Compatibility dictates rollout of emergency responder, port IDs

Compatibility issues are dictating the rollout speed of ongoing, large-scale deployments of biometric identification cards for emergency responders and port workers, according to panelists who spoke Thursday at a government credentialing conference.

One such "smart card" program coordinated by the Homeland Security Department is intended to give federal, state, and county public-safety officials -- and recovery personnel -- quick access to government buildings in the event of a terrorist attack or other disaster.

The concept was designed in part to eliminate the obstacles that threw off state and local emergency officials responding to the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the Pentagon.

"While the initial event is catastrophic, the importance is not just how quickly do you respond to it but how quickly do you recover" economically, said Sal D'Agostino, who is with the ID management firm CoreStreet. "Interoperability is very important in these first recovery [areas]."

Homeland Security also is at work deploying uniform smart cards for maritime personnel who must enter restricted areas of vessels and port facilities.

An estimated 750,000 or more people will be required to use the transportation worker identification credential, referred to as TWIC. The IDs are supposed to prevent unauthorized, unescorted individuals from harming the nautical transportation system.

John Schwartz of the Transportation Security Administration said the joint TSA-Coast Guard TWIC program is still developing biometric reader specifications to ensure compatibility between the cards and various commercial readers.

"We have to make sure that whatever we do, we do not adversely affect commerce" or privacy, he said. "Those challenges have really shaped many of the decisions."

In deploying the card-check systems, the difficulty is not huge infrastructure investments but making sure the cards and card reader can talk to each other.

D'Agostino said: "I would maintain you don't need any new infrastructure. ... You don't need the database" to check if the card is valid.

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

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

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download

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