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Access Control | Identification

GSN 2012 Awards announced: White House deputy of homeland security recognized for leadership at annual gala

GSN Awards 2012

Hundreds of the best of the homeland security community’s federal, state and municipal government officials, government contractors, systems integrators, IT vendors and physical security product and solutions providers all came together the night of November 29 in a ballroom of the Washington, D.C. convention center to receive accolades.

The GSN awards dinner, which has become a Washington tradition over the last four years, offered a chance for the excellence and civic-minded spirit of homeland security efforts nationwide to be recognized.

Not only were the best tools and technologies acknowledged , but the people and groups who use them, from local police departments in Florida and Washington state, to the White House, were honored at the event.

During the awards ceremonies, Richard Reed, Deputy Assistant to President Obama for Homeland Security, received the second annual Government Security News/Raytheon Award for Distinguished Leadership and Innovation in Public Safety and Security. Reed was chosen for tireless work in his key role in leading the development of national policy related to resilience, transborder security and community partnerships. He has been described as the president’s eyes and ears during disasters. In crises, such as the Gulf oil spill, H1N1 pandemic, and Haiti earthquake, Reed has sprung into action at the White House, coordinating information and gathering people to cope with these catastrophes.

Reed told Government Security News in an interview after the dinner that gatherings like GSN’s awards ceremony were invaluable in demonstrating that the hard work of creating a resilient, strong response to crises is performed by thousands of individuals, like those in attendance. Gatherings that bring the diverse emergency response and homeland security communities together can broaden perspectives and spur new ideas, he said.

Reed has been a determined, mostly behind-the-scenes, captain of federal emergency response efforts during the Bush and Obama administrations, helping prepare for, and respond to, some of the worst natural disasters the nation has known, from one of the deadliest tornado seasons in history in the Midwest, to historic wild fires in the west, and massive storms in the eastern U.S.

Reed said the key to capable response to such staggering events lies not only in federal hands, but in enabling state, local and even personal responses. Getting resources and training in place before disasters happen goes a long way in an effective response and recovery, he said. “The true first responders are friends, neighbors and co-workers” in the immediate aftermath of a disaster, said Reed. Local police, firefighters and other agencies arrive second, he said. Enabling people with information concerning what resources are available or where they can go for help or supplies empowers them, said Reed.

Government Security News managing partner Adrian Courtenay has made the GSN/Raytheon award an annual tradition. The prize is sponsored by the Raytheon Company, a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world, which is headquartered in Waltham, MA.

Notable 2012 government excellence award winners included the local police departments in Tampa and St. Petersburg, FL, for their ground-breaking work in preparing for the Republican National Convention in Tampa this past summer. The departments put together comprehensive plans to gently defuse potentially volatile political demonstrations at the event. Both departments were also praised for implementing an innovative interoperable communications network during the GOP convention.

The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory was recognized for its groundbreaking work on a small radiation detector. The Naval Air Systems Command won an award for its work on the Kestrel Wide Area Persistent Surveillance program, which developed an aerostat for long-term surveillance capabilities to protect ground soldiers in Afghanistan.

The complete list of GSN’s 2012 Award winners appears below: 

CATEGORY 1 – VENDORS OF IT SECURITY PRODUCTS AND SOLUTIONS

 

Best Anti-Malware Solution

 

Invincea

 

Best Identity Management Platform

 

Alert Enterprise

 

Best Certificate Management Solution

 

Entrust

 

Best Compliance /Vulnerability Assessment Solution

 

Agiliance

 

Best Data Security/Loss Management Solution

 

WAVE Systems

 

Best Endpoint Security Solution

 

StillSecure

 

Best Forensic Software

 

Silvertail

 

Best Intelligence Data Fusion and Collaborative Analysis Solution

 

Lookingglass Cyber Solutions

 

Best Intrusion Detection/Prevention Solution

 

Intellidyne

Vanguard Integrity Professionals

 

Best Network Security/Enterprise Firewall

 

Black Lotus

 

Best Privileged Access Management Solution

 

Kikusema

Xceedium

 

Best Real-Time Dynamic Network Analysis

 

Fidelis Security

 

Best Continuous Monitoring Solution

 

ForeScout

Redseal

 

Best Security Incident/Event Management Solution (SIEM)

 

NetIQ

 

CATEGORY 2 – VENDORS OF PHYSICAL SECURITY PRODUCTS & SOLUTIONS

 

PHYSICAL SECURITY ACCESS CONTROL & INDENTIFICATION

 

Best Biometric Identification Solution

 

Fulcrum Biometrics

 

Best Integrated System for HSPD 12/FIPS 201 Compliance

 

Brivo

 

Best Platform for Physical and Logical Access

 

Alert Enterprise

 

COMMUNICATIONS

 

Best Interoperable First Responder Communications

 

Covia Labs

 

Best Mass Notification Systems

 

AtHoc

 

Best Regional or National Public Safety Communications Deployment

 

Desktop Alert

 

DETECTION PRODUCTS

 

Best Explosives Detection Solution

 

AS&E

 

Best Long Range Detection Systems

 

Vidisco

 

Best Nuclear/Radiation Detection

 

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

 

VIDEO SURVEILLANCE

 

Best Intelligent Video Surveillance Solution

 

Panasonic

 

Best Thermal/Night Vision/Infrared Cameras

 

HGH Infrared Systems

Vumii

 

Best Network IP Cameras

 

Axis Communications

 

Best Video Storage/Digital Transmission Systems

 

Panasonic

 

OTHER PRODUCTS

 

Best Perimeter Protection Solution

 

Senstar

 

Best Crash Barriers

 

Nasatka

 

Best Physical Security Information Management (PSIM) Solution

 

NICE Systems

 

SERVICES

 

Best Disaster Preparedness or Disaster Recovery & Clean-up Service

 

High-Rise Escape Systems

 

Best Facility Security/Force Protection Service

 

Whitestone Group

 

Best Homeland Security Training/Higher Education Solutions

 

Bellevue University

 

Category 3: Government Security News 2012 Government Excellence Awards

 

Most Notable Airport Security Award

 

Defense Manpower Agency

 

Most Notable Maritime/Port Security Program

 

Ohio Department of Public Safety/Northern Border Initiative

 

Most Notable Railroad/Mass Transit Security Program

 

Denver Regional Transportation Authority

 

Most Notable Critical Infrastructure Program, Project or Initiative

 

U.S. Veterans Administration Hospital, Tucson, AZ

 

Most Notable Cyber Security Program, Project or Initiative

 

U.S. Department of Energy

 

Most Notable Emergency Response Implementation

 

U.S. National Guard

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

 

Most Notable Law Enforcement Interdiction, Arrest or Counter-Terrorism Program

 

Orange County Intelligence Assessment Fusion Center

 

Most Notable Municipal/County Programs, Projects or Initiatives

 

Seattle, Washington Police Department

Tampa and St. Petersburg, Florida Police Departments

 

Federal Government

 

Naval Air Systems Command (Kestrel Wide Area Persistent Surveillance)

GSN 2012 Homeland Security Awards program open for entries

The Government Security News 2012 Homeland Security Awards Program officially opened for entries on May 1, once again featuring 45 Awards in three broad Categories:Best Vendors of IT Security Products and Solutions, Best Vendors of Physical Security Products and Solutions and the 2011 Government Excellence Awards.

Returning as corporate Sponsors of the 2012 Program are BRS Laboratories of Houston, TX -- a leading software development company for video behavioral recognition software that deploys easily and rapidly on large scale video networks and provides actionable information without inundating end users with false alarms -- and Entrust, Inc. , of Dallas, TX, which offers physical/logical access, mobile security, certificate management and other identity-based solutions to governments and large enterprises.  Additional sponsors will be announced, and profiles of all 2012 sponsors, will be published in coming weeks. Companies interested in joining the ranks of sponsors of the 2012 Awards Program should contact GSN Publisher and World Business Media President, Edward Tyler, at 212-344-0759, ext. 2001.

The cost to submit an entry in the 2012 program is $295 for vendors of IT security and physical security products and solutions. As in previous years, there is no cost for entries in the 10 categories of awards for federal, state and local government agencies. Vendors of IT and physical security products and solutions may nominate themselves or be nominated by colleagues or government clients, while government agencies or departments may similarly nominate themselves or be nominated by other agencies, colleagues or vendors.

According Adrian Courtenay, managing partner of World Business Media, several new categories created in 2011 to acknowledge successful initiatives of federal, state or local agencies in responding to emergencies, countering terrorism and preventing crime will again be included in 2012. These categories are “Most Notable Emergency Response Implementation – Federal, State or Local”; “Most Notable Law Enforcement Interdiction, Arrest or Counter Terrorism Program – Federal, State or Local”; and “Most Notable Counter Terrorism or Crime Prevention Program”.

In the 2011 contest, the Bastrop Country, TX, Unified Command (including county, state and federal government agencies) was awarded the trophy for “Most Notable Emergency Response Implementation” in battling 2011 Texas wildfires in Bastrop County. The United States Customs and Border Protection, Detroit Sector, was winner in the “Most Notable Law Enforcement Interdiction or Arrest” category for a dramatic arrest on St. Clair River in Detroit, and the Los Angeles Police Department was recognized for having the “Most Notable Law Enforcement Counter Terrorism or Crime Prevention Program.”

Another category that was new in 2011, “Most Notable Cyber Security Program or Technology – Government or Military”, will also be continued, in recognition of the emergence of Cyber Security as a vitally important component of overall security for any nation. The winner of this award in 2011 was the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The 2012 Awards Program will once again culminate with a gala awards dinner in the fall, at a venue to be announced shortly. In the 2011 program, the “GSN/Raytheon Award for Distinguished Leadership and Innovation” was introduced and presented to Admiral Thad Allen (US Coast Guard-ret.), who came out of retirement twice in recent years to serve his country, first in heading up the federal response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and later in managing the response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

In remarks for the 2011 Awards Dinner audience, Admiral Allen said the continuing work of technology companies and first responders was key in any disaster. He urged everyone to become a “lifelong rapid learner” to better cope with disasters, both man-made and natural. He also said “reconciling opportunity and competency” when disaster strikes is essential to any effective recovery, and being on top of the latest, most effective technology is a product of being a lifelong rapid learner. He also said clear communications is also a key to effective response and amplified his call for a nationwide interoperable first responder radio network. 

Photos of the 2010 awards reception and dinner are available at www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/, and video interviews with Admiral Allen, as well as sponsors and winners in the 2011 Awards program, are available at the GSN Video Center at www.gsnmagazine.com/videocenter.

Entry forms and other information about the 2012 Awards Program are available at www.gsnmagazine.com/hsa2012/welcome.

GSN 2011 Awards Program opens for entries on April 26

Government Security News has announced that its 2011 Homeland Security Awards Program  will officially open for business and start accepting entries in the program’s 45 awards categories on Tuesday, April 26.

The 2011 program contains a number of exciting new categories, reflecting the dynamically changing threat environment, in all three of the overall awards groupings: Best Vendors of IT Security Products and Solutions, Best Vendors of Physical Security Products and Solutions, and the 2011 Government Excellence Awards.

The cost for each entry in the 2011 program is $295 for vendors of IT security and physical security products and solutions. As in previous years, there is no cost for entries in the 10 categories of awards for federal, state and local government agencies.

Vendors of IT and physical security products and solutions may nominate themselves or be nominated by colleagues or government clients, while government agencies or departments may similarly nominate themselves or be nominated by other agencies, colleagues or vendors.

Adrian Courtenay, Managing Partner of GSN’s parent company, World Business Media, LLC, cited two intriguing new categories in the government sector that have been selected to acknowledge solid “boots on the ground” achievements of federal, state or local agencies in responding to emergencies, countering terrorism and stopping crime. These categories are “Most Notable Emergency Response Implementation – Federal, State or Local” and “Most Notable Law Enforcement Interdiction, Arrest or Counter Terrorism Program – Federal, State or Local.”

Acknowledging the increasing importance of cyber security and the threat of cyber war among nation-states, Courtenay also pointed out that the government awards in 2010 have been expanded to include a category titled, “Most Notable Cyber Security Program or Technology – Government or Military.”

Returning for its third year as a sponsor of the GSN Awards Program is founding sponsor ArcSight, now a business unit of Hewlett Packard Software and Solutions, whose enterprise threat and risk platform is an integrated product for collecting, analyzing and assessing security and risk information. ArcSight is also a repeat winner in the GSN awards program for its Security Incident Event Management (SIEM) products for collecting, analyzing and assessing security incident event information.

Also returning as event sponsors are General Dynamics C4, located in Phoenix, AZ, a major developer and integrator of secure communications and information systems and technology; and  Mutualink, another GSN award winner, which creates networks of interoperable communities that can instantly share radio, voice, text, video and data files, and telephone communications in a secure environment.

The fourth and final sponsor to date in the 2011 Awards Program is Behavioral Recognition Systems, Inc., of Houston, TX, also known as BRS Labs, whose software uses the fascinating, scientifically developed cognitive reasoning and artificial intelligence of behavioral analytics to leverage a stream of intelligence from millions of surveillance cameras worldwide, in order to provide alerts regarding abnormal or suspicious behavior.

Profiles of each of the 2011 sponsors will be posted on the GSN Web site in the coming weeks.

Additional companies or organizations interested in joining the ranks of 2011 sponsors of the GSN 2011 Homeland Security Awards Program should contact GSN Publisher and World Business Media President, Edward Tyler, at 212-344-0759, ext. 2001.

According to Courtenay, the 2011 Awards Program will culminate with the annual awards dinner in early November at a venue to be announced shortly. “It’s going to be hard to top last year’s elegant dinner and spectacular after-dinner keynote presentation by four-star General Barry McCaffrey (USA-Ret.). But we’re going to try!”

In 2010, the GSN awards were presented to a sold-out ballroom at the JW Marriott Hotel in Washington, DC, that included many distinguished government and military officials, academics, law enforcement and public safety professionals from across the country, along with the systems integrators, defense contractors and vendors of products and solutions used in homeland security.

Photos of the 2010 awards reception and dinner are available at:

www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/.

Further information and entry forms for the 2011 Awards Program are available at:

www.gsnmagazine.com/hsa2011/welcome.

OzVision

Alan Avidan, President, indicates that OzVision is pushing the forefront of hosted video services for dealers and users. The company’s government market includes military bases, government facilities, and national monuments such as the Washington Monument, the State of Liberty and Ford’s Theater. Avidan calls for dealers and central services to join in the hosted video movement, which he describes as the future of the industry.

Global Entry Enrollment on Arrival Expands to 11 Additional International Airports

WASHINGTON—U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced today the expansion of Global Entry Enrollment on Arrival to 11 additional international airports. Enrollment on Arrival enables conditionally-approved Global Entry applicants to complete their interview, the final step of the Global Entry enrollment process, while clearing CBP processing. The program is currently available at nine new locations including Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW), Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (MSP), Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX), Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC), San Diego International Airport (SAN), Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC), Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), and Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ), and will launch later this week at Denver International Airport (DEN) and Philadelphia International Airport (PHL).

“Global Entry continues to be one of CBP’s most successful and popular programs and we have made it a priority to improve the enrollment process for those looking to join the ranks of Trusted Traveler,” said Acting Commissioner Kevin McAleenan. “Last month, we launched a modernized, mobile-friendly application website making the initial step of the process more user friendly and now with these additional Enrollment on Arrival locations we have added greater flexibility for those looking to complete the enrollment process.”

Since the program’s launch in July, more than 5,200 conditionally-approved Global Entry applicants have completed the final step of the enrollment process at an Enrollment on Arrival location. Enrollment on Arrival is also available at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), William P. Hobby Airport (HOU), Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS), San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and Vancouver International Airport (YVR).

Conditionally-approved applicants looking to utilize Enrollment on Arrival do not need to schedule an interview appointment ahead of time.

Once a traveler is conditionally-approved, instead of scheduling an interview at a Global Entry Enrollment Center, the traveler can complete the enrollment interview during CBP primary inspection at a participating airport. Upon arrival, travelers will be directed to a primary booth designated specifically for Enrollment on Arrival. A CBP officer will conduct both the primary processing and Global Entry interview and collect the traveler’s biometrics to complete the enrollment. The traveler will then be cleared for entry into the United States and, if approved, will be a Global Entry member.

Currently available at 54 U.S. airports and 15 Preclearance locations, Global Entry streamlines the international arrivals process at airports for trusted travelers. The more than 4.7 million Global Entry members bypass traditional CBP inspection lines and use an automated kiosk to complete their admission to the United States. As an added benefit, Global Entry members are also eligible to participate in the TSA Pre✓™ expedited screening program.

U.S. citizens, U.S nationals and U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents may apply for Global Entry as well as passport holders from Argentina, Colombia, Germany, India, Mexico, the Netherlands, Panama, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Switzerland, Taiwan and the United Kingdom. Canadian citizens and residents enrolled in NEXUS may also use the Global Entry kiosks.

Interested travelers apply through the Trusted Traveler Programs website. The non-refundable application fee for a five-year Global Entry membership is $100 and applications must be submitted online. Once the applicant successfully passes a background check, a CBP officer will conduct an interview with the applicant at one of the more than 100 Global Entry Enrollment Centers located throughout the U.S., Canada, and Qatar or at an Enrollment on Arrival location and then make a final eligibility determination.

While the goal of Global Entry is to speed travelers through the process, members may be selected for further examination when entering the United States. Any violation of the program’s terms and conditions will result in appropriate enforcement action and may result in the revocation of the traveler’s membership privileges.

Visit CBP’s Global Entry website for more information on the Global Entry Program and the Enrollment on Arrival website for an updated list of available locations.

NEC Announces Expanded Footprint in Washington, D.C. Opening of Government Relations Office Adds Focus and Support to Global Technology Leader's Safety and Security Customers

Tokyo, Japan & Irving, Texas – NEC Corporation (NEC; TSE: 6701) and NEC Corporation of America (NECAM), an industry leading provider of biometrics and communications technology and integrator of IT solutions, today announced the expansion of its offices in Washington, D.C., to include a new government relations function.    

The office will be responsible for understanding U.S. government requirements for areas such as effective border management and counterterrorism as part of assuring NEC innovation and R&D are aligned to the needs of the United States. The office will also seek to improve NEC's brand awareness throughout the D.C. area.

The new government relations office will be led by Shinsuke (Shin) Takahashi, current Chairman and former President and CEO of NECAM.  In this role, Mr. Takahashi will further strengthen NEC's relationships with government agencies by aligning NEC's strategic initiatives with the goals of the U.S. government. Specific areas of collaboration will focus on security policy, international trade and other matters that affect national safety and security.

NECAM first opened its sales office in Washington, D.C., in May 2016 with a focus on providing biometric security solutions to the U.S. government.  In a short time, NEC has expanded its federal government business, where NEC was selected to participate in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Biometric Exit pilot program using NEC's NeoFace® Express face recognition rapid matching technology.

"In my previous role as President and CEO of NECAM over the past five years, it was exciting to be part of our growth in the U.S. government," said Mr. Takahashi. "My aim as Head of Government Relations is not only to advance our business, but to collaborate and build relationships in Washington so that we can contribute to a safer, more secure society."

In addition to the office's focus on U.S. government issues, Mr. Takahashi will also be responsible for developing relationships with international organizations like World Bank, IDB, and the United Nations. NEC's expansion in Washington D.C. will become effective in early December.  

Avinor Oslo Airport Expands its Qognify Security Solution With Situator

Qognify, the leader in big data solutions for physical security and operations, today announced that it has recently expanded its security solution at Gardermoen Oslo Airport with Situator, the company's market-leading situation management solution. Avinor, the group responsible for managing Norway's airports, decided to not only expand and upgrade Oslo Airport, but unify its different systems to create a unified security platform.
Extending to Situation Management

A Qognify video management solution user since 2008, the Airport, with the support of Racom, Qognify's partner, the airport now added Situator Situation Management solution. The comprehensive platform integrates all existing systems - Qognify and third-party, including thousands of surveillance cameras, access control and other sensors. Situator structures and correlates the information from these different systems for greater situational awareness, incident management and effective response.
Flexigate override support
Being a major European airport, Oslo serves many Schengen flights, meaning flights to the 26 European countries that have officially abolished passport and all other types of border control at their borders. Allowing the area to function as a single country for international travel purposes dictates special operational requirements using advanced Flexigate system. The Flexigate system avoids incidents where the wrong doors are opened to ensure that passengers who should go through the border control actually do so. Situator integrates with the advanced Flexigate access control system, and overrides switching of gates between Schengen and non-Schengen flights, as well as the domestic flights if the control systems are out of operations.
Avinor Oslo Airport: "Situator allows us to leverage our existing technology, and extend the capabilities of those systems for increased value. Our long-term partnership with Racom and Qognify has given us the ability to smartly and cost-effectively upgrade our security without having to rip & replace previous, viable investments."
"Adding Qognify Situator to the security and operations program at Oslo Airport has enabled us to confidently build true best-of-breed solution," said Frode Igland, CEO, Racom AS. "The new capabilities provide a common operating picture for all stakeholders, improving security and operations."
"Oslo Airport's security program is one of the most advanced ones among the many airports we are involved in," commented Moti Shabtai, Qognify's CEO & President. "Our partnership with Avinor and Racom is a testament to how deep, long-term collaboration can produce exceptional return on investment for the airport."
About Racom
Racom is a privately owned Norwegian company providing intelligent technology solutions with value added professional services. Our mission is to optimize operations, security, safety, network and communication to critical infrastructure and critical community functions, for the purpose of facilitating to future needs.
http://www.racom.no
About Qognify
Qognify helps organizations mitigate risk, maintain business continuity, and optimize operations. The Qognify portfolio includes video management, video and data analytics, and PSIM/ Situation Management solutions that are deployed in financial institutions, transportation agencies, airports, seaports, utility companies, city centers, and to secure many of the world's highest-profile public events.
http://www.Qognify.com

Captis Intelligence Announces Investment and Appointment of David Leppan to Board of Directors

Captis Intelligence, formerly Qface Systems, a leading provider of I-4 crime solutions (Intelligence, Information, Investigation, Identification) has announced the appointment of David Leppan to Board Member and Chairman of their Board of Advisors.
Leppan, founder of World-Check (now part of Thomson Reuters) and co-founder of WealthX, is a pioneer and recognized expert in KYC (Know Your Customer), Due Diligence, and Risk Mitigation data services to the public and private sector. Leppan's experience within the financial banking industry and regulatory /enforcement agencies will be instrumental in developing Captis' growth in the financial sector. "The financial market's requirements in security measures, KYC, and identification progress at a rapid pace," said Leppan. "Captis's product offering and leading market position exceed today's requirements and anticipate tomorrow's requests," added Leppan.
Leppan's investment will accelerate Captis's next phase of continued innovation and expand its reach globally throughout several strategic vertical markets, most notably the financial institution vertical where Leppan's World-Check solution became a standard. With a focus on advanced facial recognition with corresponding database, the Captis Financial solution will deliver a next-generation system expanding on Leppan's initial KYC vision. "David is a globally recognized expert and visionary with an impressive track record in the financial sector," said Charles Archer, former Assistant Director of the FBI and Chairman of the Captis Law Enforcement Council. "David's involvement reaffirms Captis's commitment in partnering with global experts to drive progression and expansion."
David is a globally recognized expert and visionary with an impressive track record in the financial sector.
 CHARLES ARCHER, CHAIRMAN - LAW ENFORCEMENT COUNCIL
About Captis Intelligence
Captis Intelligence's I-4 platform (Intelligence, Information, Investigation, Identification) provides an advanced cloud-based system for public and private sector applications. Captis unifies situational awareness, geographic crime intelligence, social media investigation, facial recognition, criminal databases, access to solveacrime.com, and secured information exchange portals for neighboring businesses and law enforcement. A global innovator, Captis is headquartered in Los Angeles and has offices in London and Singapore. Captis was founded on the principle of innovation and remains at the forefront of pioneering I-4 crime prevention/suspect identification technologies.

Modernizing Physical Access for US Federal Agencies and Military Bases

With personal identity verification (PIV) and common access card (CAC) credentials, US federal agencies and military bases have issued the most powerful ID credential for their employees and contractors.  PIV/CAC credentials provide a secure, standardized identification that can be trusted across US government organizations thanks to the use of US Federal Bridge Certificate Authority.  PIV/CAC credentials are used to login to computer, network and applications; digitally sign emails and documents; encrypt/decrypt data; provide visually identification and physical access to secure sites. 

 

The physical access itself is more secure and more interoperable than traditional physical access solutions thanks to the use of digital certificates and PKI (Public Key Infrastructure).  There are more than 5 million active PIV/CAC credentials in use across the US Federal Government.  However, by design, the PIV/CAC credentials do not cover all people that need access to federal facilities. For example, federal employees and contractors that need access to a government site for less than 180 days are not eligible to be issued a PIV credential.  The population that is not PIV-eligible covers short-term employees/contractors (e.g.: seasonal workers) as well as visitors that may be at a site for short term (from a day visit to a few weeks).

 

This creates a challenging situation for security teams where they have high assurance credentials in the form of the PIV/CAC credential for long-term employees/contractors but still have to rely on traditional physical access credentials for the rest of their population.  Mixing technologies can make things more complex and does not provide a uniform security posture.  In addition, agencies are being encouraged to modernize their physical access systems and discontinue traditional physical access control badges and only rely on PKI type credentials for physical access.

 

To address those challenges, agencies have a few options available to them:

 

Option #1  If they already have a PIV/CAC issuance system, they may be able to configure the PIV/CAC issuance system to also issue short term credentials that are PIV-like (that is, behaves like a PIV/CAC credential from an interoperability standpoint, even though they would not be recognized as proper PIV or CAC). A very large number of agencies do not have a PIV issuance system and instead rely on a managed service, like USAccess, to provide PIV credentials to their users.  The DoD issues CAC credentials from a central location as well. In these cases, standing up a PIV/CAC issuance system may not be economically realistic due to the cost of deploying and manning a PIV/CAC issuance system.

 

Option #2  Issue PIV-I credentials to short term employees and visitors. PIV-I credentials are very similar to PIV/CAC credentials but can be issued to personnel that are not PIV-eligible. The challenge with this approach is that PIV-I credential’s cost is comparable to PIV credential’s and this may not be economically viable for the short-term population, since those credentials are personalized with the user information and cannot be reused after the user complete his short term visit.

 

Option #3 Issue a temporary card credential solely for the physical access control system that does not require the identity proofing of a PIV or PIV-I card, but still rely on the PIV standard for technical interoperability.

 

Option #3 could be the most cost effective by far. The HID Crescendo Temporary Access Card is the first trusted credential available on the market that can be used for option #3. The Crescendo Temporary Access Card comes pre-initialized from the factory with digital certificates and can simply be registered into FIPS 201 compliant physical access systems and is ready to use right away.  A PACS that is tested in the GSA’s FICAM lab will fail should it recognize an access card that is not created using the FIPS201 standards.   By using the Crescendo Temporary Access Card for visitors, the same security features of a PIV/CAC, including PKI @ the Door, can be maintained by the physical access control system.  Because the Crescendo Temporary Access Card does not contain user information, the Crescendo Temporary Access Card can be reassigned to a different visitor and reused many times over, lowering costs for agencies.  And Since the Crescendo Temporary Access Card comes pre-initialized from the factory; agencies do not need to deploy additional software.  No need for additional PKIs, credential management systems or hardware security modules.

 

Those new Temporary Access Card options provide ways for federal agencies and military bases to:

 

  • Modernize their physical access systems
  • Retire traditional physical access credentials and focus on PKI/PIV-like credentials
  • Increase their physical access security posture
  • All the while, doing it in a cost conscious way by avoiding the need to deploy and manage additional software
by Yves Massard, Dir. of Product Management for IAM Solutions

DHS awards SBIR Phase II contract to Utah company for identity management initiative

WASHINGTON The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has awarded Salt Lake City-based startup Evernym a $749,000 Small Business Innovation Program (SBIR) award to develop an easy-to-use, decentralized mechanism for managing public and private keys needed for the secure and scalable deployment of blockchain technologies.

Under the SBIR Phase II contract, Evernym will design and implement a decentralized key management system (DKMS) for blockchain technologies based on National Institute of Standards and Technology Special Publication 800-130, titled “A Framework for Designing Key Management Systems.” The research project is being managed by the S&T Cyber Security Division’s (CSD) Identity Management project.

“A better, more secure method is needed to safeguard the identity and privacy of web-users,” said Acting DHS Under Secretary for Science and Technology William N. Bryan. “Research in blockchain holds significant potential to provide a solution that will make it considerably more difficult to hack an online user’s identity.”

Through a project titled “Applicability of Blockchain Technology to Privacy Respecting Identity Management,” Evernym is developing a DKMS—a cryptographic key management approach used with blockchain and other distributed-ledger technologies—to boost online authentication and verification. Within a DKMS, the initial “root-of-trust” for all participants is a distributed ledger that supports a decentralized identifier—a new form of root identity record.

“Managing public and private cryptographic keys in existing public key infrastructure as well as permissioned and permission-less blockchains continues to be a difficult challenge,” said S&T Identity Management Program Manager Anil John. “Through this project, Evernym will push the limits of the emerging decentralized key management system technology to deliver a high level of comfort to the public and American businesses as they integrate blockchain technologies into their technology portfolio.”

Initiated in 2004, the DHS S&T SBIR program is a competitive contract awards program that increases the participation of innovative and creative U.S. small businesses in federal research-and-development (R&D) initiatives and facilitates private-sector commercialization of SBIR-funded solutions. A SBIR Phase II awardee continues its R&D from a completed Phase I project that successfully affirms the scientific and technical merit and feasibility of a proposed effort. S&T’s CSD leverages the SBIR program to fund small business development of new and enhanced cybersecurity solutions. For more about the S&T SBIR program, visit /science-and-technology/sbir.

CSD is part of S&T’s Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency. Its mission is to enhance the security and resilience of the nation’s critical information infrastructure and the Internet by developing and delivering new technologies, tools and techniques to defend against cyberattacks. The division conducts and supports technology transitions and leads and coordinates R&D among the R&D community, which includes DHS customers, government agencies, the private sector and international partners. For more information about CSD, visit https://www.dhs.gov/cyber-research.

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