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HID Global executive says combining biometrics with PIV cards improves airport security


In a column in GSN Magazine, HID Global VP of sales Bill Spence discussed how airport security can be further improved by combining the use of Personal Identity Verification (PIV) cards with biometric authentication technology.

PIV cards benefit from the Public/Private Key Infrastructure (PKI)-based validation process, in which a digital certificate containing the user’s data and access levels is embedded in the PIV card.

According to Spence, PKI strong authentication is a “highly efficient and interoperable strong authentication method for both logical and physical access control… which can be implemented at lower cost throughout the airport with CIV [Commercial Identity Verification] cards.”

In the report, Spence makes a case for improving airport security through a combination of fingerprint recognition, smart card reader, PKI and digital signature technologies.

He uses the example of Baltimore/Washington International (BWI) Airport, which in 2013, deployed HID Global’s Lumidigm multispectral fingerprint sensors to control access to the tarmac.

HID Global’s Lumidigm high-performance biometrics sensors are used in combination with the airport’s access control system to simplify the identity verification process while ensuring that authenticated users are the same individuals that were originally issued the cards.

BWI’s system accommodates tens of thousands of transactions per day, enabling airport security to overcome the fingerprint capture issues that conventional imaging systems often face in less-than-ideal conditions.

Spence also recommends using liveness detection technology and spoof-prevention techniques to prevent fraudsters from using fake fingerprints to access to the system.

In the end, the combination of a smart card, PIN and biometric with liveness detection can greatly enhance an airport’s security measures and bring the “possibility of fraud and identity theft close to zero,” writes Spence.

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