Last week at the Security Document World show in London, I had the opportunity to meet with several leading integrators and representatives from a number of different governments across Europe and beyond to discuss the key requirements for ID card personalization equipment that is used for large ID projects.
The integrators and representatives all spoke about the growing demand for highly secure ID documents throughout the world. Government IDs are at the forefront of this demand as local and national governments continually strive for ID credentials that cannot be tampered with or forged. Accordingly, there is also the need for the ID card personalization solutions to work hand-in-hand with the latest multi-functional and multi-purpose ID cards used in citizen ID programs across the globe.
These ID cards must be long-lasting and highly durable and as a result, the cards are increasingly being made using materials such as polycarbonate, requiring that the personalization equipment be able to print on various card material types that also include PC, PET, ABS, and PVC. Government ID credentials also require the highest level of tamper- and fraud-resistant visual security features. To address this need, ID card personalization equipment must be able to apply various types of overt and covert visual security features to the card, such as:
- Holographic film and overlaminates
- Flourescent UV printing
- Laser engraving with tactile effects, microtext, and morphing images through MLI/CLI capability
All of these visual security features on the ID credential are ideally suited to be combined with color printing for the best personalized photo recognition.
In addition to visual security, citizen ID cards can also include multiple technologies such as contact or contactless IC chips or magnetic stripes. The card personalization equipment must be capable of securely embedding personalized data onto the credential utilizing any of those technologies.
During the Security Document World event where HID demonstrated our new FARGO HDP8500 Industrial Printer/Encoder with the HDP8500LE Laser Engraver Module, it became even more clear that this is the type of solution government agencies and integrators are seeking for their growing project demands. Also, in many cases governments are looking to serve their citizens better by having decentralized systems with the ID card personalization equipment in multiple locations to help simplify delivering the IDs to their citizens.
As Product Marketing Director for HID Global's Secure Issuance business, it was especially rewarding for me to meet with so many different representatives from various countries and show them first-hand how the FARGO HDP8500 meets all the requirements for today's citizen IDs, using a desktop form factor that can easily be used in a centralized or decentralized ID program.
It was a great event for HID Global and I am looking forward to the next opportunity to step through how our FARGO solutions are addressing the changing needs of governments and other markets around the world..
It's such a satisfying feeling when you've been planning an international event for six months and it all goes swimmingly - especially when you have a another major event (CARDS Middle East) taking place simultaneously in Abu Dhabi!
IFSEC 2012, which was held in Birmingham UK between 14-17 May, was a tour de force and provided a perfect opportunity for HID to exhibit with our parent company ASSA ABLOY. We combined our two companies with their distinct, well-recognised brands in one stand and demonstrated that both companies' value propositions are successfully underpinned by one overarching feature: technology, the key to higher security.
The stand featured live demonstrations on the future of mobile access using a single smartphone to access secure doors and our easy-to-use touch screen monitors made it possible for people to interact and 'play' with the technology, which felt fresh and innovative in what can often feel like an old- fashioned industry.
And throughout our conversations with the numerous end customers and partners who visited our stand, we emphasized that mobile access can do so much more, such as log on to a computer network, generate smart tokens directly onto a device, and move access control into new markets including residential and hospitality.
Technology-wise, we also illustrated the combined strength of the two companies by demonstrating a range of solutions which rely upon our leadership in contactless technology. It didn't matter if visitors were exploring the latest developments from ASSA ABLOY, such as Aperio™ that supports HID PROX and EM410x, CLIQ™ Remote and Hi-O™ door opening solutions that are interoperable with HID's network access solutions, or learning more about HID Global's next generation multiCLASS SE and iCLASS SE readers - common technology leading to higher security was evident throughout.
This was especially the case in our centrepiece featuring the latest and arguably, coolest development: our mobile access solution. HID Global iCLASS SE solutions demonstrated how mobile credentials can be provisioned on a smartphone, while the ASSA ABLOY Service Manager Software allows a door to be opened with an NFC-enabled smartphone using an ASSA ABLOY Aperio™ wireless lock or an HID iCLASS SE reader.
We displayed the natural synergy between ASSA ABLOY and HID with our growing ecosystem of solutions for card-based or mobile access control and how our combined power is decidedly unbeatable in the industry. That our growing partner base also exhibited their solutions using HID or ASSA ABLOY products and technology only served to illustrate this combined power, where many other exhibitor stands featured one or more of our solutions or solution components. Now, that's what we call 'setting an industry standard.'
Judging from the amount of traffic and interest from new and existing customers, as well as media, the getting out and meeting people to show our technology was thoroughly worthwhile once again.
It has been more than six months since I joined HID Global as the Regional Sales Manager for the New Zealand region and it's been exciting to work in this fast moving access control industry.
With extensive experience in industrial electronics and the security sector, it's not surprising that the distribution network in which I was I previously engaged is actually HID's integrators and suppliers (and my customers).
Certainly my role here in New Zealand for HID is an intimate one. The country has only a population of four million and an overall workforce of 2.4 million. It cultivates a family orientated working environment, where integrators, suppliers and manufacturers are generally well aware of what each other is doing and developing, often with colleagues from college. Therefore, very often business here in New Zealand comes down to relationships and trust.
Since New Zealanders are very familiar with each other's business activities, only new technologies and innovations will capture industry's attention. That's why the introduction of HID's iCLASS SE access control platform has created strong interest among our customers. For example, HID was recently invited to speak at a National Distributors Conference, hosted by our distributor Atlas Gentech, to participate in an in-depth discussion held on the NFC mobile access opportunities that iCLASS SE brings to the local market. This solution enables the use of digital credentials on NFC enabled smartphones to open doors and significantly improves security while enhancing the user experience by making it easier to deploy and manage keys (and more convenient to carry them).
New Zealanders have a track record of being early and enthusiastic adopters of transformative payments technology. For instance, Vodafone conducted an internal NFC trial with the Bank of New Zealand for mobile payment last year. Most recently, Vodafone, Telecom and 2degrees, along with Paymark, are forming a joint venture to allow users to make secure payments, collect loyalty points and use public transport via their NFC smartphones.
Accordingly, we believe that with the increasing adoption of NFC smartphones for mobile payment in our region, NFC mobile access technology will offer complementary new opportunities to create more secure and convenient applications that can be carried on the same smartphone used in so many facets of your life.
The rest of 2012 is sure to be an interesting one as we start to see the early adopter spirit of New Zealanders drive interest and adoption of mobile access throughout the region.
The U.S. Federal Government accelerated its move to smart cards during the mid-2000s following the U.S. issuance of Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD-12) and the release of Federal Information Processing Standards Publication 201 (FIPS 201), which defined the identity vetting, enrollment and issuance requirements for a common, highly secure identity credential.
Now it looks like other countries are taking note: as U.S. federal agencies have begun deploying solutions, these efforts have attracted international attention and FIPS 201 is now under consideration for government, public safety and critical infrastructure personnel in other countries as well.
FIPS 201 standards are also spreading beyond Federal agencies into the government contractor and commercial spaces, with Personal Identity Verification-Interoperable (PIV-I) cards for government contractors and Commercial Identity Verification (CIV) credentials for commercial users. Each of these identity cards supports strong authentication mechanisms, and is used both for physical and logical access to federally controlled facilities and information systems, as well as to gain access and highly secure commercial facilities and IT networks in the case of the CIV credential.
An existing physical access control system (PACS) must be modified to support the use these credentials. However, achieving FIPS 201 compliance or simply upgrading PACs to higher security within public or private sector organizations needn't require a wholesale rip-and-replace system upgrade, though. The best, most cost-effective FIPS 201 based upgrade approach is to augment existing panels and door controller functionality to provide strong PKI based validation at the time-of-access. Any upgrade should maximize reuse, support multiple PACS and ensure that both PIV-I and CIV credentials can be used. In the U.S., the upgrade also must meet the requirements of a GSA-approved authentication system, and support multiple authentication systems according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication 800-116 related to "controlled," "limited" and "exclusion" areas within government facilities.
Such an upgrade to meet these goals can be achieved with just two changes: replace existing card readers with PIV-enabled readers, and insert an authentication module between the reader and door controller. These modifications accomplish the task, and a validation server provides centralized control of assurance level settings and the distribution of validation data. This is the model HID has developed for customers with our new pivCLASS solutions that include all of these components for enabling the use of PIV-I and CIV credentials without modifications or replacements of any non-reader component in an existing PACS.
Issuance of PIV cards is virtually complete in the U.S. and agencies are now turning their attention to identifying and implementing PACS changes to utilize these credentials for access control. Meanwhile, other countries are now evaluating PIV-I and CIV credentials for their own government, public safety and critical infrastructure personnel, and I look forward to helping streamline this move to higher security for organizations around the world with HID's complete portfolio of pivCLASS solutions.
Many years ago, I was told it's possible to use your access card for cashless payment and my first thought back then was "how does it work?
Is it safe to put our money on a badge for access control?" Fast forward to the present, where I work for HID Global and I know that converged smart card technologies provide the answers to these questions.
Today's smart card technologies enable users to perform a wide array of applications on the existing physical access control infrastructure, such as unlocking a parking garage gate, cashless payment at convenient stores, tracking time and attendance and many more.
Not only does the multi-applications capability of smart card technology deliver enhanced value to a new set of customers, it provides increased security for the ever-growing amount of data stored on the card. It also enables physical and logical access control convergence, which improves security by enabling a single smart card to support multiple authentication methods. For instance, physical access credentials can be re-used for logical access including strong desktop authentication. At the same time, logical access credentials can also help drive more robust identity authentication at the door.
Although the smart card adoption is increasing in the Southeast Asia region, the majority of organizations in this market are still using less secure Proximity cards for access control. In light of this, HID Global has been actively involved in market education in the region to promote awareness around the importance of increasing system security in order to help our customers keep pace with the emerging trends and technologies worldwide.
Our solution showcase at last week's Cards and Payments Asia was one of our many initiatives to get users ahead of curve. During the event, we demonstrated our complete line of contactless and digital smart card solutions that support users' needs to create, use and manage secure identities. Show attendees were particularly interested in our latest iCLASS Secure Identity Object™-Enabled (iCLASS SE®) access control platform and multi-technology readers for migrating to increased system security and laying the foundation for using NFC-enabled smartphones for access control. Customers were keen to learn how to combine different Proximity and contactless smart card and reader technologies -- and even NFC-based mobile access -- into a single, comprehensive platform to deploy more advanced, secure and convenient access control solutions.
For me, the show reinforced that customers are seeking a more seamless experience using their credentials -- using a smart card or smartphone --across a number of various of applications and technologies.
I look forward to continuing to help guide our customers to the right solutions for their particular needs at more industry events throughout the year.