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Benefits of MIFARE® DESFire

April 6, 2023


MIFARE DESFire is a high-grade encryption technology that provides businesses with the most secure access control credentials available anywhere. In fact, DESFire encryption is so secure that electronic transaction systems, such as those used for online banking and e-commerce, rely on it for ID authentication. 

Benefits of MIFARE DESFire Credentials

Secure Encryption

Standard 125kHz proximity cards contain a small chip and tiny antenna that transmits their unique identifying data to access control readers, which then grant or deny access based on the data’s match with access authorizations. 

Because these cards aren’t encrypted, hackers and thieves can easily copy their identifying data with handheld duplicators purchased on Amazon or eBay. In under a minute and from as far away as five feet, these duplicators let bad actors clone standard cards and then use their data to gain access to restricted sites. 

Credentials using MIFARE’s DESfire encryption are different. They address the security vulnerability of standard cards by applying AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) technology. The advanced encryption standard uses a cryptographic algorithm to prevent identifying data from being transmitted to and decrypted by unauthorized readers. The result is card data that is nearly impossible to duplicate. 

For example, DESFire-secured credentials by ICT (a top access control manufacturer) feature 128-bit encryption codes that would take a supercomputer 2.6 million years to unravel.


DESFire credentials feature massive memory storage that allows them to contain multiple unique ID codes. These unique codes allow the same card, fob, or transmitter to communicate securely with multiple access readers, even when those readers require separate IDs and encryption codes.

DESFire proximity cards by ICT are available with two levels of memory storage. The first level has a memory storage range of 256b-2k and can communicate with up to 28 separately encrypted door readers and applications. The second level of memory storage has a range of 2-8kB and can communicate securely with an unlimited number of door readers and applications. 

DESFire-secured key tags and credential transmitters by ICT are all EAL5+ certified, feature 2-8kB of memory storage, and work with an unlimited number of readers and applications.

Credential Options

Several credential formats are available with DESFire encryption technology, including cards, key tags, transportation tickets, and long-range transmitters. DESFire-encrypted cards can even include smart chips to enable financial transactions and printable graphics for photo identification.

The wide variety of credential options available with DESFire encryption technology allows one-card solutions for institutions with multifaceted card needs. DESFire-secured credentials are ideal one-card solutions for access security, and other transaction needs at school and university campuses, office buildings, apartment buildings, parking areas, and highly restricted environments like warehouses and research facilities.

Scalable and Compatible with Third-Party and Legacy Readers

Hybrid cards that include both DESFire encryption and 125kHz card technology are the perfect migration solution for any property that is upgrading its access control system but needs to gradually change its entry readers.

DESFire Credentials

DESFire encryption is available for the full range of physical access credentials, including ID badges, proximity cards, payment cards, key tags, and transmitters. What all DESFire credentials have in common, regardless of their form, is a unique Advanced Encryption Standard identification key to securely contain multiple encrypted credentials.

DESFire Cards

DESFire proximity cards are designed for secure, encrypted data transmission with access control door readers. DESFire cards can also be used as photo IDs and as payment cards through digital printing and the incorporation of financial transaction chips. 

DESFire Tags

DESFire key tags are as secure as cards, and the hook on keychains and straps prevents them from being lost. 

ICT’s DESFire key tags stand out because they require no batteries and withstand heat, pressure, and chemicals to survive long-term in harsh environments.

DESFire Transmitters

DESFire transmitters can be used to unlock access points within buildings, but they’re especially useful for outdoor access control. Long-range data transmission abilities make DESFire transmitters the most practical credential for secure entry to parking lots and garages.

Mammoth Security and MIFARE DESFire Encryption

For help selecting the right access control credentials and other tools for commercial security, just leave your name and email address in the form below. We’ll get back to you right away to schedule a free, zero-pressure site assessment and security consultation with a friendly Mammoth Security expert.





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