Industry officials discuss plans for meeting federal ID standards

Security and technology experts on Wednesday discussed strategies that private manufacturers can implement to meet federal standards for government identification cards and security systems.

At the Smart Cards in Government Conference, industry officials said they are content with federal regulations for IDs and are optimistic of their ability to meet them.

The computer-security division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology in February issued standards for the development of ID cards for government employees. The proposed standards, known as FIPS 201, require that IDs function across jurisdictions so employees can use their cards to access buildings and pass security stations at other agencies.

FIPS 201 further would mandate that the IDs electronically obtain biometric information like fingerprints for employees and that such data be secure.

Robert Merkert of SCM Microsystems said he would like government agencies to provide certified test cards so companies can more effectively measure the performance of reading devices. He said the Defense Department already has issued such test cards, and he would like to see the General Services Administration and NIST do the same.

"This is something that would help us move forward," he said.

CoreStreet Chief Technology Officer David Engberg said agencies can streamline the deployment process of their ID systems by authenticating cardholders before they enroll in their programs. Periodic checks should be conducted after individuals are enrolled, he said.

Michael Neumann of StepNexus said technologies that operate on "contact-less" interfaces mostly have been able to function only as single-use applications. He said privacy standards prevent most contact-less cards from working in multiple environments.

By pre-configuring such devices to recognize different environments and adjust to them, he said, their capability can be dramatically improved.

"One of the advantages of living in a wireless world is the ability to build networks as they are needed," Neumann said.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.