Federal Information

The new personal identification verification or PIV system cards have wrought a vast change and some of these, which relate to a university campus setting, are described in the sequel. First, these new cards contain an embedded microprocessor, which enables them, unlike the previous ID cards that only contained static data; to export, import and process data, while interacting with other systems. The exchange of such information is sufficiently stringent to make them far more effective in establishing identity in comparison to the traditional ID cards.

Secondly, the capability of these new cards to process information permits not only the exchange of information but also the updating of information. This competence makes these cards invaluable in the electronic maintenance of records pertaining to financial and other services (Electronic government agencies face challenges in implementing new federal employee identification standards : report to the Chairman Committee on Government Reform House of Representatives, 2006. Pp. 5 – 6).

Thirdly, smart cards, unlike the previous ID cards; significantly improve the security of an organization by controlling user access to an organization’s computer networks. This is a very important improvement over the ID cards system, because previously, the main method of access was by means of user identifiers and passwords, which could be easily ascertained.

The new method involving smart cards, is a substantial improvement, because access is provided only after the smart card has been read by the appropriate data authenticating card reader, in addition to a user id and password (Electronic government agencies face challenges in implementing new federal employee identification standards : report to the Chairman Committee on Government Reform House of Representatives, 2006. Pp. 5 – 6). Fourthly, these new cards have to include a Personal Identification Number or PIN, digital certificate, fingerprint images and the card holder’s unique ID or CHUID.

This is a significant improvement over the previous ID cards. In some instances a cardholder’s digitalized photograph may also be incorporated, in order to facilitate the identification process. Fifthly, these PIV cards afford the same type of authenticity as the identity credentials employed by the army and employees of the Department of Defense, civilian employees and contractors (MacGregor, Dutcher, & Khan, 2006). PART TWO The advantages attendant upon the badging process in universities are set out below. Students, staff and employees of the university are afforded protection.

The universities’ property is safeguarded from hazards like physical damage, theft and other dangers. The university is protected from any danger that may arise due to compromising of the select agents who have been entrusted to it. Safeguarding of the people as well as structures from acts of terrorism. The security ID badge cannot be used by individuals to whom it has not been issued and its validity is only for the period mentioned on it (Security ID Badges, 2007). Despite these advantages, security issues continue to generate significant apprehension.

Accordingly, a number of standards were developed and the FIPS standard that relates to either hardware, software or their combination provides for extremely stringent standards of security. The design of such cards is governed by the provisions of the FIPS (Common Criteria and Federal Information Processing Standard 140 (FIPS 140)).

References

Common Criteria and Federal Information Processing Standard 140 (FIPS 140). (n. d. ). Electronic government agencies face challenges in implementing new federal employee identification standards : report to the Chairman Committee on Government Reform House of Representatives.(2006. Pp. 5 – 6).

DIANE Publishing . ISBN: 1428930124. MacGregor, W. , Dutcher, W. , & Khan, J. (2006, October). An Ontology of Identity Credentials Part 1: Background and Formulation. Retrieved October 6, 2007, from Information Technology Laboratory National Institute of Standards and Technology: http://csrc. nist. gov/publications/drafts/sp800-103-draft. pdf Security ID Badges. (2007, April). Retrieved October 7, 2007, from http://process. umn. edu/groups/ppd/documents/Policy/SecurityBadge_pol. cfm? view=all