News Feature | June 14, 2016

Securing Federal Identity 2016 Focused On Cybersecurity, Authentication

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

Federal Security Authentication

Leading identity security showcase to be held June 6 in Washington, D.C.

The Smart Card Alliance held Securing Federal Identity 2016 recently, focusing on cybersecurity and authentication. The event featured federal government and security industry leaders addressing the adoption of strong authentication platforms in government, PIV credentials, and physical and logical access control, as well as updates from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the General Services Administration (GSA).

The keynote speaker for the event was Chuck Romine, director of the Information Technology Laboratory at NIST, which oversees all identity related standards and implementation guidelines for the federal government. The program also included speakers from the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Treasury, Department of Defense, OMB, GSA, NIST, the U.S. Navy and other organizations.

An identity management and access control vendor showcase allowed attendees to learn more about innovative security products and services enabling secure federal identities today and in the future.

On June 7, the Smart Card Alliance’s three identity and access security member councils— Access Control, Health and Human Services, and Identity —held a joint meeting at the Alliance’s National Center for Advanced Payments and Identity Security, in Arlington, VA to discuss their roles in the federal government identity market, opportunities and challenges in access control in the commercial markets, key developments impacting the identity and healthcare markets, and discuss priorities and projects for the second half of 2016.

Last month, the Smart Card Alliance published a new infographic, Healthcare 2.0: A New Paradigm for a Secure and Streamlined Healthcare Industry, “That depicts the impact of smart card technology on the future of healthcare identity authentication and also suggests some solutions to current challenges via interoperability, multi-factor authentication, and increased security. And in February, the Smart Card Alliance Health and Human Services council produced a white paper that outlined a vision for healthcare identity authentication and payments convergence to help the healthcare community migrate to EMV.

Healthcare faces some particular challenges in this transition, since it deals with not only sensitive payment information but also sensitive personal and health information as well. “As the healthcare industry examines ways to increase security and reduce fraud, stakeholders should look at leveraging smart card technology, including the smart card terminal infrastructure supporting EMV payment cards being put in place today,” explained Randy Vanderhoof, executive director of the Smart Card Alliance. “This white paper details how adopting EMV payment acceptance systems and smart card technology-based identity authentication solutions can allow healthcare organizations to increase security, decrease payment vulnerability, reduce fraud, and improve workflow.”