Smart Card Alliance: Follow U.S. Standards, Processes for Employee ID Cards


Implementing employee badges that follow the same standards as those issued by the U.S. federal government would greatly benefit commercial firms, the Smart Card Alliance Identity Council says in a new white paper.

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, according to the report.

Enterprises have long issued employees ID badges that offer visual means of identity, plus access cards to gain entry into corporate facilities, says Randy Vanderhoof, executive director of the Smart Card Alliance. But nowadays the increasing risk of security breaches and new regulatory requirements to protect sensitive information systems are causing many businesses to reevaluate their identity management practices.

“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,” Vanderhoof says.

The report, titled “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 an overview of the FIPS 201 standard and a summary of the benefits of considering the standard as a starting point for achieving identity assurance and access control across the corporate enterprise.

“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,” Vanderhoof says.

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