Smart IDs could soon control physical access

The number of government workers with smart identification cards has reached a critical mass that could allow the credentials to cross over from logical to physical access control.

So far, much of the effort with the Defense Department’s Common Access Card and its civilian equivalent, the Personal Identity Verification card, has been in getting them into people’s hands, said Chris Broderick, chief executive officer of CoreStreet. “What is fundamental is that the impetus be shifted from rollout and enrollment to start leveraging the cards.”

Using a single set of credentials for access to both physical facilities and information technology systems was the whole idea behind mandating the CAC and PIV cards. But converging those two universes, which have been built on separate infrastructures with different standards and technologies, has not come about overnight.

The CAC program now is mature, PIV is coming along, and similar programs are putting smart cards into the hands of first responders and transportation workers at secure facilities. With these advances, Broderick said he is confident that the next 12 to 18 months will see the broader use of the cards for both physical and logical access.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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