Online safety, security and privacy grab their share of the headlines as consumers and businesses grapple with a challenging problem.
How do you protect online users while allowing commerce to flow freely? This is more than an academic question. As United States Commerce Secretary Gary Locke noted in his remarks at the announcement of the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC), "The world does an estimated $10 trillion of business online."
Unfortunately, the ease of doing business online comes at a price. In the United States alone, more than 8 million Americans were the victims of identity theft or fraud last year, according to the Commerce Department. The cost: $37 billion.
The NSTIC proposes to build an identity ecosystem where consumers and businesses can conduct transactions in a trusted environment. What is most exciting for companies like HID Global is that the Strategy presents a significant business opportunity for innovative companies to take a leadership role in laying the groundwork for trusted identities in cyberspace.
In fact, HID Global presented its solutions at the recent national announcement of the Strategy that took place at the US Chamber of Commerce Headquarters in Washington, DC. During the event, two of our ActivIdentity colleagues, David Belchick and Edwin Betancourth, demonstrated how easily and securely a user can log onto their computer and into various Web sites. Want to check your bank balance and transfer funds, maybe pay a bill or two (or three or four)? We have an app for that! And it's available today!
Edwin and David showed attendees at the event, including folks from international banks, leading universities and government agencies, an app on a Blackberry that generated a one-time password for logging into a Web site. It was fast, easy and secure.
With worldwide mobile phone subscriptions at more than 4.6 billion, an app on a cell phone that delivers secure authentication capabilities has the potential to help consumers conduct their business online in a much more secure fashion and meet the goals of the NSTIC.
Those goals include everything from ensuring privacy protections to creating a governance structure. Overall, the Strategy aims to break down "the barriers that inhibit the adoption of more trustworthy identities in cyberspace." And industry will take the lead on implementing the NSTIC, with government playing a supporting role.
HID has been actively involved in addressing many of these issues, both from a policy perspective and a product/solution standpoint. In the coming months, the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) will be holding a series of workshops to address these barriers and much, much more. The first workshop is tentatively slated for June and it will cover governance issues and the second one will focus on privacy concerns.
HID will be at the table to contribute our knowledge and expertise on the development of a safe, secure and private cyber world. More to the point, our products and solutions will be part of a wide range of offerings that will help enable and make that world a reality.
Last week's ISC West was busier than ever for HID Global.
I would like to thank everyone who stopped by the booth and got acquainted with all of the new and exciting HID products and solutions we demonstrated during the show. The week was chock-full of announcements around up-and-coming products and new HID initiatives, including the unveiling of the next generation in access control --HID's iCLASS SE, along with our focus on sustainability that brings to market new eco-friendly cards, ENERGY STAR-rated printers, low consumption readers and much more. We also debuted our Federal Identity Compliance Initiative, which includes turnkey FIPS 201 compliance solutions that will make it easier for federal agencies to support recently mandated government identity-verification standards.
I am personally very excited about HID's next generation iCLASS SE platform in that it enables a new class of portable identity credentials that can be securely provisioned and safely embedded into fixed AND mobile devices. And those who stopped by our booth were privy to a sneak preview of what's to come: iCLASS SE drives a massive ecosystem of products that fuels revolutionary advances in how the access control industry will deliver and manage secure identity. Basically, HID's iCLASS SE platform changes everything...and these new products will be announced in the coming weeks and months so be sure to stay tuned for more information.
But best of all during the show, we had the opportunity to engage directly with so many HID partners and customers and hear direct feedback on how we are doing; we also had the opportunity to have interesting discussions on what's going on in the market and answer questions on what is in store for HID Global over the next several months, especially with our recent acquisitions of ActivIdentity and Lasercard.
In fact, those who attended the annual strategy briefing that was hosted by HID President and CEO Denis Hébert got to hear first-hand his insights on our growing solution ecosystem through these recent acquisitions and new HID product developments. In this vein, Denis also talked about HID's drive to extend the benefits of secure identity across more usage models and the growing importance of HID's Trusted Identity Platform as traditional models for access control give way to new form factors using virtualized credentials. As always, Denis also provided an HID business update and his view of the state of the market today.
We live in a world of ever-increasing complexity, both externally and within our business. New technologies, markets, acquisitions and corporate mergers are only a few of the constant changes we need to adapt to in order to be successful.
At HID Academy our task is to ease this process through training and education - and there's no shortage of things to learn! One of the many revelations arising from today's ever-changing business and technology landscape is the understanding that there's so much going on that no one person can be an expert in everything. It's easy to get overwhelmed with the sheer amount of information available, however it's important to embrace curiosity and develop an enthusiastic approach to learning.
Elements within every area of business can be applied elsewhere in order to become more efficient, more creative, or to find inspiring new approaches to problem solving. For example, concepts from lean manufacturing can be applied to the organization of our training and other teams, understanding R&D process can offer an analytical approach to the sales cycle... the cross-pollination of ideas from one part of our business to another is endless!
The more we learn about all aspects of our business, the better suited we are to serve our customers and offer them the best possible experience. At HID Global, we know that trainers are also students - there isn't a day that goes by when we don't learn something new, and that's one of the most exciting things about working with the exceptional group here.
Assa Abloy completed its acquisition of LaserCard and we became part of HID Global on January 28th.
The early weeks of the integration process are going well. Already there are many intra-company engagements getting started focused on the process of leveraging the opportunities that come from the combination.
The LaserCard team is looking forward to continuing the participation in the worldwide market for government ID as part of a larger, diversified organization. And we know that our customers and partners will be pleased with the ultimate value proposition enhancements that the combined HID Global team can deliver to the market.
LaserCard has a 42 year history of developing differentiated technologies that address market opportunities and needs. Over the past 20 years, we have been focused on applying our technology to address the needs of the Secure Identity marketplace and we are pleased with the trust that our partners and customers have placed in us. We have noted several achievements on our path as we have evolved our company including the development of our unique Identity technology (optical security media), many manufacturing innovations in advanced materials and processes, and a robust portfolio of government ID programs that we are privileged to support. We now have the opportunity to make a more significant impact by leveraging HID's innovation expertise, strong market momentum and global reach since no other company offers a comparable breadth of products, technologies and service capabilities for the government e-identity segment.
These are exciting times for LaserCard and HID Global.