A new industry association aimed at complying with the Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD) 12 policy for a common identification standard for federal employees and contractors has been launched in the US.
Known as the HSPD-12 Interoperability Consortium, the group comprises nine founding information security companies including:
The consortium’s goals are to provide a clear industry perspective to government agencies and system integrators; to offer an end-to-end interoperable HSPD-12 solution; to build a testing lab to demonstrate the preconfigured and pre-tested solution; and to ensure the solution is flexible to accommodate the future security needs of customers.
According to SafeNet (the main founder of the consortium): “The HSPD-12 Consortium will provide assurance of compliance and of interoperability between the many components required to meet the mandate including smartcards, PKI, middleware, card credential management system, biometrics and a physical access system.”
HSPD-12 was signed in August 2004 to address the threat of unauthorised access to physical facilities and logical IT assets. The primary objectives are the development and deployment of a Federal Government-wide common and reliable identification verification system that will be interoperable among all US government agencies and serve as the basis for reciprocity between those agencies. The compliance deadline is October 27, 2006.
“The idea to create a consortium was born out of a desire to work with other industry leaders towards a common goal of protecting the national interests of the US and assuring compliance with HSPD-12,” says Phil Saunders, general manager of SafeNet’s Borderless Security Business Unit. “The Consortium will focus on clear communication with government agencies and systems integrators on the mandate while working together to create an interoperable solution and building a testing lab that demonstrates the complete solution before the October deadline. Our goal is to remove confusion about the many pieces of HSPD-12 and make the job of system integrators and government agencies easier.”
Christer Bergman, CEO and president of Precise Biometrics adds: “We are very proud to be one of the companies chosen to participate in this consortium. Together we are confident that the consortium can create a solution that meets the US federal agencies’ requirements on increased security by using smart ID cards and biometrics.”