Among the most pressing concerns of governments around the world today are increasing the security and improving the efficiency of their ID programs.
These concerns have spawned a new breed of national identity credential: documents that not only represent the visible form of complex, interrelated identification systems, but that are also the platform for service delivery and for leveraging future technology innovations.
With advanced ID credentials now playing a key role in helping governments protect their citizens and borders, systems integration has never been more important. Each component of any government ID program -- from card design and data capture to enrollment and issuance -- is inextricably interlinked; therefore, the quality and interoperability of each of these components is vital to the integrity of the entire government-to-citizen ID program ecosystem.
Delivering such a genuinely integrated program is both a critical element as well as one of the major challenges facing government ID programs today. Coupled with the exponential growth forecasted for the government ID solutions market, this challenge also presents a significant growth opportunity for HID Global. And our acquisition of LaserCard in 2011 enables HID to offer a complete portfolio of integrated products, solutions and services, capturing an even larger slice of the end-to-end government-to-citizen ID projects that are on the rise.
At the same time, HID Global is driving the market's transition from single-function, single technology ID credentials to the more sophisticated multi-technology, multi-purpose authentication documents that are growing in demand. Take Italy's Carabinieri (National Police) card, used for building entry, health and other services, or the Saudi Arabia national ID card, which can accommodate border crossing, banking and access to government services. HID Global's technology is at the core of both of these programs, brought to us through our LaserCard acquisition.
Looking ahead, our integrated Government ID Solutions portfolio uniquely positions HID Global to be the number one provider for a majority of future government-to-citizen ID projects for e-passport, national ID, foreign resident, worker ID, healthcare ID, vehicle registration and other programs around the world.
Already, HID Global participates in major government ID projects in over 28 countries worldwide. Do you have a German National ID card or an Italian Citizen ID card? How about a U.S. Permanent Resident Card (Green Card)? Did you know they contain HID Global technology?
Geographically, Southwest China enjoys vast natural resources, including water & natural gas, & there are quite a few hydroelectric power plants that have been established due to the region's rich water resources.
These plants are often located in remote areas with numerous entry points and limited management staff. As a result, these plants require restricted access to high risk and hazardous areas, such as underground sites, explosives store rooms or operating machinery rooms. To address these security challenges, HID Global has a centralized, web-based IP access control solution for high security, real-time monitoring and remote area control.
Let's take our recent installation at Fuxi Power Plant in the Sichuan Province as an example. HID deployed its VertX V2000 network access controllers, iCLASS R10 contactless readers and credentials in the 140 acre (57 hectares) power plant. By connecting VertX V2000 controllers to the host computer via a TCP/IP network, the authorized staff can now monitor the door status at the central station in real-time. In the case where a door has been left open or when a tamper alarm occurs, the access control system can identify the incident type and location so that the security administrator can remotely close the doors for safety management. Such remote management capability has substantially reduced patrol deployment time and increased overall operational efficiency.
The access control system also enabled access level settings at critical entry zones, such as main production plant, engine room, central station and chemical waste areas. The system restricts entry to specific areas at specific times, grants access to critical zones to authorized personnel only and sets staff access levels and entry times based on job titles. For example, access to the chemical waste area is restricted to certain trained staff, and the administrator can now establish access rights to prevent unauthorized entry and ensure occupational safety.
The importance of securing China's utility infrastructures will not diminish in the years ahead. Indeed, as some resources grow scarce, the need to secure information and limit physical access to natural resources will become greater. The challenge is to achieve the required level of security without forgoing convenience and efficiency, and this is where the value of today's security technologies from HID Global will become increasingly apparent.
Over the years, there has been an increasing demand for implementing secure government identification programs around the world, and this has created a new generation of advanced electronic Government ID credentials for e-visas, national ID cards, healthcare and more.
Driven by considerations of cost, security and streamlined service delivery, another trend is moving to mainstream: the multi-purpose, multi-functional ID card that goes beyond proof of identity to fulfill additional functions, such as entry to a facility, online services access, or border crossing.
In order to perform multiple levels and types of authentication in different scenarios, a number of technologies must be used. These may include contact or contactless IC chips, RFID tags, inlay materials and wire transfer technology, plus unique credential constructions, counterfeit-resistant optical security media, and embedded hologram technology.
Common elements among these programs are the provision for an additional "visual" security layer that enables reliable credential authentication with the human eye. This is a vital element helping such multi-purpose cards retain their security and effectiveness when technology resources such as card readers or network connections are unavailable.
Maintaining compliance with international standards is even more challenging when accommodating multiple technologies in a single card. Card manufacturers must take into account materials science, ISO and other standards, the lamination of complex structures plus resistance to stresses including attempts at physical alteration, inconsiderate handling or extreme weather conditions.
The requirements for delivering such programs are highly demanding. To ensure a successful outcome, government customers must ask a great deal of their providers: a holistic, system-wide approach; deep design skills; proven industry expertise and technical capabilities; constant innovation; and adherence to international standards. Nevertheless, the success stories are beginning to emerge. Multi-functional cards are in use today in major ID programs such as the German National ID card, the Italian Carabinieri ID card, Saudi Arabia's National ID card, and the new generation U.S. Green Card that utilize HID Global's LaserCard technology.
If you are attending CARTES this week at in Las Vegas, stop our booth #405 to learn more about these programs that are currently using HID Global technology, and check out our government ID booth demonstrations. I will also be giving a talk at the conference on Wednesday, March 7th at 11:30 a.m. on the evolution of smart cards to powerful multi-technology ID credentials for government-to-citizen ID programs. It would be great for you to attend and join the discussion.