Looking ahead: Federal Mobility Predictions for 2012


As the access control industry moves to a new, more secure and flexible smart card data structure...

...new possibilities will surface for mobile access in the federal government space. Here are a few thoughts around what we could start to see in the industry as the adoption of Near Field Communications (NFC) technology continues to grow.

Government employees and contractors will be able to carry their Common Access Cards (CACs) and Personal Identity Verification (PIV) cards on their phones.

Today's more secure identity data structure will make it possible for CACs and PIV cards to be embedded into smartphones and other mobile devices NFC technology, where users will be able to simply present their phones to a door reader to open door locks.

As CACs and PIV cards move to smartphones, it will redefine how CACs and PIV cards are issued.

With the CACs and PIV cards carried on phones and other mobile devices, users can be issued credentials over the air, within a secure boundary, using cloud-based identity provisioning. This will be more expedient and convenient for card users and issuers, alike.

The ability to carry CACs and PIV cards on smartphones will also drive a new access control infrastructure model.

The typical smartphone has the on-board intelligence to perform most of the tasks that otherwise would be jointly executed by reader and server or panel. As access control moves to mobile devices, it will also be possible to deploy inexpensive yet highly secure access systems for applications like interior doors, filing cabinets and storage units.

The combination of today's more secure identity data structure with a new mobile credential issuance and management model will further improve identity security.

HSPD-12 mandated that U.S. government agencies must upgrade their physical and logical access control systems to provide federal employees and contractors with more secure and reliable forms of identification using PIV credentials. The emerging mobile access control model will provide an additional layer of security by enabling credential issuers to continuously monitor and modify security parameters; eliminate the risk of credential copying, issue temporary credentials; and cancel credentials when mobile devices are lost or stolen.

NFC-enabled smartphones will also become a convergence platform for other access control applications.

HSPD-12 also established the federal government's vision for future converged logical and physical security. NFC-enabled smartphones offer an ideal platform for this convergence. They will be able to leverage today's digital credential data structure to support any piece of information. This will further enhance the value and utility of CAC and PIV credentials.

Stay tuned for more as NFC technology continues to open new possibilities for mobile access across a wide span of public and commercial markets.