Secure Access Control Begins with Smart ID Cards, According to New White Paper Published by Smart Card Alliance

Secure Access Control Begins with Smart ID Cards, According to New White Paper Published by Smart Card Alliance

Princeton Junction, NJ, July 15, 2003–Government agencies and commercial businesses alike are attracted to the dual advantages of higher security and more applications when using smart ID cards, generating more interest and numerous implementations here in the United States, according to a new Smart Card Alliance white paper released today.

“There are two important needs driving both the government and commercial sectors to converge on smart cards for access control. One is the need for more secure credentials, and the other is the requirement to do more to secure information systems and networks,” said Randy Vanderhoof, executive director of the Smart Card Alliance.

“Now that information security is a boardroom issue and not just a technical issue, organizations are starting to do something about it. They are introducing a new generation of smart IDs that use the embedded computer chip for active security and anti-counterfeiting measures, biometrics and network authentication. One of the most important aspects of this is that these credentials can be machine verified, putting security past the realm of ‘looking good’ to a human inspector and into the realm of an encrypted, digitally signed and virtually counterproof credential, an advantage that is very attractive to the U.S. government,” concluded Vanderhoof.

“Using Smart Cards for Secure Physical Access White Paper” provides a comprehensive look at physical access control systems that use a smart ID card for personal identification. Designed as an educational overview for decision makers and security planners, it describes physical access system architecture and components, describes different options for choosing contact and contactless smart card technologies and provides guidance on key implementation considerations such as combining multiple technologies and migration strategies from other ID technologies.

The white paper also includes brief profiles of the smart card implementations at Sun Microsystems, Microsoft, American Express and the U.S. Department of State and planned smart card programs at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Transportation Security Administration.

Individuals from 28 organizations, both public and private, were involved in the development of the white paper. Lead contributors included representatives from ActivCard, ASSA ABLOY ITG, eID Security, EDS, Hitachi America Ltd., IBM, MGM Security Consulting, NASA, Northrop Grumman Information Technology, Honeywell Access Systems (OmniTek), SC Solutions, SCM Microsystems, Transportation Security Administration, U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security, U.S. Dept. of State, U.S. Dept. of Transportation/Volpe Center and XTec Incorporated.

The report, written for executives and managers, is available to both members and non-members at no charge at

The Smart Card Alliance will also be discussing information from the white paper during its “Smart Cards in Government 2003” conference and exhibition in Arlington, VA starting today. Alliance members and invited guests will be presenting perspectives on the rapidly growing use of smart cards as the security technology of choice for identity credentials throughout the Federal government during this event. Additional information and registration for the event are available at

About the Smart Card Alliance

The Smart Card Alliance is a not-for-profit, multi-industry association working to accelerate the acceptance 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. For more information please visit

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