Government Business Is in the Cards

Providing access control systems to government facilities may initially appear intimidating. However, closer inspection reveals the market is not that different from commercial clients. The trick is grasphing standards such as HSPD 12 and FIPS 201, and offering solutions compatible with both legacy and future systems.

[IMAGE]12086[/IMAGE]Here’s the solution. Besides aiding implementation, multitechnology readers are available to create flexibility in the transition while allowing federal facilities to leverage the use of the thousands of proximity cards already being used.

With a multicredential reader being installed at every door, these facilities are able to flexibly plan for the future, using their present proximity cards today and migrating to the FIPS 201 smart cards when budgets and time reach their nexus. Your government customer can upgrade on their preferred timelines, not due to the whim of a technology mandate that forces a “now or never” alternative.

Implementation and integration resulting from multicredential readers is nondisruptive. Lastly, but most importantly, the needs of the government for the future demand them.

Evaluating Multicredential Readers

Not just any multitechnology reader will do the job. There are certain things the government demands in a multicredential reader. Here are some questions to ask in selecting the right reader for your government customer:

  1.  Does the reader read both 13.56MHz smart cards as well as 125KHz proximity cards?
  2. Does the reader read a variety of proximity cards from different companies, including all the popular ones such as HID, Schlage, GE/Casi, Lenel and AWID?
  3. Is there a specific Wiegand communication to the access control panel?
  4. Does the reader read a variety of smart card technologies such as MIFARE, EV1, the PIV (of course), Schlage and iCLASS?
  5. Can the readers be sold and installed as a complete system from the factory with specific FIPS 201-compliant components including the lock, panel interface and reader?
  6. Are the readers field-configurable?
  7. If wireless, does the reader provide secure encrypted data transmission?
  8. Are the readers available in both mullion and wall-mount configurations so that the right format can be used in each specific access point?
  9. For those government customers using PINs, is there a keypad version available?
  10. Does the reader provide a lifetime warranty?
  11. Do the locks meet ANSI/BHMA Grade 1 requirements? Most government facilities insist on this.
  12. Does the reader provide installation features that will help you during implementation?
  • Does the reader feature identical wiring colors/scheme to other popular readers?
  • Does it provide a standard 75-bit default data format but there can be a optional full 200-bit format available?
  • Does it provide seamless replacement with similar form, fit and function?
  • Will it be plug-and-play with any panel that accepts a Wiegand reader?

Why the Time to Strike Is Now

Waiting to go after federal customers to sell readers is not a good idea. The window is closing. Here’s why.

This past Feb. 3, Jacob Lew, director of the Executive Office of the President, Office of Management and Budget, sent out a memo to all government offices titled, “Continued Implementation of Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD) 12 — Policy for a Common Identification Standard for Federal Employees and Contractors.” It basically reiterated what was mentioned at the beginning of this article.

However, in a key paragraph, the director states (points of emphasis italicized by author): ” … the majority of the federal workforce is now in possession of the credentials, an
d therefore agencies are in a position to aggressively step up their efforts to use the electronic capabilities of the credentials. To that end, and as the DHS memorandum further explains, each agency is to develop and issue an implementation policy, by March 31, 2011, through which the agency will require the use of the PIV credentials as the common means of authentication for access to that agency’s facilities, networks, and information systems.”

Hence, the time to start contacting the federal offices in your region is now. But, that’s not all.

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