Enterprises Should Follow U.S. Federal Government Standards, Processes for Employee ID Cards, Says Smart Card Alliance Identity Council White Paper

Enterprises Should Follow U.S. Federal Government Standards, Processes for Employee ID Cards, Says Smart Card Alliance Identity Council White Paper

The U.S. federal government is currently implementing FIPS 201 PIV cards

PRINCETON JUNCTION, N.J., October 8, 2008–Implementing employee badges following the same standards as those issued by the U.S. federal government would greatly benefit enterprises, the Smart Card Alliance Identity Council says in a new white paper released today. The processes and technical specifications now being implemented throughout the U.S. federal government–called Federal Information Processing Standard Publication 201 (FIPS 201), Personal Identity Verification (PIV) of Federal Employees and Contractors–should be regarded as a best practice by enterprises in designing and implementing their own identity management programs.

“Enterprises have always issued employees ID badges that offer visual means of identity, and access cards to gain entry into corporate facilities. Now with increasing risk of security breaches and new regulatory requirements to protect sensitive information systems, many are reevaluating their identity management practices,” said Randy Vanderhoof, executive director of the Smart Card Alliance. “The U.S. federal government has spent nearly five years creating and implementing a standardized identity management framework for federal workers, and enterprises could highly benefit in terms of security and cost from following their lead.”

The white paper, Using FIPS 201 and the PIV Card for the Corporate Enterprise, is available for free by visiting the Identity Council page on the Smart Card Alliance Web site. It provides a high level overview of the FIPS 201 standard and a summary of the benefits of considering this standard as a starting point for achieving identity assurance and access control across the corporate enterprise.

“Following the example set by the U.S. federal government and developing a standardized process of issuing employee badges would be a major step forward for enterprises,” said Vanderhoof. “Beyond making enterprises more secure, this kind of standardization would simplify implementation by driving the industry to develop products, applications, processes, and practices that meet the standard and are interoperable. These benefits and more are detailed in the white paper.”

The report was developed by the Smart Card Alliance Identity Council and Physical Access Council. Smart Card Alliance member companies that contributed to this report include: Hirsch Electronics; IDmachines, LLC; Identification Technology Partners; Lockheed Martin; Northrop Grumman Corporation; SAIC; Thales e-Security; Tyco International; and Unisys.

About the Smart Card Alliance

The Smart Card Alliance is a not-for-profit, multi-industry association working to stimulate the understanding, adoption, use and widespread application of smart card technology.

Through specific projects such as education programs, market research, advocacy, industry relations and open forums, the Alliance keeps its members connected to industry leaders and innovative thought. The Alliance is the single industry voice for smart cards, leading industry discussion on the impact and value of smart cards in the U.S. and Latin America. For more information please visit