November 2010


The handwriting has been on the wall. Multi-function access cards are inevitable...

...and it’s now clear that multi-function cards will do for the access card what the iPhone has done for the mobile phone. The iPhone transformed the mobile phone from a necessary communication tool into a positive life experience. That was based on the breadth and depth of the new applications it brought. Quietly over the last few years, Axcess International, an Advantage HID Connect® partner company, has been working on a similar concept, to open up a whole portfolio of new enterprise uses by extending the range over which the cards can operate. The net outcome has been a Wireless ID, which is an access card that can act independently as an ID card and a sensor that is automatically identified in and around a local facility without the need for the ID card holder to ever present it to a reader.

At this year’s ASIS in Dallas, the latest version of the Axcess Dot Wireless ID was announced and demonstrated. The solution includes HID Prox and iCLASS® interoperability on the same card. Wireless ID, or MicroWirelessTM as it is technically called, brings with it a host of local area wireless-based applications for increased security, safety and productivity. These applications include: emergency evacuation accounting, internal security checks; visitor tracking; man-down safety alerts; safety compliance reporting; contractor time and attendance capture; and asset custodianship. Each of these has been proven-in not only from a technical point of view or as upgrades to electronic access card systems, but also as stand-alone applications. The point is that the ROI for these applications has been proven-in, most with break-even points in six months. And as a result, the single function access control card will never be the same.

And as far as multi-function access cards go with enterprise solutions, I think the phrase is: “there’s an app for that.”


Did you ever hear anyone say something like: “How long will my car last if I don’t change the oil?

Hmmm…I should call Ford and find out.”

If your company is thinking of investing in your own photo ID card printing systems, or maybe you already made the leap into the world of instantly issuing employee badges, you have probably asked the question…”how long will it last”?

In my five years at HID Global as a Regional Sales Manager for FARGO products, I have often heard questions very similar to this: What is the 1) MTBF (mean time between failures), 2) life expectancy, 3) number of years I can expect out of the printer.

When I speak with Authorized Service Providers in my territory, I hear a number of tremendous stories that speak volumes to the quality we strive for with our products. An online post from one of our long time FARGO partners serves as an illustration of these types of stories:

“Wow! We have some impressive stories from our repair shop! Yesterday we got a FARGO C25 that was giving the customer a hard time. When our technician checked it, she realized the problem: the card count was 59,000 cards and 0 (zero) cleaning. All it took was a good cleaning! That shows how great these printers are.”

Cleaning your FARGO printer is probably the single most important thing you can do to get many years out of your photo ID card printer. For the record, we recommend cleaning the printer after every 1,000 cards printed and involves cleaning of parts such as the card path, card path rollers and printhead using the cleaning kits available for sale by HID Global. Printer inspection and/or servicing is recommended after every 50,000 cards printed which potentially involves the replacement of mechanical parts such as, but not limited to, rollers, belts, pulleys and o-rings.

So, just as you would change the oil in your car to keep it running smoothly, you should regularly clean your printer to get the return on investment you are looking for.

<br /> <a href="//"">">Out of curiosity, how often you clean your printer?</a><span style="font-size:9px;"><a href="//"">">survey software</a></span><br />

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Last week I highlighted some of the 2011 megatrends presented at the HID Global strategy briefing at this year’s ASIS show.

One of the major trends was the movement to virtualized credentials, where a credential is now being defined as the identity of an individual versus simply as the access card itself. During the briefing, Dr. Selva Selvaratnam, senior vice president and chief technology officer with HID Global said “We often confuse ‘identity’ with the technology or the card that carries it, but the identity can be taken away from the card”. This new way of viewing credentials/identity marks a tipping point in the access control industry, where the use of virtualized credentials requires us to think differently about the fundamental delivery of secure identity solutions and management of those identities.
For example, in a new, virtualized credential model, users are enabled to carry their credential on a number of form factors, such as a mobile phone, a USB stick and other media - instead the credential being limited to just a card. This creates a higher level of convenience and flexibility for the user, along with the question of how authentication is managed to ensure a trusted identity using this model.

To answer this question, Selva first highlighted the three forms of authentication typically used today:

• Who you are - simply recognizing someone (or biometrics ID and role-based authentication)

• What you have - a badge, a card or a key that permits access

• What you know - a PIN number to open a door, or a username/password for computer access

Selva also introduced ‘where you are’ as an emerging fourth dimension in authentication. “New credentials like mobile phones will be able to transmit back securely where you are,” said Selva. “If the phone becomes the carrier of the identity and supports GPS, then there are greater possibilities for granting high-security levels of access based on location”.

While the concept of virtualized credentials introduces a new layer of authentication, it raises even more questions around trusted identity and interoperability. For instance, if a user’s identity resides on a mobile phone, how can you be sure that device is trusted and secure? Or if a user loses a USB stick that houses his/her identity, how do you end-of-life that device while not affecting that user’s identity/credential on their mobile phone?

HID’s Trusted Identity Platform (TIP) addresses these issues. TIP is an HID Global innovation that is a framework for creating, delivering and managing secure identities in a virtualized credential environment. In simple terms, TIP is a central, secure vault that serves known endpoints, such as credentials, readers and printers, in a bounded-type system, where all the devices attached to it are known and therefore trusted to exchange information securely.

Watch Selva’s ASIS strategy briefing video to learn more about TIP and other upcoming HID Global products and technology discussed during the strategy briefing.

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<br /> <a href="//"">">On what devices do you think virtualized credentials will be the most popular?</a><span style="font-size:9px;"><a href="//"">">customer surveys</a></span><br />


This was a busy and exciting year for HID Global at ASIS International with a number of key product releases around our new high-frequency and dual-frequency migration solutions... well as strategy announcements of our partnership with Sony and HID’s agreement to acquire ActivIdentity. I would like to thank everyone who stopped our booth to learn about all of the new and exciting HID solutions and those who attended our strategy session where HID president and CEO Denis Hèbert highlighted some of the megatrends he is seeing for 2011.

The briefing presented futuristic concepts for identity management and access control and it was full of useful information. My main take-away from it was that there’s a lot more involved in the business of access control than there used to be.

What do I mean by that?

Denis discussed a number of trends influencing the market that are fundamentally shifting the way we will think about access control in the future. First, he discussed the growing use of a single credential for multiple applications. Not only was he referring to the widely-discussed convergence of physical access and logical access control, but also the move to adding even more applications, such as vending and open- and closed-looped payment transactions, to that same credential. Moving into the future, he said the concept of a ‘federated’ identity that can be shared across potential use scenarios is where the market is heading.

Another major trend highlighted by Denis is credential virtualization, where a credential is now being defined as an identifier of an individual versus being defined as the access card itself. “So the question for 2011 will be how to take that credential and use it somewhere else, in a different form factor,” said Denis. “Virtual credentials can be widely available and much more convenient, where they will no longer need to be physically distributed to end users. Instead, these credentials can be deployed to whatever media you choose, such as mobile phones and other mobile devices.”
Denis closed with the fact that the engine behind these trends will be a new focus on the trust of interoperability. For example, if an individual is using a credential for a variety of applications and their identity no longer on a card but instead is housed on a mobile device such a mobile phone, how can we be sure it is a trusted, secure device? Stay tuned for HID’s chief technology officer Dr. Selva Selvaratnam’s response to this pressing question.

Watch HID Global president and CEO Denis Hèbert’s strategy briefing video for his complete outlook on 2011 megatrends.

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<br /> <a href="//"">">What do you see as the futuristic concepts for identity management and access control?</a><span style="font-size:9px;"><a href="//"">">online surveys</a></span><br />