Mobile, Online and Healthcare Identity Security Challenges Can be Solved With
Smart Card Technology, Speakers Agree at Smart Card Alliance Government
11th Annual Smart Card Alliance Government Conference, Washington, D.C., Nov.
29, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Advances in technology mean more digital and
mobile lifestyles that bring identity and security challenges to government,
enterprise and healthcare markets -- challenges that can be solved with smart
card technology, speakers said yesterday at the 11^th Annual Smart Card
Alliance Government Conference. The conference, known as the leading event
for ID security, is being held through today at the Walter E. Washington
Convention Center in Washington, DC.
National Identity Management
National identity ecosystems were the topic as Jeremy Grant, senior executive
advisor for Identity Management for NIST and Pierre Boucher, deputy chief
information officer for the Government of Canada, took the stage for their
Grant updated the audience on the progress of the proposed U.S. identity
ecosystem, the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC),
for which he heads the program office. The need for better online identity
security is clear, Grant said, citing an annual 2011 Verizon/Secret Service
data breach study that said 6 out of the 7 top methods for cyberattacks
involved targeting weak passwords, while the number of Americans affected by
data breaches rose by 67 percent, and the total cost of data breaches was 37
Grant said implementation of NSTIC is progressing at "a tremendous pace," with
5 pilot projects awarded in 2012, and two more rounds of pilot awards,
including one with the public sector focused on solutions for benefits
delivery, are planned for 2013. With regard to smart cards, Grant said that
they have a very important role in the identity ecosystem, and "when it comes
to impact on security, smart card technology has very few peers." As far as
what solutions would "stick" within the NSTIC, Grant said those that would
compel consumer use the most are the most likely candidates.
Boucher talked of another national identity ecosystem - in Canada - that
focuses on enabling trust and confidence in interactions between the public
and government. Boucher's project will span over several phases, with the
first being complete: the federation of online identity services. Federation,
according to Boucher, "is a stepping stone toward achieving a citizen-centric
Canadian citizens now have two options available if they wish to create a
trusted online identity. The first is through their financial institution who
acts as a credential broker. Using the banking authentication service and an
NFC-enabled credit/identity card as a credential, Canadians can gain secure
and authenticated access to government services. With three banks on board,
this option can already serve 10 million consumers. The second option is to
use a government-branded credential service called GCKey. Through either
method, Canadian citizens can use the same authentication methods for access
to federal, municipal, and provincial government services and, in the future,
for ecommerce. Boucher said the next phase for the project is to add identity
components, which will take 12 to 24 months.
Dr. James J. James, director of the AMA Center for Public Health Preparedness
and Disaster Response, presented an update on a recently completed AMA pilot
program intended to provide smart healthcare cards to those displaced by a
disaster. The need for the program was made evident in the wake of Hurricane
Katrina, when evacuees were left with no medication and incomplete/unavailable
medical information. The pilot included two groups of patients with the same
clinical presentations, 20 of which were supplied with a preprogrammed smart
card, and 20 of which that "came as they were," equipped only with a driver's
license or whatever form of identification they would normally carry. Through
the use of the smart health card, the pilot found that almost 20 seconds were
saved in evaluation per patient - which adds up to a lot of time when dealing
with millions of displaced citizens - and many less were sent to the emergency
room. Those with smart cards were also more satisfied with their care they
received, and the timeliness in which they received it. Overall, Dr. James
said smart cards provided the ideal platform that would "do I.N. A. MOMENT"
(meaning "Identify. Notify. Access. Moment") because "people are most
concerned with receiving the help they need when they need it."
Kelli Emerick, the executive director of the Secure ID Coalition, talked about
how smart cards can address the oft talked about "fiscal cliff," and the $661
billion worth of cuts necessary to keep the U.S. from dropping off of it.
Specifically, smart cards can help Medicare, which has an annual deficit of
$1.8 billion and $60 billion dollars a year worth of fraud. Replacing the
paper Medicare card with a secure smart card, Emerick said, would
substantially reduce this fraud and result in an ROI of $296 billion over 10
years. Emerick urged the audience to support the Medicare Common Access Card
Act (H.R.2925/S.1551) which would allow pilots to show the "virtues and
benefits" of a Medicare smart card.
George Schu, senior vice president, Booz Allen Hamilton, spoke on the big
initiatives going on in the world of cybersecurity in government and the
enterprise, particularly in the realm of mobile identity credentials. While
the use of mobile devices within the workplace boosts productivity and is
overall good for business, he said, the devices "become attractive target
because they are always on and loaded with sensitive information." To combat
this, the industry needs to define a new role for smart cards to secure
credentials in the mobile phone. Schu said, "Nothing is more fundamental to
the security of an enterprise than strong credentials, and the fusion of
logical and physical access control," noting the importance of smart
card-based identity credentials and the work of the Smart Card Alliance.
For more news from the Smart Card Alliance, visit www.smartcardalliance.org.
About the Smart Card Alliance
The Smart Card Alliance is a not-for-profit, multi-industry association
working to stimulate the understanding, adoption, use and widespread
application of smart card technology.
Through specific projects such as education programs, market research,
advocacy, industry relations and open forums, the Alliance keeps its members
connected to industry leaders and innovative thought. The Alliance is the
single industry voice for smart cards, leading industry discussion on the
impact and value of smart cards in the U.S. and Latin America. For more
information please visit http://www.smartcardalliance.org.
CONTACT: Deb Montner
Montner & Associates Tech PR Agency
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