications on a single end-user device.
Java Card technology is used in a wide range of smart card applications, including:
- Smart ID badges for logical and physical access to enterprise resources
- Subscriber Identity Modules used in mobile phones on wireless networks
- Machine Identity Modules used in M2M applications
- Banking cards for traditional and online bank transactions
- Government and health-care identity cards
Its unique features provide several advantages. Applets are interoperable and will run on any Java Card-based smart card device, thereby reduces hardware costs. In addition, multiple applications can reside on a single device. New applications can be installed securely after a card has been issued using Over-The-Air (OTA) platforms, enabling card issuers to respond to their customer’s changing needs dynamically.
Java Cards enable easy and fast updates through an open OS architecture that separates the platform from the application. This partitioning also reduces migration constraints, even after initial card issuance. Compliant applications can be loaded and cards that are compatible with existing ones can be produced quickly.
The strong security of the Java programming language provides the foundation for Java Card’s secure execution environment. As an open standard backed by all the leading smart card manufacturers, it offers one of the most secure technology platforms available. In addition, this technology enables various business models between issuer, application providers and operators, thanks to multiple security domains and dynamic application partitioning