Interoperability is an access problem

Any access-control system probably will have to work with a wide variety of applications, some of them off-the-shelf, some homegrown, some up-to-date and some legacies. This will require a lot of integration and in all likelihood some modification of whatever software you buy to manage access.

These issues put a premium on interoperability and customer support from vendors. Agencies are looking to industry for guidance in implementing systems that will leverage new HSPD-12 PIV cards.

The industry is responding to these demands with the HSPD-12 Interoperability Consortium. The consortium held its first meeting in June with an initial roster of nine vendors offering PKI, physical access, ID management and auditing solutions.

The group's goals are to develop and test an end-to-end interoperable system and establish an interoperability testing lab. The lab will be hosted by SafeNet to test preconfigured, end-to-end multivendor turnkey solutions.

Founding members, and their specialties, are:


Smart cards, authentication and encryption systems

Consul Risk Management Inc.

Security audit and compliance

CoreStreet Ltd.

Integration and identity management software

Entrust Inc.

Certificate authority, shared-services provider and encryption tools

Forum Systems Inc.

Secured systems architecture

Precise Biometrics Inc.

Biometric tools

Probaris Technologies Inc.

Secured business process solutions

Intercede Group PLC

Smart card management

Omnikey GmbH>

Smart-card readers.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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