Richard Moser, LEGIC: The benefits of introducing IoT into the supply chain

Richard Moser, Legic

Richard Moser, LEGIC: The benefits of introducing IoT into the supply chain Duncan is an award-winning editor with more than 20 years experience in journalism. Having launched his tech journalism career as editor of Arabian Computer News in Dubai, he has since edited an array of tech and digital marketing publications, including Computer Business Review, TechWeekEurope, Figaro Digital, Digit and Marketing Gazette.

LEGIC is an end-to-end security platform for smartphone- and smartcard-based access, mobility, shared resource and industrial IoT applications.

According to Richard Moser, the company’s business development manager, LEGIC offers convenient embedded security for access, data, & configuration – enabling secure digital interaction between people and things.

“Following this principle our platform consists of security modules (SMs) with already implemented RFID/or BLE, that are connected to our cloud called ‘trusted service’ in which we manage the keys (secrets),” he says. 

These SMs are integrated in devices and act as a security anchor.

LEGIC enables users to authenticate individuals by using smartcard ICs, a software development kit (iOS&Android) that can be integrated in any app. Currently, Google & Apple wallet functionalities are being developed. This means with a LEGIC security anchor in a device, and one of LEGIC’s user mediums, the company can enable end-to-end security.

“And, as of today, this principle is being used by more than 400 partners worldwide,” explains Moser. “And the technology is used by more than 100,000 companies with more than 300 million users daily. And, interestingly, what we see growing significantly are the mobile users, of which there are now 14 million.”

Legic Partner Network

Following its inception at the start of the 1990s, LEGIC has steadily built up an extensive network of partners.

“The partner network was set up to maintain and expand a network of relevant companies,” says Moser. “They are professionals in the field of secure authentication, identification and connectivity transactions.”

They are software providers, OEMs, system integrators, solution, service, consultants, operators. So all this is an entire ecosystem. All partners of logic are integrated with each other, so you don’t need to integrate them. They already are.”

The latest company to join the network is OpenKey, the leading Hotel Digital Key provider and partner of most major lock companies worldwide. 

But it is much more than simply a Digital Key, notes Moser. “It provides a comprehensive suite of features that enhance the guest experience, including a customisable guest app allowing hotels to add essential information, showcase onsite amenities, promotions, and more, all while streamlining operations.”

The firm supports LEGIC Bluetooth solutions and its CTO, David Dietz, views joining the LEGIC Partner Network as a major step towards NFC-based mobile key integration for all LEGIC-oriented lock systems. The partnership, he believes, allows hotels to rely on a single, integrated platform for all access control needs – today and in the future.

Technology trends

The increasing prevalence of connected devices around the globe is one of the main tech trends in 2023, according to Moser.

“We can certainly see a trend in increasing connected devices as everyone is demanding more data to gain a better understanding and increase transparency.” 

For example, in logistics he notes that there are plenty of manufacturers that increasingly use digital platforms, tracking devices and digital locks to better control their supply chains. On the other hand, the accuracy and confidence of this data depends on the device delivering it. 

So the security of the device is crucial and is the base for trusting any device in the field. 

“And, along with an increasing number of connected devices, there’s also an increasing threat of cyber attacks.

“The last thing people think about is security. But once your devices are attacked, and your processes are based on them, you have a problem, and then it’s getting expensive.”

And on the user side, Moser has also seen an IoT trend regarding the use of smartphones. “You use your smartphone for everything, like smartcards and key fobs,” Moser says. “You could lose a smartcard or key, but people lose their smartphone very rarely. 

“So you want to use near field communication (NFC), contactless technology. We enable all of that. It’s available with Google, but not Apple yet. On the other hand, Bluetooth is becoming very widely available – everybody wants to use Bluetooth.” 

The problem, however, is that there are a lot of security threats coming with it, Moser explains.

“And it’s really difficult to fully control Bluetooth. And, with our chips, LEGIC is one of very few providers that can make Bluetooth secure. And it’s convenient for the user.

“Because you can stand there and open a door that is one metre away from you. But it shouldn’t be 10 metres otherwise it’s insecure. But definitely there are trends towards more data and more connected devices.”

Introducing IoT into the supply chain

With IoT now being used in the supply chain, companies can get faster and more accurate information about their shipments, giving them more control over their processes. It increases transparency and improves the visibility of supply chain processes, which are the basis for boosting efficiency and, ultimately, reducing costs.

“With LEGIC, for example, you can control that, you can control the interactions and define the processes. So we take care of the cyber physical interactions,” Moser explains.

“You define something wonderful in your cloud in your back end, but in the physical world it’s never like this. When you use technology, and local communication, where people have to authenticate before opening a container or a box, tracking etc, you know what is happening in the physical world.”

Offering advice on how best to introduce IoT into the supply chain, Moser urges not to “put security at the end of your development”.

He says: “Solving this beforehand saves you lots of trouble later in the field. The end security is the base. You don’t build a house without the door.”

Successful use case

As far as introducing IoT into the supply chain, Moser points to Rhenus as a company to have done this successfully.

“They have accessed our partner ecosystem and used a smart lock from a LEGIC Partner for their security containers for document destruction. In combination with RFID Smartcards,” says Moser.

“Their core processes for secure data destruction, as well as document destruction and disposal, are subject to the highest quality requirements. As part of this service, Rhenus provides customers with secure disposal containers.”

Until now, these containers were secured by mechanical locks, involving all the inherent drawbacks of mechanical access control systems, such as physical key handling, key loss management, manual access logs, etc. Additionally, mechanical locks meant that Rhenus had to keep large, customer-specific container inventories with specific locks in stock. 

“This made their logistical processes more complex, expensive and less flexible,” adds Moser.

Key highlights of what Rhenus has achieved include:

  • Elimination of physical keys which are easily lost, copied and require cumbersome manual storage and handling.
  • Authorization management is easy. RFID smartcards can be easily created, configured, activated and de-activated.
  • Automated logging of container openings enables reliable auditing and quality control as human error is eliminated.
  • Simplified logistics: Customer-specific containers are replaced by generic containers which can be customised as needed and on-location. Existing RFID smartcards continue to work with new containers as they are replaced.
  • High security as locks and data storage / communications implement the highest commercially available encryption AES-128 combined with Secure Element technology. RF communications cannot be decoded, key data stored in the lock is inaccessible and RFID smartcards cannot be copied.
  • Offline operation: containers function with no network connection needed.

The future of Legic

LEGIC’s management team has plans to further grow the company.

“We’re focusing on bringing Google and Apple wallet functionalities to the users to deliver more convenience, says Moser. 

On top of that, the company is focusing on the logistics market. “Cargo security is becoming increasingly important, and there we see a strong trend towards connected devices such as containers, trucks, vans and ships. We’ll be working with our existing partner network and new partners to innovate and bring new secure solutions that help the industry to tackle cargo theft and damage.”

Want to learn about the IoT from industry leaders? Check out IoT Tech Expo taking place in Amsterdam, California, and London. The comprehensive event is co-located with Digital Transformation Week.

Explore other upcoming enterprise technology events and webinars powered by TechForge here.

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